Friday, January 26, 2007

I have been looking around trying to find a decent translation school. I actually worked at one about 6 years ago, but I wouldn't call it decent. It was basically a fraud. Most of the material was illegally copied material which had been altered and rearranged somewhat with no credit given to the original authors. They did that to several GMAT/GRE texts. They were caught when a PO'd former teacher told his students what was going on. They went to a government office responsible for that area (FTC I believe) and complained. The bureaucrats ordered the money refunded to the 6. Only those six. No others. In fact, the school continued to use the material and obviously the government did not care.

Once one of the students complained about a class she attended in which the instructor mistakenly used the wrong material. This pissed the owner off. At the student. He told a friend---another instructor--that he had to get the woman to quit. If she quit on her own, under the law in effect at that time, they did not have to refund her money. So my friend was supposed to tell her that she should quit, that she did not have what it took to be an interpretor. He was more or less told to trash her. The owner told him if he did not get her to quit, my friend had failed. (Yea, really a friend, not me.)

Naturally, he did not want to do it, so he went to the instructor who had made the mistake. This guy was a contrary old bird, and not only did he refuse, he went to the owner and raised hell, pissing off the owner even more. I was so shocked, this kind, polite, Japanese man getting all pissed off because an old Canadian guy refused to lie to a student. That cross-eyed Canadian actually thought that it was best if we simply apologized to her! Stupid foreigner!!! (The owner used to sit around and laugh and tell stories about how he suckered some of the students into signing up for the unbelievably expensive courses. A "PhD course" for example, taught by a guy who at most may have had a college degree, and barely speak English. The course used scientific journals and such, which required a hell of a lot more to understand than just English anyway. Kinda had to actually be a scientist to understand them well enough to teach them.)

Let's see, I want to find a school with instructors educated properly---not following some kind of idiotic "method" made up by a drunk---and one in which I won't be ripped off. I know of one, but it is not really aimed at translation.

I have looked on the internet for university course online in this field, but can't find any yet. I much prefer a western educational approach anyway---it avoids unnecessary meaningless rote activities, and is less likely to involve some goofball crackpot "method." Well, there is Berlitz, but it is owned by Benesse, a Japanese company now---so it ain't western. Plus, their "method" is a bastardization of the communicative approach. And they don't offer any translator courses in Japan anyway.

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