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KGSP graduate embassy track personal statement idea: Korean linguistics

saltytteok 1 / 1  
Feb 17, 2019   #1

to become a medical translator/interpreter

I'm applying for the KGSP graduate embassy track and I would like your opinion on my idea for the personal statement.
What I'm intending to do is, study Korean linguistics and become a medical translator/interpreter with the languages Russian, English and Korean. Originally I wanted to apply mainly to Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for their master's program in translation of these three languages (the only one that has all three languages), but unluckily from this year on the university is no longer on the KGSP list. There are basically no other translation degrees offered, so Korean linguistics is the closest thing I could find.

My undergrad was in English language and literature, so my pitch is as follows. With Russian as my mother tongue and being fluent in English (+Eng linguistics base), I will study Korean to fluency and get a Korean linguistics base so that I am fully proficient in all three languages to provide accurate translations. My question is, would I be able to get the Korean linguistics scholarship if I want to become a translator, or is it too unrelated to linguistics? Should I choose another field of work instead for a better chance to be accepted to KGSP?

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,661 1998  
Feb 18, 2019   #2
@saltytteok You have to consider that you will have to complete a masters thesis at the end of the academic schedule. How will your becoming a translator help you develop a proper research opportunity in the area of Linguistics? It won't. It is not related to the actual career path you want to pursue in the future. A linguist is basically a person who is involved in Linguistics or the study of the history of languages.

To be precise; "Linguistics is the scientific study of language, and involves an analysis of language form, language meaning, and language in context." Based on that definition, simply becoming an employed translator does not turn you into a linguist. Not even a Korean Linguist because your final aim is to become a medical translator / interpreter. A translator does not study the history of a language and its evolution. A translator is defined as "someone who converts the written word from one language to another. " That is a far cry from the job of a linguist.

As such, I do not believe that you would qualify for a linguistics scholarship under the GKS program. Try to find another field of work that is more related to your actual undergraduate course and current profession. I believe that would be the best thing for you to do at the moment.
OP saltytteok 1 / 1  
Feb 18, 2019   #3
Thank you for your opinion!
For my thesis I was thinking about focusing on the use of terms in the Korean medical field that are English loan words and explore if they are perceived accurately by patients (or something along those lines). This would combine my ugrad major, Korean linguistics and translation. Still won't do?

One thing I should mention is, my country doesn't have a Korean linguistics (or Korean anything) major, but looking at the last few years' results of the successful KGSP-G candidates from my country, they all got into the Korean Language and Literature department. That must mean they had studied something else for their undergrad.

Perhaps I could still study Korean linguistics (I did study linguistics after all, just English, so I do have that general linguistic base), but further go into something other than translation? Become a Korean professor in my home country? Any other suggestions?
assassinogurl 2 / 5 3  
Feb 19, 2019   #4
Hi, did you look at the syllabi/curriculum of the departments? Language and literature departments offer courses on translation, so do the linguistic departments. My advice for you would be searching the course list of departments offered at the universities that you want to apply to. Then, it would be easier for you to base your opinions on a more concrete plan. Good luck with your studies.

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