As an undeclared major

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Necsus

Senior Member
Italian (Italy)
Buondì, WRF!
Nella serie Tv 'Masters of sex' ho trovato la locuzione "undeclared major", qualcuno sa dirmi come può essere resa in italiano? Virginia va da una advisor per iscriversi a un corso di laurea nell'università presso cui lavora come segretaria. Ecco le battute:

VIRGINIA TO ADVISOR: I know it's late, but I need to sign up for classes now... get myself in the system, officially registered as a student. I was thinking my emphasis of study could be nature versus nurture.
ADVISOR TO VIRGINIA: We don't offer that as a major.
VIRGINIA: Well, not as a major, necessarily. But it must fall in the department of behavioral sciences or something.
ADVISOR: We don't have a department of behavioral sciences.
VIRGINIA: I want a degree in an interesting subject. Something important. Do you have a sociology department? Then I'd like you to sign me up in the sociology department as an undeclared major.

Forse "senza specificare una specializzazione"?
Grazie!
 
  • giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    RAgazzi miei,

    inutile che vi torturi col solito disclaimer riguardo alla mia ignoranza, ma in rete ho trovato questo che forse rende l'idea:

    Undeclared is technically not a major. If you cannot decide on something right away, you can be undeclared. In the beginning, it doesn't really matter because everyone has to take care of core classes like mathematics, english, etc., but once you have to choose something, you have to declare a major. More so, you are not just "undeclared"; you are "undeclared" within a certain department. Let's say that you apply to engineering but you cannot decide on a specific major. You would be "undeclared engineering" until you pick something.
    Secondo me undeclared major vuol dire che da solo gli esami obbligatori e sceglierà la specializzazione dopo. Sul come tradurlo, però, non ho molte idee se non quella presa a prestito da Mary!

    Edit; ho trovato anche questo, più di questo non so come essere utile...sorry!
     
    Ah, non lo so, Chipu. Non frequento l'ambito universitario, per questo chiedo lumi... ;):)
    Ok, anch'io spero che qualcuno mi chiarisca una volta per tutte questa cosa che ho sempre trovato ostico da capire, almeno del sistema inglese. Quando entro in un'università inglese vedo che ci sono un numero incredibile di corsi, senza riferimento specifico ad una facoltà. Ovvero si parla di faculty of law, faculty of medicine, ecc., ma mi sembra che ci si iscriva a particolari corsi, non ad una facoltà... so that someone can major in international law, for example, and then minor in something completely different like french literature... is this possible? I fail to understand how it works:confused:...
    Questo più che altro è uno sfogo, lo so che non posso chiedere una completa spiegazione in quato contesto.... ma almeno un piccolo cenno... :)
     

    curiosone

    Senior Member
    AmE - hillbilly ;)
    At university (I can only speak for American universities), there are various colleges (e.g.: Arts and Sciences) offering various degrees (depending on what major you declare). In order to get a degree, you have to get a certain number of credits towards your major subject (which means taking a certain number of courses in that subject, each of which gives a number of "hours" of credit). As Chipulukusu mentioned, there are also a number of "obligatory courses" which have nothing to do with your major, but are required in order to graduate with a "well-rounded" education. You can also declare/get a minor (in any subject within your college) by getting a minimum hours of credit (at my university 9 hours of credit were required for a minor). Other than major/minor and obligatory courses, there are also a number of optional courses you can take (pursuing any particular interest, or perhaps parallel to your major subject, or even to help you decide about your major), to add up to the total number of credits required to graduate.

    If you aren't sure of what major to declare, your first-year advisor will probably encourage you to take courses in the college you are most interested in, while you decide. However it is also possible to change majors. The obligatory courses still count, and whatever courses already taken towards your previous major will still count towards your total credits. My sister changed her major in her last year at university (within the same college), and still managed to graduate in her 4th year.

    In my case, I managed to "test out" of many required courses. In fact, by taking tests as a freshman, I was able to fulfill my required English and foreign language courses (I tested into 3rd-year French). However I wanted to learn Italian (in order to be eligible for a foreign studies program), so (against the advice of my advisor) I added Italian language courses to my Fine Arts curriculum. At the end of 2 years, the head of the Italian department called me to his office, and informed me that if I wished to declare Italian also as a major, I could graduate with a double major (in 2 subjects). So that's what I did.

    So, in answer to the question about "undeclared major," I agree with chipulukusu that it isn't a question of "specializzazione" (which usually corresponds to a "Masters"), but "indirizzo di laurea." So if it isn't declared, maybe (in Italian) it could correspond to "corsi vari nella facoltà scelta" (which could be "Magistrali" or "Ingegneria" or "DAMS" etc) - which may eventually count towards whatever major to be declared (in future).
     
