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Linguistic question

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Capital_B, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Capital_B

    Capital_B New Member

    How do you understand the phrase:

    "They are all experienced translators. They all graduated."

    Does it mean that they have all a university degree or even that they own a Dr.-title?
  2. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    Hard to tell what those two sentences mean without knowing the context in which they originally appeared. Could you elaborate?
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    My interpretation is that they have at least a BA.
  4. Capital_B

    Capital_B New Member

    Unfortunately not. Do you think that a native speaker wrote it?
  5. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member

    They graduated from translator school?

  6. Capital_B

    Capital_B New Member

    Hm, I thought the same as Nomand, but my dictionary says graduated means having a PhD (Dr.). I am not an American or English native speaker. Are you, Nomad?
  7. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    Actually, without any context about who these translators are or what they will be translating or what type of institution they graduated, that is about the limits of what these two sentences would tell you -- that all of theses "experienced translators" had graduated/completed some kind of translation curriculum. There is nothing grammatically wrong with the two sentences, but in and of themselves, they really don't convey a lot of information.
  8. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I am a native english speaker and with no further context it could mean they graduted from: high school, college, a trade program, an online course. I suppose they could have graduated from a PhD program, but that would probably be the last thing I'd think of.
  9. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    "Graduated" in the United States can merely mean completing your high school (secondary school) education. Or it could mean that one had received a bachelor's degree (4 years of college, usually) or any number of advanced degree programs beyond that. As I said, without more information about the context, it really could mean any number of things.

    ETA: Just saw genevieve's post and I agree with her. Graduated = Ph.D. would be one of the last things I'd think of, although it obviously could mean that.
  10. Capital_B

    Capital_B New Member

    But you don't mention university, Genevieve. Do you exclude this?
  11. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    I'm not genevieve, but I'm pretty sure she isn't excluding "university." In the United States, most people use the term "college" to mean the same as "university." The distinction is that most "colleges" do not offer advanced degrees, but some do (e.g. Dartmouth College has graduate programs and even a professional program in medicine).
  12. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    yeah, in general usage here college = university = undergraduate degree
  13. Capital_B

    Capital_B New Member

    Okay, thank you! :)
  14. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    I interpret this as meaning:

    They = Experienced translators
    They = Graduates

    Being experienced translators is unrelated to graduating.
    Being graduates is unrelated to being experienced translators.

    A person can graduate from any kind of program if they enroll and complete the curriculum, including requirements for conduct and payment.

    A person can be an experienced translator if they convert meaning in one language to analogous meaning in another language.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  15. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I interpret it to mean they have at least a 4 year college degree. They may or may not have more than that.
  16. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Here is my guess….

    If the person who wrote these lines is not an native English speaker, AND if he/she does not come from a romance-language base, then he/she is saying: They all have diplomas/They all are certified (to be qualified translators).

    In some European non-romance languages if you try to translate “certified” as in “has a professional diploma” into English, you get “graduated”. That is true in Russian, Dutch, few Scandinavian dialects…. When you want to say “diplomed/certified” you get “graduated” in the dictionary.
  17. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Tinami Amori is on to something. For native English speakers, "certified" or "credentialed" is used more often. That indicates that someone has specialized training and is recognized as qualified by some sort of governing body.

    For example, someone who is fluent in Spanish and English may attend medical translator courses then sit for an exam. If s/he passes, s/he can use the designation CMI, Certified Medical Interpreter. Similarly, legal interpreters must be certified by the court system in which they practice.
  18. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    I took it to mean that so few people graduate with a translation degree that when they do, they're automatically considered experienced.

    Taking each sentence separately, they all have experience, and they all have a degree.
  19. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Taking both sentences separately doesn't mean they all have a degree. If you're taking the sentences by themselves, "They all graduated." doesn't mean much at all, which is why the OP asked the question. There's nothing to say what they graduated with - it could be a high school diploma, a graduate or undergraduate degree, or a translation certification. It could be anything.

    I would take the sentences together to mean they (the experienced translators) would have graduated university with at least an undergraduate degree, but only because I think it would be difficult/rare for a high school graduate to become experienced at translating at a high/semi-professional level needed for a job in the field.

    To me, the sentences look like they could come from a website of an organisation that provide semi-professional translators. I say semi-professional because I think professional translators would have formal qualifications, affiliations or certifications that would be listed in a format the reader would understand easily. I don't think I'd want the person who wrote this to do any important translating for me.