Improve Your Translation Skills Today With These Certified Courses

The pandemic has made the world a chaotic place. Requiring us to need someone to make sense of it. Translation agencies around the world are working tirelessly to help nations battle Covid-19. From the translation of research documents to helping stranded international students settle in a foreign country – the demand for translators is at an all-time high. 

Taking a cue from the rising demand many translators are polishing their skills by turning to translator certification courses. These courses not only improve your skills but have shown to boost your chances of employment as well. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that between the years 2018 and 2029 there will be a 19% increase in the jobs of interpreters and translators – while the average pay-grade stood at $51,830 per annum.


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In this article, we have compiled a list of the top translation certification courses available. These range from online courses to traditional translation degree options. Let’s dive right in!

What Are These Courses?

While it is true that you may presume a career as a translator or interpreter without any official training or certification – however becoming a certified translator might give you an edge over your contemporaries. Especially if you are looking to become a specialized translator, i.e, legal translator or medical translator. 

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These certifications are categorized as one of the following:

  1. Generalized Certification

This is typically a longer course that includes an in-depth analysis of language-related technology. From foundation classes on translation and interpretation theories to lectures and pragmatic settings. 

  1. Specialized Translation Certification

In this second category of certification, one hones in on a ‘special’ area of work – such as medical or legal. Although one works through courses at a more rapid pace it requires the translator to acquire more knowledge of the field as compared to the generalized courses. 

What Does Certification Mean?

The  National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators states that “Certification means that an interpreter or translator has been tested by a government or professional institution with certifying authority, using a statistically valid, professionally designed exam.”

Online Translation Certification Courses

  • American Translators Association Certification (ATA)

This course sets the golden standard in translator certification courses. According to ATA, this course is a “mid-career” credential that is completed by experienced or professional translators. At the end of the course, you are given a three-hour long exam. This exam is known to be rigorous, with a pass rate of less than 20%. However, there is a downside to this course. This course focuses solely on testing one’s knowledge and not necessarily testing in practical situations. 

  • University of Arizona Online Translation Certificate
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If you don’t have a few years to devote to a degree then this course is the perfect fit for you. This is a three-course program that enables learners self-paced access – that may not be available at a traditional university. The course navigates the translation between English and Spanish and the three areas covered in this course include:

  • Online Business Translation
  • Online Legal Translation 
  • Online Medical Translation

These three combined make it perfect for those seeking a generalized and specialized certification. 

  • UMass Online Certificate in Professional Translation and Interpreting

This one-year, 15-credit certificate is too designed as a self-paced course. The University of Massachusetts Amherst Online Certificate in Professional Translation and Interpreting is perfect for students to show proficiency in English and one other language. The syllabus covers the following sectors:

  • Business Settings
  • Diplomatic Settings
  • National and Local Government Circles
  • Education Sector 
  • Legal Sector 
  • Healthcare Sector

More so, UMass excels by providing unique learning techniques in their classes – along with a diverse online classroom that enables students to practice the fluency of their second language. 

Certified Translation Degree Programs

Online courses are not the only way you can improve your translation skills. Many universities that are in the traditional setting have started to offer translation and interpretation courses. These are programs either offered as standalone courses or part of a larger language-related degree/syllabus. Also, these courses are designed to accommodate even a person who is already working full-time – ensuring they don’t have to choose work over education. Here is a list of a few courses that stand out. 

  • Rutgers University Certificate in Translation and Interpreting
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A combo program of online and in-person learning the Rutgers MA program is designed for the combo of Spanish and English language. This program prepares students for employment opportunities as professional translators, medical interpreters, and court interpreters. 

  • University of North Carolina – Charlotte Translating Certificate

If you are fluent in French, German, Japanese, Spanish, or Russian then UNC Charlotte’s translation certification course is an ideal fit for you. This is a wide-ranged course that covers the history and methodology of translation. Also, it profiles contemporary formats such as computer-assisted translation and advanced post-editing skills. In return, this course leaves learners well-prepared to jump into the language services industry. 

  • University of Maryland Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation

Political, educational, legal, healthcare and business are some sectors covered in this graduate translation certification course. If you are looking for a course that will open more employment opportunities and will potentially boost income, then this is the right choice for you. 

Which Course is Perfect For Me?

Whether you are looking to enhance your translation skills, a completely new job opportunity, or looking for a little extra income – speaking two languages can come in handy. However, before you sign up for any courses you must design a roadmap for the path you seek. Are you looking for a generalized or specialized certification? Or are you looking for an online course or a more local, more traditional setting? These are some of the factors that will influence your ultimate decision. 

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No matter what path you decide to go down you always have SeaTongue as your ultimate go-to source for Asian translation. We specialize in more than 300 languages and have created nearly 100,000 jobs for the translation industry. Our clients include Pfizer, Honda, Google, and more.  For more information about the language services industry contact us today!