Although we live in a multilingual world, it is amazing how easily we communicate with people we don’t share a common language. Translators are often the professionals behind this as their primary task is to convert the written word from one language to another while striving to maintain the original meaning. It is little wonder the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks translation as one of the fastest growing jobs with a 46 percent employment growth rate.
If you love learning new languages and wish to pursue a career as a translator, then you need to seek professional training. Here are your options:
1. The Degree Route
In most professions, obtaining a college degree is the surest way to get hired and advance to greater heights. It is no different in translation. Kent State University in Ohio is one of the few universities that offer bachelor’s degrees in Russian, German, Spanish and French translation. All you need to do is select the language you wish to translate and the program will provide an in-depth study of the language, as well as translation theories and techniques.
Other educational institutions offering a degree in translation include:
- Northwestern College (Spanish translation), Iowa
- University of Texas at Brownsville (Spanish translation), Texas
Given the limited number of colleges and universities offering translation degrees, opportunities for admission into a program may be limited.
2. Certificate Program
While some certificate programs are offered as standalone short courses, many are designed to supplement one’s undergraduate training. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than translation, you may find this route particularly attractive.
The New York University, through its School of Professional Studies, offers such certificates. What’s more, the languages are paired, giving you the opportunity to learn two languages at a go. For example, if you are not a native English speaker, then taking the English to Arabic Translation certificate will improve your mastery of both languages.
Examples of other institutions offering certificate programs in translation include:
- American University, Washington
- University of Illinois, Illinois
3. Workshops and Seminars
Although workshops and seminars typically last between a day and a week, they are also good way to gain professional translation skills, especially if you make a habit of attending them regularly.
At a workshop or seminar, you will typically be paired with a professional translator who will tailor the training to your needs. You will also interact with other attendees and share some translation tips or ideas.
Some popular organizations that run workshops or other training events for translators include:
- American Translators Association (ATA)
- International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI)
- International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS)
To access training events organized by these associations, you may need to become their member. In addition, securing membership will enable you to access the events at reduced rates.
ATA also offers the Certified Translator credential, which you should obtain to demonstrate your professionalism and competence to potential employers or clients.
So these are the three sure ways to receive professional translator training in the US. Degrees are the most expensive and time-consuming, followed by certificate programs and workshops.
If you have any questions, post it below and we will be glad to help.