Translation Certifications and Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in translation vary according to a student's area of specialization and foreign language fluency. Translation certifications may usually be obtained after passing a proficiency exam.

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Essential Information

A Certificate in Translation is generally a post-baccalaureate program, and courses are often included within M.A. in Translation degrees. Admission to a master's program requires prior completion of a bachelor's program in a foreign language or a relevant field with foreign language coursework.

Standalone graduate certificate programs are available as well, and some of them have the same admission requirements as master's degree programs. Other translation certificate programs don't necessarily require a bachelor's degree for admission, though a translation proficiency exam is required.

Students can enroll in Spanish/English translation certificate programs online by completing an application form, passing a language proficiency test and possibly conducting an interview with a program coordinator. Different program specializations are available, such as information technology, medical, financial and legal translation. Students can choose a concentration related to a career field where their services are needed most, which teaches them industry-specific vocabulary. They are required to take general translation courses to complete a certificate program.

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Certificate in Translation Program

Classes in a translation certificate program depend on a student's emphasis area in translation, which is based upon their knowledge and expertise of at least two languages. Some possible courses include:

  • Advanced translation seminar
  • Translation and computer technology
  • Fundamentals of translation
  • Court interpretation
  • Publishing and editing
  • Information technology and writing

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment of interpreters and translators is anticipated to increase by 29% for the period 2014 to 2024. According to the BLS, the annual median salary of interpreters and translators was $44,190 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Currently, no one organization handles translation certification; however, the American Translators Association (ATA) does award the Certified Translator (CT) credential for U.S. translators in 24 language combinations. The Certified Translator (CT) credential is awarded after a candidate successfully passes a translation exam in their target language. The exam currently tests the ability to write proficiently in a target language, comprehend the source text and correctly utilize various techniques of translation.

Prospective translators and interpreters may pursue certificate programs to obtain training in their chosen area of specialization. After gaining the necessary skills and foreign language proficiency, they can take translation exams to gain certification.

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