Distance Learning Degree in Spanish-English Translation: Program Info

Learn about online training programs with Spanish-English translation courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and courses available for this field.

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Essential Information

Online educational certificate programs in Spanish-English translation are relatively common. Potential students are sometimes required to pass a test demonstrating fluency in both languages before being admitted. Some programs require concurrent enrollment at a university. Other certificate programs do not award college credit but may be used to prepare the enrollee for the American Translators Association examination. To complete the program online, students may be required to purchase supplemental textbooks.

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Degrees in Spanish/English Translation

These programs can require an equivalent of 15 credit hours or up to 120. After completion of online certificate programs, students may be eligible to test for certification with the American Translators Association (ATA).

Certificate Requirements and Information

Some Spanish/English translation certificate programs are open to the public as non-credit programs that culminate in a certificate. Some schools require that students be enrolled in the university or college to complete the certificate program.

There may be prerequisites that must be completed prior to a student's enrollment in a Spanish/English translation certificate program, like an entrance examination to ensure basic language competency, or other course work.

In addition to the requirement of a working computer and internet access, students may be required to buy supplemental textbooks, including dictionaries, to complete these courses.

Course Topics

In online translation courses, students work with dictionaries, engage in research, writing and reading assignments, online discussions and tests. Students translate a wide range of materials, from legal documents to literary works. Some courses include writing and editing as part of the translation program and may be taught in English or a combination of English and Spanish.

Introduction to Spanish/English Translation

Introductory courses provide students with an overview of the fields where translation skills are most in need. Students also learn about the translation process and the tools and resources available to professional translators.

Translation by Sight

Identification and analysis of problems in translations are two topics emphasized in this course, which is often considered an introductory course. Students will translate several categories of texts, including legal, technical and scientific documents. These courses are language-specific.


Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the work of translation is often completed on the computer. Graduates may find careers in the legal or medical fields as judiciary or health care translators. Translators may work as freelancers, or in-house at a translation company.

The BLS projected job growth of 29%, much faster than the average for all occupations, for translators and interpreters in general from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported, translators and interpreters earned a median annual salary of $44,190.

Continuing Education Information

There are a number of agencies at the state and federal levels that offer certification for translators in a variety of fields. The American Translators Association offers Spanish-English translation certification, while the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators also offers certification. State and federal courts may have their own certification processes.

For those students who wish to further their studies in Spanish/English translation, there is the option of earning a bachelor's or master's degree in language or cultural studies. These degrees may be offered online, or may require students to attend classes on campus. Most translators have bachelor's degrees, but these degrees do not necessarily have to be in Spanish-to-English translation or language.

Certificate programs in Spanish-English translation are available online in for-credit and non-credit formats and can prepare students for professional certification by the American Translators Association. Translation is currently a quickly growing field, since more and more companies require the expertise of a translator.

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