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Polish translation Masters in Europe


Dzioobek 1 | 1
26 Jan 2010  #1
Hi there,

My girlfriend (who is Polish) and I are both language geeks and we're both at the stage where we are considering where to do our Masters degrees. I want to be an interpreter and would like to study in either Geneva or Brussels; as English is my mother tongue, it's fairly easy for me to find courses.

My girlfriend speaks excellent English and French, but she wants to do a Masters where she can work in her mother tongue. The problem is, not many universities seem to offer translation courses with a Polish option. The only interesting course she's found is in Krakow, but it's quite expensive and she's heard that there's no guarantee the qualification will be recognised by universities and employers outside of Poland.

She's also interested in the idea of Geneva and Brussels (Brussels in particular). Do any of you know of a translation Masters that might be good for her? I find it hard to believe that such international cities like Geneva and Brussels wouldn't offer courses with Polish... but so far, I haven't been able to find one.

Dziękuję!
Harry
26 Jan 2010  #2
The Institute of Applied Linguistics (ILS) at the University of Warsaw has a very good reputation in Poland. They do offer a two year course which is described as a "Master's" but I'd be slightly hesitant about taking it.

The problem with Polish universities as far as EU recognition is their extra mural courses: the idea that it is possible to do a Master's degree in five years of classes every other weekend is a complete joke. Under the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System one academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits, which is equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of study. Given that the average academic year is only 35 weeks long (three months off during summer plus another month for other holidays), a student will need to work between 43 and 51 hours per week. Sorry but somebody with a full-time job is very simply not going to do 43 hours per week on top of their job. But as long as Polish universities remain addicted to the very lucrative extra mural studies, their 'second cycle' qualifications will remain a joke.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
26 Jan 2010  #3
their 'second cycle' qualifications will remain a joke.

Not all magister-level studies are extramural; actually extramural studies are just another option, with full-time study being the default offer. So what's your problem?
Harry
26 Jan 2010  #4
Yes I am well aware that some (but not most?) magister students study full-time. My problem is that it is simply not possible to do a combined first cycle and second cycle qualification part-time in five years: doing that would involve at least 43 hours a week of studies on top of a full-time job and people just can not and do not do that.

I'm also less than impressed with the idea that a combined first cycle and second cycle qualification can be done full-time in just four years. In most EU states you are looking at a minimum of six or seven years for a second cycle qualification but in Poland it can be just four years: are Polish students really that much brighter and harder working than the EU average?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
26 Jan 2010  #5
that some (but not most?) magister students study full-time

I would say most study full time.

doing that would involve at least 43 hours a week of studies on top of a full-time job and people just can not and do not do that.

Most people who study extramural only work part-time. I should know, I taught extramural students for many years. Also, the formal requirements (the examinations you need to pass, the magister thesis etc). are no different for extramural students, so yes, they do need to work extra hard to gain their qualification. I hope we're not discussing private "you pay us, we give you a diploma" - type "educational facilities" here. That's a whole different story, and a sad one at that.

In most EU states you are looking at a minimum of six or seven years for a second cycle qualification but in Poland it can be just four years:

Six or seven years at university? At minimum? Isn't that just a tad too long? In PL it's 5 (or 3+2) for most areas of study, and 6-7 for medical students.

So, how old is the average European graduate? 27 - 28? Bizarre!
strzyga 2 | 993
26 Jan 2010  #6
Dzioobek

Go to proz.com and search the forums, you'll find lots of useful information there.

a student will need to work between 43 and 51 hours per week.

I don't know how familiar you are with the organisation of extramural studies in Poland, but what you write here is not compatible with reality. I've had some classes with extramurals

so I know the schedule. Usually it was 3 pm - 9 pm on Friday, 8 am - 9 pm on Saturday and 8 am - 7 pm on Sunday. The academic year for extramurals started mid-September and ended on the first or second weekend of July, and sometimes they had classes two or three weeks in a row. Granted, the quality of education is still lower than with day studies, but it's not a joke either, unless the school itself is a joke, which happens. And it's not like there are no extramurals in the Western countries.
Harry
26 Jan 2010  #7
Most people who study extramural only work part-time. I should know, I taught extramural students for many years.

Same here but most of mine were working full time.

I hope we're not discussing private "you pay us, we give you a diploma" - type "educational facilities" here. That's a whole different story, and a sad one at that.

Those places are a disgrace.

In the UK school starts at the age of four, in Poland you waste three years. For a practical course (engineering, management, teaching even languages) a person needs to do two years of pre-university college, then four years of uni (three of studies and one of supervised experience) for a BA, so they're 22 on graduation, an MA is two more years on top of that.

