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Sample Personal Statement for Interpretation & Translation

As a middle school teacher of English, I have experienced the joy and the sense of achievement of imparting my knowledge to students. However, with China’s intensified efforts at reform and opening up to the international community, I have become increasingly aware of the necessity of unlimited communication between China and the rest of the world through translation and interpretation. Against such a backdrop I have decided to discontinue my teaching career in favor of an application for a Master’s degree in Interpretation and Translation at the renowned XX University. Through this degree program, I expect to develop myself into a well-trained specialist in this field who can make important contributions to translation and interpretation, which is also a meaningful form of cultural and interpersonal communication.

I always congratulate myself for the right decision I made five years to specialize in English Education at the English Department of XX Normal University. For me, learning English was not a mere process of language acquisition. It has broadened my vision and helped me gain insight into the variegated Anglo-American cultures, enabling me to communicate, through both Chinese and English languages, with the two thirds of the world population. Among all the courses I took, Translation and General Introduction to Britain and the United States fascinated me most. The former exposed me to a totally new world, with different political, economic, and educational systems, social habits and customs. As the carrier of all those information, the English language aroused my serious interest in exploring the culture and its related aspects represented by the English language.

On the other hand, the Translation course brought me new perspectives concerning linguistic and cultural characteristics of the target language and my vernacular. The conversion of those two independent language systems not only involves semantic and stylistic renditions but also underlying cultural penetration and transplantation. As a result, in my translation practice, I consciously fostered a pluralistic awareness of the cultural factors involved in actual translation processes. I have been equally concerned with the conveyance of literally comprehensible messages and culturally-informed communications because I believe that translation and interpretation is essentially an act of communication.

My 4-year undergraduate program has been a continued process of gaining cultural cognition beyond the mere language learning. Meanwhile, I endeavored to practice what I have learned by acting as interpreter for a number of large-scale cultural exchange activities. My interest in translation also led me to study the special features of English vocabulary and expression on the Internet and how those features differ from Chinese. My research findings became the foundation for my thesis entitled Features of Internet English, which was positively rated by my advisor for its in comparative study of an important aspect of the two languages and how such a study can apply to translation.

During my undergraduate program, I had a wide range of interests, which ramified into fields other than English language—Law and Computer Network. My pursuit of those interests turned out to be double-edged. On one hand, it somehow diverted my concentration on my specialty, negatively affecting my overall GPA. But on the other hand, it points to those areas where I have accumulated relatively sufficient knowledge for attempting at some applied translation in the future. For a student of language who is bent on a career of translation and interpretation, comprehensive knowledge of diverse fields is sometimes more important than the knowledge of language itself.

In my past experience of learning and teaching English, I realize that one common deficiency of learning and practicing English is the lack of a native language environment, which severely restricts the improvement of English language application. As a major developing country, China’s integration into the international community, accelerated by its WTO accession, has led to rapidly growing social, cultural, economic and diplomatic exchanges with western countries. More and more important international conferences are held in China. These and other factors have created the need for more and more well-trained interpreters and translators. Under such circumstances, I intend to seek advanced trainings in the theory and the practice of Interpretation and Translation at your reputed university.

My belief is that through studying English in the very country of its origination I may further deepen my knowledge of English. Moreover, your specific program will also teach me useful techniques of task-oriented interpretation and translation skills. By undertaking this program, I will procure a meaning career that is closely connected with communications at linguistic and cultural levels. It will help me, together with my future audience, understand the world in better perspectives.


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