Personal Statement for Application of Ph.D. in Translation Studies


Personal Statement

 

In translation I see a purposeful and versatile vocation, yet what I love most are its ever-changing topics that feed my curiosity and its power to connect people across different languages, cultures, and times.

 

Working at xx as an in-house translator and interpreter was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. It gave me a front-row seat to observe and work with top communicators in governments and businesses, from whom I learned communication skills and work ethics and became more aware of the power of word choice. In addition, I organized multiple international exhibitions and business-matching meetings on top of fulfilling administrative duties. It not only helped me appreciate and respect different cultures, but also improved my organization and ability to work under pressure. Although translating and interpreting in political settings were both intellectually and physically demanding, it instilled in me an interest in politics and a resolute desire to study translation and interpretation.

 

This led me to work as an interpretation intern at the European Commission, where I was excited to meet many interpreters and translators who shared my passion and produced fully deverbalized translation that flows effortlessly with all nuances properly convened. In addition, their patience when teaching trainees stressed the vital role of translation and interpretation professionals as communicators and teachers; I decided to develop these skills by teaching English in China and Japan for businesspeople, students, and the elderly. Furthermore, I was struck that speaking one’s mother tone and having access to translation are considered citizens’ right and a tool to safeguard participatory democracy in the EU. It improved my understanding of the role of translators and inspired me to study both politics and translation.

 

With a life-long learning mindset and aspiration for an international career, after working six years, I went back to the campus and studied international relations in Japan and translation and interpretation in the United States. My academic training in Japan taught me how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research under a theoretical framework and organize and present my thoughts in English succinctly. I thoroughly enjoyed doing research and graduated as valedictorian and the author of the outstanding thesis. Now I am a second-year conference interpretation student, and I try to apply translational theories to guide practice. I find Baker’s application of narrative theory in translation and conflict particularly interesting as it demonstrates the importance of translators in social and political issues and their voice in forming a public narrative. It also inspired me to write the research proposal on translation, narrative, and identity.

 

My goals are to earn Ph.D. in translation studies at a program of international reputation and work in this field as a researcher or a lecturer. The University of Edinburgh is known for its strengths in translation studies; and my intended supervisor, Dr. xx, and I share areas of academic interests. I would be amazed by the opportunity to work with such a supervisor at your respected university. Having worked as a translator and spoken to many researchers, I understand that translation and doing research can be a stressful profession that requires dedication; nevertheless, I believe I have the motivation and capacity to achieve my goals in this rewarding and intellectually fulfilling vocation. I hope you will give my application every consideration.

 

 

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