2015/03/24

Moreno's master's: polysemy, polydon't

Jesús Fernández-Villaverde y Luis Garicano at Hay Derecho had a look last year at the CV of Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, Rajoy's excellent choice of candidate for the Andalusian elections, and were puzzled by what they found:

Empecemos por el MBA. Si su título de grado es de 2010-2011, su Master en Dirección y Administración de Empresas por la EADE tendrá que haber comenzado después de estas fechas (a menos que EADE siga la peculiar política de permitir matricularse en su MBA a estudiantes que no son graduados). Pero el 30 de Diciembre de 2011 fue nombrado Secretario de Estado de Servicios Sociales e Igualdad. Es decir, que nos imaginamos que habrá tenido que simultanear sus estudios en EADE con su cargo de Secretario de Estado.

[...]

Sigamos por el “Master en Programa para el Liderazgo en la Administración Pública (IESE)”. Este master sencillamente no existe. Lo que el IESE tiene es un Programa para el Liderazgo en la Administración Pública, que es un programa que se reúne “de octubre a julio en jornadas intensivas de una tarde de lunes al mes, con almuerzo incluido.

[...] Terminemos con “Master de Oro del Real Forum de Alta Dirección”. Esto quizás lo entienda algún lector como un master universitario, y efectivamente, así lo ha entendido la prensa. En realidad, no lo es: es un premio que da una asociación privada.

In Anglosajonia "a master's" is "a master's degree", a contract under which you (or your employer or your rich auntie) gives something called a university (or something which pays commission to one) some money, and after some time (and some sexual adventures and even some work, though outsourcing is often an option) that something gives you a piece of paper which may or may not help you find another employer or reduce dependence on the auntie.

In Hispania, "un máster" is also the exchange of many notes for one, but the word admits an infinity of meanings, customers are more naive, and salesmen even less scrupulous - many awarding bodies wouldn't recognise a university if it bit them on their posterior end. I currently have on my fridge área's fly-posted "Máster en Social Media y Community Manager" ("Community Management," children!) in San Sebastián, where in 350 hours and for roughly €3K it seems that you will discover how to set up Wordpress.com, Facebook and Twitter accounts - check the student projects:

False friends also find opportunities when translating Spanish educational concepts into English. A profesor in Spanish is just a teacher, or even someone who is rather good at something, while in British English a professor is a top-ranking academic unless modifying hints are received. So the BBC is misleading the poor old British public when its Tom Burridge describes the ex-"profesor titular interino" Pablo Iglesias as a "university professor". Catedrático suffers from the same problem. I suspect that there is mention of this in Peter Harvey's Great English mistakes made by Spanish-speakers.

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