Foreign language interpreters specialize in converting information from the language of a speaker to a second language. In addition to translating words, foreign language interpreters convey the speaker's tone and style. Interpretation is conducted simultaneously with the speaker or consecutively, beginning after the speaker has said a group of words or sentences. Programs in foreign language interpretation are available at the bachelor's and master's level as well as in the form of certificates.
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Monterey Institute of International Studies in California was founded in 1955 as a graduate school and research center. It also serves as the graduate school of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, a school well known for foreign language study. Monterey Institute offers master's degrees in translation and interpretation and conference interpretation. The master's program in conference interpretation is considered one of the top programs in the world by the Association Internationale de Interpretes de Conference. Graduates often work for the United Nations and European Union. Interpretation degrees are offered in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
University of Illinois
The University of Illinois' Center for Translation Studies, which opened at the Urbana-Champaign campus in 2007, was the first center of its kind at a major research university. The center offers a Master of Arts degree in translation and interpreting. A specialization is also offered in conference and community (consecutive) interpretation. Students must have native or near-native proficiency in English to enroll in the school's foundation programs. Students study interpretation in pairings of any of the 37 languages taught by the university's School of Literature, Culture and Linguistics.
Boston University's Center for Professional Education Interpreter Program offers graduate certificates in community, legal and medical interpreting. The program is accredited by the International Medical Interpreters Association. Fluency in English, as well as Spanish, Portuguese or Mandarin Chinese, is required. Students must pass an entrance exam that tests verbal and written abilities in the chosen language pairing. Classes are held on Saturdays, and the program is typically completed within 12 to 18 months. Internships are available to students completing the program with a GPA of at least 3.0.
Hunter College, a member institution of the City University of New York school system, offers a Bachelor of Arts in English-Spanish translation and interpretation studies, as well as a certificate in English-Spanish interpretation studies. Classes in the 12-month program are held on evenings at the New York City campus. The program is an institutional member of the American Translators Association and the Society of Medical Interpreters.
New York University
New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies in New York City offers four foreign language interpreter certificate options: French to English simultaneous interpreting; legal interpreting: Spanish/English; medical interpreting: English/Spanish or Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese); and medical interpreting: a non-language specific approach. The non-language specific medical interpreting certificate is designed to train students with language combinations other than English/Spanish or English/Chinese.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Interpreters and Translators: What Interpreters and Translators Do
- ALTA Language Services: Top Ten U.S. Translation Programs
- Monterey Institute for International Studies: M.A. in Conference Interpretation
- University of Illinois: Center for Translation Studies: Masters in Translation and Interpreting
- Boston University: Center for Professional Education: Interpreter Program
- Hunter College: Translation and / or Interpretation
- New York University: School of Continuing and Professional Studies: Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting
Laura Leddy Turner began her writing career in 1976. She has worked in the newspaper industry as an illustrator, columnist, staff writer and copy editor, including with Gannett and the Asbury Park Press. Turner holds a B.A. in literature and English from Ramapo College of New Jersey, with postgraduate coursework in business law.