    I'm very much grateful to you Curiosone! For the first time I think I'm starting understanding a bit of the whole system and, as little as I know, I think the British system is very similar, under this specific aspect, to the US one.
    In Italy it was not possible to add credited courses from a faculty of your same University that was not your own. But things may have changed recently as we also seem to have a credit system now.
     

    Pat (√2)

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    I'd like you to sign me up in the sociology department as an undeclared major.
    Non capisco come possa iscriversi a sociologia senza scegliere il major. Sociologia non è un major?
    In ogni caso, penso che potrebbe essere: "iscriversi alla facoltà di sociologia senza specificare il corso di laurea", che in Italia sarebbe impossibile, ma d'altra parte non siamo in Italia.
    So if it isn't declared, maybe (in Italian) it could correspond to "corsi vari nella facoltà scelta" (which could be "Magistrali" or "Ingegneria" or "DAMS" etc) - which may eventually count towards whatever major to be declared (in future).
    Questo in Italia non è possibile. Quando ti iscrivi all'università, il "major" lo scegli per forza, da subito. Ci si iscrive a un corso di laurea specifico, non genericamente a una facoltà. Ci sono insegnamenti di base o propedeutici comuni ai vari corsi, ma questo è un altro discorso.
     

    curiosone

    Senior Member
    AmE - hillbilly ;)
    I'll be honest with you, Pat. I've never heard of an "undeclared major," or of enrolling in university without declaring a major - unless they mean what I did, which was to take so many courses in a specific (non-major) subject that I accumulated enough credits for a major (without having declared one). But I was already enrolled with another major declared.

    Otherwise it doesn't make sense, as lots of people change their minds (and majors) between the age of 18 and 21. And, as I said, there's no problem with changing a major, as long as you get the necessary credits to graduate.
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    I don't think we'll ever find a true equivalent as the two systems are so very different (and I'm grateful for every little bit I learn here about the university system in Italy.) I think there is a lot of variation among American colleges and universities, but I am also sure that in many places it is entirely possible for students to enter as freshmen and take only the required courses (the core curriculum as it's sometimes called) and not be expected to "declare" a major until their second or even third year. An "undeclared" major is quite common among the first year students (as seems to be the case in the context Necsus is translating.)
     

    Luder

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In fact, Necsus, the dialogue you have there doesn't seem to me to make sense in an American university context. As far as I can remember, you never "sign yourself up" for a department, you sign up (register, that is) for individual courses in a department. And it's not like enrolling in a School of Sociology in Continental Europe, because by doing that you are for all practical purposes "declaring a major" (sociology, in your case). Here, Viriginia just wants to take a few sociology courses to see if she likes the subject (and perhaps because it also has a well-earned reputation for being easy: I still remember, halfway through a sociology course I took in college, when the professor gave us back a graded exam we had taken, how one of my classmates, a baseball player, turned to a friend of his, also a baseball player, and said, "Yup, still battin' a 1.000").

    In short, I just wouldn't translate the "undeclared major" part, since it has no real equivalent in Italian.
     

    Necsus

    Senior Member
    Italian (Italy)
    Ah, thank you, Luder. Anyway I have to translate it, in some way... Maybe "Voglio iscrivermi a Sociologia per poter frequentare alcuni corsi"?
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Una difficoltà di traduzione sta nel fatto che, nel testo citato, l'espressione 'an undeclared major' sembra riferirsi al pronome 'me' piuttosto che al corso (..sign me up....as undeclared major). Forse si potrebbe tradurre ''di accettarmi come iscritta alla Facoltà, ma con indirizzo indeterminato''.
     

    Willower

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    I'm very much grateful to you Curiosone! For the first time I think I'm starting understanding a bit of the whole system and, as little as I know, I think the British system is very similar, under this specific aspect, to the US one.
    In Italy it was not possible to add credited courses from a faculty of your same University that was not your own. But things may have changed recently as we also seem to have a credit system now.
    It's not quite the same in the UK - we have a credit system, but usually you enrol on a specific course; some universities have a system that's partly modelled on the US one, where you major in a particular subject (for example an English major might also take courses in history, philosophy, linguistics, psychology etc), but you have to enrol for your major topic. There are just a few institutions which offer a general BA - St Andrew's, The Open University for example. So the term "undeclared major" is not, so far as I know, generally used within the UK education system.
     
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