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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Translation and Interpretation

Majors Overview February 8, 2015

Careers as translators or interpreters require a bachelor’s degree in translation. Apart from fluency in language, subjects covered in these degree programs include liaison translation, text translations, and linguistic technologies.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Translation and Interpretation

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Translation and Interpretation program can expect to become adept at using computer tools in designing linguistic projects, editing texts, management of documentation and information, liaison translation, translation of specialized texts, translation of general texts, and translation tasks.

A study-abroad opportunity is offered by many schools to students that wish to delve into the culture and language. Students usually complete a bachelor’s degree in translation in about four years.

Education Requirements

Before they are admitted into a translation bachelor’s degree program, incoming students are expected to be fluent in a second language and prove such fluency through the passage of oral and written exams. A second foreign language may also be learned by students during the tenure of their bachelor’s degree program.


Translation tracks may be offered by schools to facilitate specialization by students in translating literary, economic, scientific-technical, or legal texts. Real-time verbal conversion between languages may be the focus of an interpreter track, and a sign language option may also be included.

Mastery of both the oral and written (interpretation and translation) components of a foreign language are required of students seeking admission to the bachelor’s degree program, whose coursework may include the following aspects:

•Specialist texts
•Translation and media
•Advanced translation
•Oral expressions
•Translation technologies

Career Choices

Graduates of this bachelor’s degree program can choose to become interpreters and translators, while others may follow paths that are less commonly taken, such as language consultancy, applied linguistics, documentary work in a multilingual capacity, linguistics software management, language teaching, and foreign-language editing.

Job and Wage Outlook

A faster-than-average job growth rate of 46% has been predicted for all translators and interpreters over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, interpreters and translators banked an average annual wage of $45,430.

Continuing Education and Certification Options

The American Translators Association offers the Certified Translator credential that can be sought by individuals that successfully complete an approved translation degree program. To earn the credential, they would need to pass an examination in a particular language pair, and they would need to complete continuing education courses in translation in order to maintain the certification. Interpreters, who translate verbal communication, may require licensure or certification, especially if they are involved with a legal analysis.

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