Third Semester Classes

I am an ambitious Asian overachiever. Apart from taking 20 credits this semester, I’m also working on campus 10 hr/week. AND I’m an executive officer on the Student Council. Yes, I know, I’m crazy. I don’t deny that, but I enjoy staying busy. If I’m not kept busy, I usually fall into a downwards spiral of TV show binge watching and just lying around in bed, reading tabloids. But I just wanted to share with you what my third semester classes are like.

Adv Consecutive Interpretation into Chinese

Most of my course names are pretty self-explanatory. This class is taught by Marsha. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this particular professor before but she is one of the toughest professors in the Chinese T&I program. She has high standards but she is extremely nice. I love her tell-it-as-it-is attitude. She doesn’t sugarcoat things and I appreciate that. Her Chinese language ability is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen. She is so concise and accurate, it is amazing. I took consec into Chinese with her last semester, but the course material for this semester is just off the charts hard. We are doing even more economic and financial centered issues than ever before. We spent a good three weeks on central bank policies and manipulation.

Adv Consecutive Interpretation into English

This class is offered by Prof Bao, whom we had for the same subject matter last semester. The biggest problem I have with this course is the material. It’s not so much the speeches the prof gives us to work with, but with all Chinese speakers in general. It’s surprising how much one doesn’t think about a speaker’s logic and if the speech actually means something until you have to interpret it. Then, as you try to filter through all the nonsense and find the logic in things, do you realize how horrible Chinese speakers are. They are repetitive, they have horrible public speaking skills, and they have zero logic. A good Chinese speaker is extremely rare. We are extremely lucky to have Prof Bao because he used to work for the United Nations. You can see a picture of him here serving as the interpreter when former Chinese President Hu Jingtao came to visit the US.

Adv Simultaneous Interpretation into Chinese

Also taught by the one and only Marsha. The topics have been mostly financial based, much like our consec class. I can now rattle off things like macro-prudential policy framework, asset purchases, non-performing loans, broad money, capital account convertibility, etc. It gets a little tiring sometimes… But I love simul dearly, no matter how challenging it gets. Sometimes, it feels like you want to punch the inside of the simul booth, but at other times, you’re just in the zone which, for me, is almost an out of body experience.

Adv Simultaneous Interpretation into English

This is one of my favorite classes. Laura is a great teacher, not only is she a skilled interpreter herself, she really breaks down the process for you and gives wonderful pointers. There is a difference between great interpreters and great interpreting teachers. Laura and Marsha are both. We’ve also covered a lot of financial speeches in this class but as of recently, we’ve also forayed into the more friendly realm of environmental protection and climate change.

Adv Translation into Chinese

The translation classes this semester are OUT OF CONTROL. I thought I could handle it last semester, but this semester is just way over my head. There are a lot of metaphors at work and my Chinese level just ain’t cutting it when it comes to translation. The subject matter ranges in variety. We are dealing with more technical texts which may be more practical for the work field, but still hella hard.

Adv Translation into English

Like the translation into Chinese class, the materials are much harder this semester. But because I’m still working into my A language, I like the challenge and it is a lot of fun for me. So far, we’ve covered two different types of Chinese martial arts novels and some Chinese Communist propaganda. We’ve also done a crazy hard Buddhist text. For the second half of the semester, I think we are doing more academic texts, so that should be more straightforward.

Software Localization

This class fills my one localization per semester quota. And it’s HARD. I thought I was computer savvy, but oh boy, was I wrong. I do feel like I’m learning something from it though. We are going into Trados Studio in-depth, also touching on MultiTerm, Passolo, and a variety of other software. My only complaint about this class is that the professor moves way too fast. We’ve told him this but he still “nerds” out at times.

Practicum in Interpretation

This is the most interesting class I’ve had so far at MIIS. It basically offers Conference Interpretation students the opportunity to interpret at events outside of the classroom. The first few classes we had workshops on booth etiquette, how to do relay with the equipment on campus, and how to interpret for a video conference. Some of the events we’ve interpreted at include, Career Focus Day panels, Toastmaster’s meetings, various speakers that come to our school, etc. We also have multilingual practices with the CI students from other language programs. We usually do some form of relay where we really have to rely on the interpretation in order to generate our own output. This class has not only allowed us to gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom, but also allowed us to get to know interpreters in other language combinations.

Intensive Computer Assisted Translation

To be honest, after 2.5 semesters at MIIS, I have realized that Computer Assisted Translation tools are very essential. So I took an Intro to CAT class in my first semester but it wasn’t very impressive. I had the first part of this intensive CAT class yesterday and I can already tell it will be extremely rewarding. The only downside to this class is that it spans my four day fall break, so I essentially don’t get any break time at all 😦

Overview of Translation and Interpretation Studies

This is one of the two research classes we have to take during our four semesters here. It only runs for half a semester. The instructor is actually a well-known theorist in the field, Anthony Pym. In his first class, he emphasized that it was a class on research not theory. I have to give him props, he made some pretty boring reading materials interesting. I can now see how theory can tie in with practice. But am I glad that the class is over? HELL YES!

Contemporary Research on Interpreting

Like the previous theory class, this is also a half semester class. So I haven’t actually had it yet. But I’m expecting good things from it because the instructor is actually a Chinese T&I professor that I haven’t had since first semester. I think she’s a great teacher and I’m looking forward to seeing her again and having her teach!

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