translation studies leeds, leeds uni translation, masters in translation

Wafa Mohammed Al-Nuumani

What made you want to apply to your MA course and to Leeds?

I am from Sultanate of Oman and I have completed my bachelor in English Professional Writing. The Ministry of Higher Education in Sultanate of Oman granted me a full scholarship to pursue a Masters degree. I applied for a place on the Translation Studies course at University of Leeds. My interest in this area was first piqued during my undergraduate study. I was especially interested in studying at University of Leeds, because of its tradition of practical and theoretical scholarship. 

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

Arabic/ English Translation Studies is a programme which allows you the opportunity to translate a range of different types of texts. One of the most enjoyable feature of this course was bringing in specialists in Translation from different countries to talk about their experiences and the challenges that they faced during their career life. For instance, the School held a talk by a translation specialist who is working in the UN in Iraq. It was the most exciting lecture. He told us about the war and the importance of the translator in that sector.

What would you say about Leeds as a city?

Leeds is one of the most attractive cities in England. It is a combination of a traditional and modern city. Leeds has gathered within it different cultures from around the world. I found it very comfortable and safe city. Also, all Muslims can find a range of Halal restaurants. It is the best place for studying, travelling and shopping.

What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?

For me, it was the first trip outside my country without my family. It was a challenge to me to travel alone. I expected to face some difficulties while arriving Leeds. First of all, the weather was like a shock to me, it was very cold and I came from a country which the weather reaches 40 degrees. But, after a couple of months I got used to it. Initially I found difficult to understand the Yorkshire accent, but I started to meet new friends in Leeds and they helped me to develop my skills in English.

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, and the University generally, provide useful learning facilities to support the students in their studies. The first learning facility that I used was the Language Centre. In the Language Centre they ensure that the students have the best learning environment. 

The libraries were the best place for doing my assignments and preparing for exams. I preferred to use Laidlaw Library due to its location and its inspirational study environment. Furthermore, I think all libraries at the campus are gateways for all information that the students and staff need.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

There are many activities at University of Leeds that the students can do besides their study. At the Students' Union students can participate in groups and societies that represent their cultures and interests. I participated with Leeds Omani Society. We celebrated our National Omani Day at the campus and spread some Omani flags and Roses for the students and teachers. In addition, we introduced some Omani traditional food in front of the Union. It was day full of feelings of love and belonging to homeland. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

I encourage all the students who are thinking of studying Arabic/English Translation Studies to choose University of Leeds. It is the best place for doing the MA due to its professional teachers from different regions. You can be sure that your knowledge in this area will increase and at the end, you can become a professional translator that your family, friends and teachers will be proud of you.

Do not be afraid. Think about your future and you must aspire to achieve your dreams. Also, discover what is outside of the University. Go and discover Leeds, enjoy every moment at Leeds with your friends.

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

The first step and the most important one is finding job in same area that I had study. Also, I plan to take further studies to become a teacher in one of the universities or colleges in Oman. I want to use all the skills that I have gained from the University in my future work. Lastly, I am thinking of translating some books from English into Arabic and starting a business in this.

Any other comment you would like to make?

I want to thank all my teachers at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies for giving me the opportunity to study at the University of Leeds. Thank you, Dr. Sameh Hanna for being the best teacher to all the students. Great thanks for my supervisor Dr. Hanem El-Farahaty who made my life in Leeds more easy and comfortable. It was one of my best years of my entire life. Thank you.