Bachelor's Degree in Translation: Program Information

A bachelor's degree in translation is designed for individuals desiring a career as an interpreter or translator. Aside from fluency in language, topics covered in this degree program include linguistic technologies, liaison translation and text translations.

Essential Information

The skills acquired through the completion of a Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpretation degree program include the use of computer tools in translation tasks, translation of general texts, translation of specialized texts, liaison translation, management of documentation and information, editing texts and designing linguistic projects. Prerequisites include a fluency in a second language, through oral or written exams.

Many universities offer a study-abroad opportunity for students who wish to immerse themselves in the language and culture. Programs are most commonly offered in Spanish, French, German, and Russian. Some offer translation tracks for specializing in legal, scientific-technical, economic or literary texts; real-time interpretation track may also be available

Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpretation

Bachelor's students in this program are expected to gain mastery of both the written and oral components of a foreign language, and to apply that knowledge to advanced skills in translation and interpretation. Students may also choose a second foreign language to learn during the course of their bachelor's degree education. Various translation tracks are available; an interpreter track focuses on real-time verbal conversion between languages, and may include a sign language option. Some of the courses that may be offered in this bachelor's degree program include:

  • Advanced translation
  • Linguistics
  • Specialist texts
  • Terminology
  • Oral expressions
  • Translation and media

Popular Career Options

Although many who graduate from this bachelor's degree program go on to become translators and interpreters, others follow less common paths such as foreign-language editing, language teaching, linguistics software management, documentary work in a multilingual capacity, applied linguistics and language consultancy.

Salary and Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 29%, or much faster than average, job growth for all translators and interpreters in the years 2014-2024. The BLS also reported in 2014 that interpreters and translators earned $44,190 as a median annual wage.

Certification and Continuing Education

Graduates of an approved translation degree program can earn the Certified Translator credential from the American Translators Association, which requires an exam in a specific language pair, and must be maintained with continuing education courses in translation. Interpreters, who translate verbal communication, may need to be licensed or certified, especially for legal interpretation.

For students looking to obtain a degree qualification in translation, a bachelor's degree program in translation and interpretation, which requires applicants to possess fluency in a second language, is available. Career options include translators and interpreters, as well as language specialists in a range of different fields.

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