Update: NYU’s Certificate Program for Translators Has Changed

New York University recently revamped its translation studies program (which I first reviewed here), but it hadn’t been clear to me exactly what those changes were. Luckily, a rep was available in San Francisco at the 57th annual American Translators Association conference to answer all my questions. (If you’ve been confused, too, you’re not alone – she said no one has understood it well!)

The higher-level translator education options through NYU are always a favorite of mine to recommend. Besides being a good value (especially when compared to the programs in Monterrey), the translation studies department at this school brings in really wonderful teachers. Certain languages are taught primarily in person, and other languages require mostly online coursework. In true New York City style, the best developed tracks are finance and law, but you can pick and choose from a good variety in a number of languages.


I was initially disappointed when NYU announced the change to their program – if it’s not obvious, I absolutely loved my certificate program in French-to-English legal translation, and it sounded like they were eliminating this option altogether.

Fear not! Only the name has been trashed: now, instead of earning a “certificate” from your 6-course program, you earn a “series badge.” If for any reason you do not complete all 6 courses, you don’t walk away empty handed, because for any course you complete with a “B” grade or better, you earn an individual course “badge.” (Both of these badge types are a digital symbol that you can use in your web presence and resume to show what you have studied – similar to how MOOCs now operate.)

Although I’m dubious about the dumbing down of the name of the credential issued as proof of these studies, I love how much more welcoming this change makes the program. A few years ago, every new student was required to take the Introduction to Translation Studies course – which meant that even intermediate- to advanced-level translators looking for some resume padding or a switch to a new specialty had to fork over the dollars for a class they could likely teach on their own. In the new “badge” system, you are free to choose from any of the classes you like; as long as you successfully complete 6, you earn your Credential Formerly Known As Certificate. Newbies can start with Intro still, but more seasoned professionals can dive right in to English to French Patent Translation.

Classes are available for Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish translation. You can also take classes from their Translation Studies series, including an introduction to CAT tools, editing for translators, and subtitling. Browse the course offerings here and here.

For more information on the badge system, click here. NYU also offers a Master of Science in Translation, and several other new diploma options depending on the amount of college education you’ve completed. Now that someone helped walk me through the options, I’m excited about this boost to translator education opportunities! (Also, I promise I’m not paid to promote this school – I really did get a lot out of the program I completed.)

How did you learn translation? What are your plans for continuing education? Are you thinking of switching to a new specialty field? Share your thoughts in the comments!



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