And it's not like there are no extramurals in the Western countries.

Yes there are: and it takes longer to get your degree from them. In England if you study half-time, your degree takes twice as long.
strzyga 2 | 993
26 Jan 2010  #8
In England if you study half-time, your degree takes twice as long.

In any case, they need to do the required number of hours in order to get the credentials, so it's just a matter of organisation. Of course if you study avg 10 hrs/week it's going to take more time than with 20 hrs/week.

. For a practical course (engineering, management, teaching even languages) a person needs to do two years of pre-university college,

Which is roughly an equivalent of our liceum, age 16-18. The only difference is that we don't name it upper education, i's still considered as secondary. So I don't see your point here.
Harry
26 Jan 2010  #9
Of course if you study avg 10 hrs/week it's going to take more time than with 20 hrs/week.

So why don't extra mural studies take longer than full-time studies?

Which is roughly an equivalent of our liceum, age 16-18. The only difference is that we don't name it upper education, i's still considered as secondary. So I don't see your point here.

No it isn't an equivalent. Poles do 12 years of school, from the age of 7 to 19. Brits do do 12 years of school, from the age of 4 to 16.

Or do you mean that Poles are so intelligent and hard-working that they can cover in 12 years what it takes a British person 14 years to cover? Quite possibly you do, you clearly have no problem in claiming that a Magister (which can be done in four years of university) is the same as a British Master's degree (which is usually done in six years of university).
strzyga 2 | 993
26 Jan 2010  #10
So why don't extra mural studies take longer than full-time studies?

Read my first post again and count the hours. Without the required minimum of hours these students would not be able to get their credentials, so they are certainly doing that.

Poles do 12 years of school, from the age of 7 to 19. Brits do do 12 years of school, from the age of 4 to 16.

The British infant school, age 4-6, is just mandatory kindergarten. Polish kids in kindergartens do the same stuff. OK, it's not mandatory, still most children attend it.

And the last year, for 6-year-olds, is compulsory - the so-called zerówka. So here's one year for you.

Or do you mean that Poles are so intelligent and hard-working that they can cover in 12 years what it takes a British person 14 years to cover?

I don't know if they're more intelligent, but I suppose they do work more for one simple reason - they get homework assignments, which adds up to more hours of work a day than in the British system.

Quite possibly you do, you clearly have no problem in claiming that a Magister (which can be done in four years of university) is the same as a British Master's degree (which is usually done in six years of university).

Please stop patronizing and putting words in my mouth. Where have I said anything about magister vs. Master's? But, FYI, you can't do a magister in four years unless you are doing an individualised study programme. Normally, it takes five years. And yes, I believe that what can be done in six years can be also done in five.
Harry
26 Jan 2010  #11
^ You clearly know nothing about the UK education system. Please go away and do a little research about it before posting here, you might look less ignorant.
strzyga 2 | 993
26 Jan 2010  #12
Oh, but I thought we were discussing the Polish education system here. Sorry, that was clearly my mistake. Another one was to expect a to-the-point answer to my arguments. Sorry for that too.
Harry
26 Jan 2010  #13
^ You'll get a point-by-point reply to your post of nonsense tomorrow when I'm back on my desktop computer, can't quote when posting on this phone.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
27 Jan 2010  #14
You'll get a point-by-point reply to your post of nonsense tomorrow

I was really looking forward to your reply, as I completely agree with your opponent. Unfortunately it seems you've gotten cold feet...
Harry
27 Jan 2010  #15
No, I just completely forgot. Thanks for the thread bump, I'll get onto the reply now.

The British infant school, age 4-6, is just mandatory kindergarten. Polish kids in kindergartens do the same stuff. OK, it's not mandatory, still most children attend it.

I see that you have never taught at British schools: I have and that is why I know that British infant school is not mandatory kindergarten. I would direct you to the Learning & Development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. They include literacy requirements that 5 year olds should: readily use written language in their play and learning; use phonic knowledge to write simple regular words and make phonetically plausible attempts at more complex words; show an understanding of how information can be found in non-fiction texts to answer questions about where, who, why and how; begin to form simple sentences, sometimes using punctuation. There are similar levels of requirements for numeracy.

I've also taught Polish kids aged five: they can not read at all.

I suppose they do work more for one simple reason - they get homework assignments, which adds up to more hours of work a day than in the British system.

