Language translation degree - Preparing for a Career in the Translation Industry

Language translation degree - Preparing for a Career in the Translation Industry

Many employers looking to fill positions for language translators require a collegiate degree. However, this does not necessarily have to be a language translation degree. Many successful translators hold a degree in their language of expertise. There are also many equally effective translators who hold degrees in other areas. One common preparation for a career in the translation industry is to major in the field or industry one wishes to translate for and minor in the language of preference. For instance, for a translation career in international business, the student might study business as a priority and the language.

This method is very effective when seeking a translation job that is highly technical, such as educational texts and professional guides. The translator needs a certain level of proficiency in the subject matter to effective at this translating job. A language translation degree solely within the focus language might also be a waste of time for someone who is already completely fluent in their language of choice, such as someone raised in a multi-lingual home. Communications, secretarial, entrepreneurial, or other skills could be a more efficient use of the student's time and energy toward a career in the language translation industry.

However, there are many colleges and universities offering a specific language translation degree program. These typically prepare the student for a career in interpretation and translation. Interpretation is the term used for mediating a spoken conversation in two languages. Translation refers to the interchange of two languages in the written word format. These programs can be associates, bachelors, or masters degrees. Some are offered on campus, while some are a mix of online courses and on-site courses or testing. The coursework culminates in a degree, fulfilling the goal of attaining a credential certifying that the graduate is proficient in their language and in the interpretation/translation skills.

Another option to prepare for a career in the language translation industry is to forego the official language translation degree. Students can prepare for the specific areas they would like to work in and become proficient in the focus language through immersion experience or education. Then they can enroll in a program that prepares and certifies them for the credentials of a translation professional. Certification programs can cost less than the price of a single college course. Online format programs are also extremely flexible, allowing students to complete the course while working or finishing other educational experiences. Most programs culminate in a test that qualifies students for a certification credential.

-By Adriana Tassini

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