Careers in Translation and Interpretation: What to study and where

Subhadrika Sen
Subhadrika Sen
Posted on 08 Nov 2021
17:04 PM
Translation Studies is a growing discipline with opportunities in diverse sectors.

Translation Studies is a growing discipline with opportunities in diverse sectors.

Diploma, certificate and PhD courses are available in Translation and Interpretation
UG and PG courses are available in Europe and the USA

Translation and interpretation offer a window to the world, introducing us to a multitude of people, mindsets and concerns. In today’s multicultural society, translators and interpreters are in great demand in many sectors, including publishing and tourism.

What is Translation and Interpretation

Translation is rewriting content from one language into another, while interpretation is an area of translation where you have to deal with spoken words instead of written words.


Translating documents and papers is a common feature in academics. Apart from that, translation and interpretation are needed in tourism, publishing, immigration and law courts.

Translation courses in India

Translation as a career has been gaining ground in India. Here are some academic courses you can pursue to work as a full-time translator.

PG diploma in Translation:

  • The School of Translation Studies and Training, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), conducts a PG diploma course. The duration of the course ranges from one year (part-time module) to a maximum of four years (full-time module). You’ll learn here how to translate from English into Hindi and vice versa.

Who can apply: Anyone with a graduation degree in any discipline.

Check out more here.

  • The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, conducts a PG diploma course in Translation Studies. This course comprises two semesters and covers both theory and practice of Translation.

Who can apply: Postgraduates in any Indian or foreign language with at least 55% aggregate.

Check out more here.

PhD in Translation Studies:

  • EFLU, Hyderabad, offers a PhD in Translation Studies. Through this programme, EFL aims to train future translators and create a body of literature on translation theory.

Who can apply: Postgraduates in any linguistic discipline.

Check out more here.

Career-oriented advanced diploma in Translation:

  • The Centre for Comparative Studies of Indian Languages, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), offers a 3-year advanced diploma course focusing on getting students ready for a career in professional areas.

Who can apply: Undergraduate students of AMU.

Check out more here.

Certificate course in Translation:

  • The Centre for Translation of Indian Literatures (CENTIL), Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, offers a 6-month (mid-September to mid-March) certificate course in Translation as a Skill.

Who can apply: Anyone clearing their Class XII board exams and with knowledge of English and Bengali, or Hindi, or Nepali is eligible for this certificate course.

Check out more here.

Translation courses outside India

  • Heidelberg University, Germany, offers undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes in translation. Applicants need to be proficient in B and C languages at the C1 level as per the Common European Framework.
  • Swansea University, Wales, offers a 1-year full-time postgraduate course in Translation and Interpreting. Applicants must have a prior degree in translation, a language or a minimum of 2 years active experience in the field. Overseas students must be able to demonstrate adept English fluency with a 6.5 IELTS score.
  • University of Essex, UK, offers a 1-year postgraduate course in Translation, Interpretation and Subtitling studies. Applicants must show appropriate English fluency with international applicants having a 6.5 IELTS score.
  • Dublin City University, Ireland, offers a 4-year undergraduate programme in Applied Language and Translation Studies. At least 3 years, including research, are mandatory for the course. The fourth year involves higher studies in a partner university. The course requires a minimum fluency level in French, German or Spanish for local students, and an additional fluency certificate in English for international students.
  • Kent State University, USA, offers undergraduate, postgraduate (offline and online) and PhD programmes in translation.

What to do after getting a degree in Translation

After getting your degree, you can work as a literary translator or a subtitler. Or you can choose to work in government departments or law firms. Here are some of the common sectors that make use of translators and interpreters:

  • Academics: Translators are heavily required during conferences. Such professionals are also needed to run archival, research and publishing projects. They can also opt for a teaching career at the university level.
  • Tourism: The tourism and hospitality sector relies on translators to serve tourists. Tourism agencies employ translators for foreign tourists. These translators sometimes also double as tourist guides.
  • Publishing: Translators help books reach out to newer and wider audiences. Leading publishing houses have their own specialised wings for translated works.
  • Government/Embassy: Most embassies and consulates have official translators who help with government programmes, formulation of policies, speeches, events and other activities. Immigration departments hire translators to communicate with refugees and shelter-seekers.
  • Subtitling: Movies, web-series, telefilms and documentaries are subtitled in different languages. OTT platforms, streaming channels and producers employ translators for this job.
  • Law: Legal translators use specialist terminology and linguistic conventions in the legal sector. They interpret the meaning of documents written in other languages.
Last updated on 16 Nov 2021
12:22 PM
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