Many times in my life I have come across the same question asked by people I know or strangers on the Internet: how do I become a translator? In my opinion, you have to have a good foundation and solid skills that you have already developed in order to start working as a translator or interpreter. This knowledge, in addition to other aspects of the profession, are obtained through study, dedication and practice.
In addition to providing various programs and majors, some universities offer the possibility of working and studying at the same time, which gives students a more vivid understanding of what the day-to-day life of a translator really is: endless research, constant debates with colleagues, continued training, among others.
I did a little reading into the best universities in the United States that offer undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the areas of translation and interpretation. They all offer different programs, with durations and purposes that vary greatly. The list below is not in any specific order.
This university located in northeastern Ohio has 8 campuses and a diverse university system. The Institute for Applied Linguistics offers a two-year program resulting in a Master’s in Translation as well as a PhD in Translation. These programs emphasize the research necessary for a translation, specialized translation, computer assisted translation tools, software localization, among other purposes. Additionally, the study programs include different combinations of languages, such as French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and English.
This institute, located in Monterey, California, was founded as an multilingual institute and research center with a global vision and postgraduate programs. In 2005, it became affiliated with Middlebury College, located in Middlebury, Vermont. It offers a Master’s program in Translation and Management of Localization, Translation and Interpretation and Interpretation of Conferences.
Binghamton is located in the central section of southern New York state. Unlike other postgraduate translation programs, the Program of Instruction and Research in Translation at SUNY Binghamton is based around a PhD degree in Translation.
Founded in 1980, the University of Texas’ Center of Translation supports the formation of literary translators and scientific analysis. At the same time, it collaborators with writers, academics and editors around the globe. The Center for Translation and School of Arts and Humanities is located in this institution. Here, the professors work alongside the students to outline programs emphasizing translation studies.
This Washington D.C.-based university is the only university in the world with customized programs for students who are deaf or have difficulty hearing. Gallaudet offers a Master’s program in Interpretation, with a specialization on American Sign Language.