Good joke there. The current guidelines for homework in the British system state that children should start with one hour per week at the age of five (do Polish kindergartens give homework?) and build up until they are doing two and a half hours per day. However some leading schools commonly ask 11 and 12-year-olds to complete three or four hours' homework per day.

But, FYI, you can't do a magister in four years unless you are doing an individualised study programme. Normally, it takes five years. And yes, I believe that what can be done in six years can be also done in five.

So you agree that a Magister can be done in four years. OK, I agree: I know several people who have done their Magister in four years.

Where have I said anything about magister vs. Master's?

Would you agree that a Magister is not the equivalent of a Master's?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
27 Jan 2010  #16
I've also taught Polish kids aged five: they can not read at all.

How many British kids actually *read* by age 5? Lots of Polish kids know the alphabet by 5 - 6, and ALL of them read and write normally (on an age-appropriate level) before they finish grade 1.

On the other hand, I worked as a teaching assistant at a London primary school, and I'm sorry to say that even 8 - 9 year olds struggled with reading and writing. Foundation Requirements and Key Levels look great on paper, but it seems implementation isn't quite catching up.

OK, I agree: I know several people who have done their Magister in four years.

If someone is exceptionally gifted, I bet they can complete a 5-year magister course in 2 years. A friend of mine simultaneously completed TWO faculties and graduated with distinction from both. While heavily pregnant. That does not mean it is normal and typical for students to do so.
jonni 16 | 2,486
27 Jan 2010  #17
How many British kids actually *read* by age 5?

Many can read simple childrens books before that. A lot depends on the type (and location) of the school and the family background.
Harry
27 Jan 2010  #18
How many British kids actually *read* by age 5?

All the ones I taught could.

I worked as a teaching assistant at a London primary school

Out of interest, what percentage of the kids spoke English at home?
Nika 2 | 507
27 Jan 2010  #19
They include literacy requirements that 5 year olds should: readily use written language in their play and learning.

It would be good if they also knew Latin declensions, French conjugation, econometrics and quantum physics. LOL

I've also taught Polish kids aged five: they can not read at all.

Maybe I couldn't read when I was five, but today I read, speak & write in 3 languages.
jonni 16 | 2,486
27 Jan 2010  #20
It would be good if they also knew Latin declensions, French conjugation, econometrics and quantum physics.

At five years-old? That would be ambitious even for kids at a good British primary. Latin and French don't need to start until seven or eight, though some schools start languages earlier.

but today I read, speak & write in 3 languages

I have six, one started at school before the age of 8 and another two in secondary school. And not at all a good school to say the least.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
27 Jan 2010  #21
what percentage of the kids spoke English at home?

I have no idea frankly, but they were definitely fluent English speakers. I am not talking about immigrant kids fresh off the plane here.
Actually, there was a Polish boy there who had only joined the school several months earlier, and the teacher could not stop talking about his excellent writing skills. She was fascinated by the fact that he was "linking letters" and had "a steady hand" at his age. The boy was about 9.
jonni 16 | 2,486
27 Jan 2010  #22
She was fascinated by the fact that he was "linking letters" and had "a steady hand" at his age. The boy was about 9.

My God, what sort of school did you work at?

We were taught formal handwriting at seven, and rapped on the knuckles with a ruler (or worse) for making mistakes.

That was about 1974, not so long ago, in a very working class industrial area with huge social problems and on the front page of all UK newspapers this week because of maladjusted children.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
27 Jan 2010  #23
That was about 1974

It seems standards have slipped a lot since then. The school I am writing about is a typical primary school in the London borough of Redbridge. I quit working there after several months because I it was, frankly speaking, a traumatic experience for me. (No, not because of violence or anything like that. Because of the cringeworthy "educational practices" I witnessed on a daily basis).
jonni 16 | 2,486
27 Jan 2010  #24
London borough of Redbridge

A friend worked in Primary for Redbridge and had to leave after having a breakdown. She absolutely hated it.

There have been problems surrounding London schools for years, even before the William Tyndale School scandal, and it seems things aren't getting any better.
PeterD
29 Jan 2010  #25
Interesting yet too long discussion for a simple question. Have you tried online learning services or asking translation companies such as tomedes.com .
What about contacting communities of Polish expats in these cities asking them?
OP Dzioobek 1 | 1
1 Feb 2010  #26
I didn't think such a simple question would trigger such mean-spirited bickering. Feel free to answer the original question if you still feel like it, but I'm not sure I'm so keen to come back and find out the answers.
jeetan 1 | 7
18 Feb 2010  #27
Translators are many now here in Poland


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