Translation & Interpretation
Translation and interpretation are linguistic professions that facilitate communication between speakers of different languages. Translators work with written text, interpreters with the spoken word.
In partnership with experienced working professionals, Bellevue College offers up-to-date training for aspiring and practicing translators and interpreters. Courses can be taken individually, or as part of our Translation & Interpretation Certificate Program.
Non-language-specific core courses (taught in English) provide comprehensive and practical interpreter and translator training for speakers of any language. The curriculum includes research skills, business practices, ethics, terminology management, and technology. Language-specific courses are offered in select languages, and emphasize hands-on practice and skill-building in translation and editing, and/or the three interpreting modes (consecutive, simultaneous, and sight).
Translation and Interpretation Certificate Program
As one of the few translation and interpretation credit programs in the country, Bellevue College offers balanced, comprehensive, and rigorous professional training.
Most classes are offered in the evening and meet once a week for 10 weeks. Students can expect to complete the certificate program in translation or interpreting in 1½ to 2 years. Each certificate requires completion of five core and three language-specific courses for a total of 24 credits (240 hours of instruction). Because both certificates share most of the core courses, they may be pursued simultaneously with only four additional courses required, for a grand total of 36 credits (360 hours of instruction).
Certificates are language-specific and are offered in select languages according to student demand. Upon earning a Translation and/or Interpretation Certificate, students have a solid foundation for taking professional certification tests, such as the state court interpreter certification exam.
Bellevue College also offers various non-credit workshops on topics of interest, such as computer-assisted translation tools and preparation for the state court interpreter certification exam.
Is this profession for you?
You're a good match for this field if you have excellent fluency in English and at least one other language. Successful translators and interpreters enjoy challenge and change, are flexible, and can learn new material quickly. Translators need excellent writing and editing skills in the target language, the ability to work independently, and high computer proficiency. Interpreters need to possess strong oral communication skills and be comfortable with public speaking. Responsibility, a sense of professional ethics, and the ability to accept criticism are essential characteristics for both branches of the field.
- Interpreters are in demand locally in a variety of medical, legal, social service, and government settings. With globalization, translators are in demand just about anywhere in the world and in almost any field.
- Professionals usually work on a freelance basis, sometimes through an agency. Others are employed by international businesses and organizations, as well as governmental agencies.
- The rates of pay vary based on demand for a particular language combination, subject expertise, and the type and location of a client or employer. The greater the demand for a language combination and/or subject expertise, the greater the earnings potential. Other specialists, such as software localizers-who adapt computer files, websites, and related documentation for users in other countries-can also command higher rates.
Why Bellevue College
- Bellevue College Translation & Interpretation Certificate Program offers the most comprehensive and rigorous professional training available in the Northwest.
- Instructors are experienced and practicing interpreters and translators.
- Start the program any quarter and complete it at your own pace.
- Classes fit your schedule-just one or two evenings a week.