Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Study Plans

Well, I was hoping to be able to go back to Uni and finish my MA in Translation Studies. I left the programme with a PGDip owing to serious illness back in 2003 with the offer of being able to go back and upgrade when I was better. I planned to go back 2 years ago, but couldn't as there wasn't the money to spare at that point, then last year the classes I wanted to do were unavailable and I was becoming ill again with a job that was entirely unsuitable for me. Now it's too long between when I got my PGDip and re-started in September - Uni regulations state that I have to finish within a certain number of years, so I'd have to re-apply and then get credit transfer. That's no problem in principle, it's just that I could only get advanced standing to the tune of 60 creidts, when I've actually done the equivalent of 120, so there's a risk of having to re-take classes and re-pay for them! So, I'm enquiring about changing programmes and having my PGDip count as 60 credits towards that, so I wouldn't have to re-take the common components and might be able to swap the other class I'd already done and got a merit for, for some of the MA in Advanced Chinese language stuff. Well, we'll see. This newer programme has a lot of interpreting in it and that would actually be more useful to me than taking 2 linguistics classes, (which I may be able, as a staff member, to sit in on lectures for anyway and can read up on by myself). I'll need to put in a LOT of work on my Chinese in order to be suitable for this new programme, but I won't be thinking of going back until autumn 2010, by which time I should also have been able to save up the fees!! Hope they don't charge much, or anything, for the 60 credits I'd be transferring!

So, I've been looking through a number of my Chinese resources and thinking about how to go about really bringing my language level up to scratch. I'm going to start with the books mentioned before as, although I'm by no means a beginner, there's some good revision in there and our BA(Hons) programme didn't teach a lot of the practical situational material that's in there and I will need that sort of vocab, both for chatting with Chinese folk and also it may possibly be needed in the 'Situated Dialogue Interpreting' module, which could well be used as a training session for small-scale interpreting. That can be business, medical, legal and all sorts of everyday stuff, so the more I can get under my belt, the better!

Looking forward to the boxes coming back from Taiwan. When we were there recently, we bought some new books, as well as the workbooks and audio for the courses we already had. We're planning to spend part of spring 2010 over there going to classes and, if we're there in May, I want to take the 'TOP Huayu' test too - 'Test of Proficiency'. Hope to take intermediate level of HSK (汉语水平考试 Hanyu shuiping kaoshi - Chinese proficiency test, the mainland one) in autumn 2009 too, so lots of work to do! Exams, tests and goals are good to get one going though, so I think this is a good idea. Even if I don't do the MA programme, then I'll at least get a really good level of Chinese again.

In my boxes from Taiwan are also 2 books on Korean! One is mostly based around reading and writing the hangul script, but there's also a CD and vocab learning opportunities and the other is a course with CDs which my friend gave me. Looks quite a lot duller than many of the other courses available there, but should still be a good start. No matter how dry a textbook looks (or indeed is), if you learn everything in it, you'll learn a lot of the language! I also have 'Teach Yourself Korean' as can be seen in the blog header photo, so that's something I want to get to doing over the next few years. Have a hankering over Vietnamese as well.....

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