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MA in Applied Linguistics Graduate Profile – Vanessa Bastos

Vanessa Bastos
MA in Applied Linguistics graduate Vanessa Bastos.

Can you please introduce yourself; can you explain why you chose the MA in Applied Linguistics?

My name is Vanessa Bastos. I am from Brazil but I have lived in Ireland for almost 20 years now. I have worked as a translator in Ireland for a few years, but I didn't have a background in the linguistic field. I didn't want to be as specific as translation so in doing my research, I found that Applied Linguistics was a topic that would be good and fit what I was looking for.

Why UL?

I need to confess I live in Limerick, which makes it convenient to study at UL. UL is very well-known University even in Brazil. I was thinking of doing something online but when I found out about UL being so close to home and which had a course available that I was interested in, I decided to pursue it.

How did you find out about the course?

I knew a girl who had previously studied at UL, her background was in Spanish translation. She told me good things about the University and then when I arrived in UL in turns out she was doing same course that I had decided to do, which was a complete coincidence.

What specific aspects of your course have impressed you the most? What is the best thing about the course?

I didn't know much about Applied Linguistics before engaging in this course. When you begin the course, you start learning things while your studies and then you see how fascinating it is. I think what I like about the programme is that you can use what you learn not only in academic life, but you can also this knowledge to solve language related issues in your personal life. It’s very interesting and the subcategories of linguistics are really fascinating. For example, forensic linguistics was used to solve a criminal case in Brazil.  Forensic Linguistics was used to analyse audio on phone calls and transcripts of messages. I was fascinated with the use of linguistics in this way.

What else (other than course learning outcomes) have you gained from the course?

I have learned so many things. The translation of books and poetry is something that I never thought about when we had classes last semester about the translation of books. We were discussing Harry Potter. it's something that you might think oh it's just translating and that’s it.  But the book has a lot of made-up words, so then you need to think how I can translate that, so then the translator needs to immerse themselves in the culture and they need to make sure people will get that right idea, so this is something that I developed which I didn't have any interest in previously. I’m now thinking of doing book translations.

What are your future plans? How has/will this course improve your future career prospects and outlook?

I am thinking of pursuing book translation, we have so many good writers in Brazil and only a small minority of books are translated into English, so I think this is something I will think about for a future career path.

Would you recommend the programme to others?

I would recommend the course; I would also really recommend UL as I felt very supported by staff and indeed my fellow students. I find when people think about applied linguistics they should not just be thinking about an academic or professional view of linguistics, because you will learn a lot for your personal life as well. I enjoy talking about linguistics with friends and getting their input on the use of words and language. When you speak in another language that is different from your native language, it is very interesting to explore the differences and similarities between languages and culture.