One of the most common questions I get on this website deals with translation education.
People are interested in becoming translators but don’t know how or where to find translation education options that will help them.
I’ve realized over the years that when people ask this question, they’re interested in one of three things:
- Educational classes that will teach them how to become a translator
- Programs that will give them a translator certification
- Places where they can gain experience translating
Each of these falls under “translation education” so I’m going to talk about them individually.
Classes to Learn About Translation
OK, so the first option for learning how to become a translator is to enroll in educational classes or degree programs that teach about translation.
You can find most of these classes at colleges and universities (although it’s important to keep in mind that not all colleges have a translation program or classes).
Some universities offer complete translation programs with multiple classes that form the basis for a translation major and degree.
That’s what I did. I went to Brigham Young University and got a BA in Spanish Translation.
Other universities don’t have full-fledged translation programs; instead, they might offer one or two translation classes within one of the Humanities or Language majors.
Finally, if you’ve already graduated from college and don’t necessarily want to go back to learn about translation, you can find classes at universities that are offered for non-traditional students such as those that are working full-time.
Translation Education Online
Oh, but I just remembered another option.
And it really should be the first since it’s so convenient. It doesn’t matter where you live.
If you have a couple of bucks to spare, you can do this rather easily.
What is it?
Translation education online.
Basically, when I talk about translation education online, I’m talking about classes that you can take online without ever leaving your house.
Regular translation classes are great. However, they can be problematic due to:
With online translation education options, you don’t have these obstacles.
Classes are cheaper.
They are location independent, meaning you can go through the classes in your bedroom.
You can take them whenever you want.
They aren’t rigid in how they are structured. If you want to skip a section because you know it already, you can.
Finally, you are only committed for as long as you want to be committed.
Where to Find Translation Education Online
You can find online translation education opportunities in a lot of places.
There are more and more online educational portals that cater to teaching people skills over the Internet.
However, probably my favorite one is Udemy.
I’ve used this platform to learn all sorts of things and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning something.
That means you, too, if you’re interested in gaining a translation education.
To make it easy, I’ve put together a list of some of the best translation classes you can take on the site: Top 10 Online Translation Courses on Udemy.
If you’ve never taken an online class before, you might wonder how this translation educational technology really works.
It’s actually pretty simple and straightforward.
First of all, you’ll need to establish an account at Udemy.com.
Once you do that, you can search through the thousands of classes that are offered by teachers all over the world.
As I said, there are courses on almost everything imaginable, but you’ll want to stick with the translation-related courses.
(Or, as I mentioned above, you can check out the link above to the best translation courses.)
Once you purchase the course (which is usually fairly cheap), you get immediate access to all the materials.
There’s nothing else you have to buy.
As I said, the translation education and training portion of the platform is really simple and straightforward.
Gaining a legit translation education really couldn’t be easier.
Translation Certification Programs
The second type of education option to look into if you’re interested in becoming a translator are programs that offer a translation certification.
Believe it or not, the American Translators Association is not the only organization that offers a translation certification.
In fact, there are lots of programs (at least in the U.S.) that offer various types of translation certifications.
One thing to remember, however, is that a lot of these translation education and training programs are specific to certain specialization areas.
Think medical translation, legal translation, etc.
So if you’re interested in becoming certified in one of those areas, you’ve got some choices to consider. However, if you’re interested in specializing in another area, you might have a more difficult time trying to find a translation certification program.
(However, remember that you don’t have to have a translation certification in order to be a successful translator.)
Besides taking classes and becoming certified through programs, one thing that beginning translators often forget is the power of experience.
In fact, experience is the ultimate teacher.
You will become a much better translator much faster the sooner you can actually start translating and running your own translation business.
And it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get started gaining experience.
In fact, you can even start translating for free for various organizations within your own city or town.
That experience will teach you how to deal with a client, how to work with a deadline, and how to provide a quality product to your client.
This kind of experience, even if it’s something you do for free, is invaluable. It’s something that you won’t learn by just taking classes or enrolling in a translation certification program.
P.S. If you want to learn more on how to become a successful freelance translator, be sure to check out my free and paid books and courses.
P.S.S. To get your free guide on becoming a highly paid translator, click here.