As global communications across multiple platforms continue to broaden, the demand for professional translators and interpreters has increased worldwide.
Anything written or spoken has the potential need to be translated or interpreted. Our master’s degree programs in translation and interpretation are recognized worldwide for providing exceptional professional training.
A Master of Arts in Translation (T) prepares students to be expert translators of the written word across a wide domain of professional areas. A Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation (TI) prepares students for careers including both written translation and oral interpretation. And a Master of Arts in Conference Interpretation (CI) prepares students for careers focused on oral interpretation. All have a strong foundation in cross-cultural understanding and communication and exposure to the latest technologies shaping the language services industry.
Career-Oriented Course Work
Our curriculum develops key skills both in and out of the students’ A (native) and B (near-native) languages. Students work with real-world texts, high-profile events, and live simulations in a variety of fields, and learn to use the latest translation and interpretation technology, software, and tools. Professional practica and career-oriented course work prepare you for lifelong skill-building and professional growth.
For those interested in pursuing more technological- or project management-oriented careers, a specialization in Localization Management is available. Spanish interpretation students have the option to take specialized coursework in Spanish community interpreting as electives.
See the curriculum for more details.
Faculty: Professors and Practitioners
Our faculty combine academic expertise with years of professional experience as translators and interpreters performing high profile work at intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, at the World Economic Forum, at the Olympics, for the White House, in the U.S. State Department, in the German Parliament, in literature and research, in nonprofit organizations, and in private businesses.
Together with career advisors, our faculty mentor students to ensure that they receive the academic and professional experience that will help them realize their career goals. Meet our faculty.
Choosing a Degree
Although you must select a specific degree when you apply, you will be exposed to many aspects of both translation and interpretation during your first year. After these two semesters, you, your faculty, and your academic advisor will know more about your strengths and interests, and you can finalize your degree choice and focus your studies. They are all two-year, 60-credit programs.
Anything that is written is a potential translation assignment. The MA in Translation prepares you to translate treaties, laws, and press releases; user manuals, bidding specifications, and engineering plans; novels, poems, plays and subtitles for film and video; handwritten letters, medical textbooks, and historical documents; and much more. The software and localization industry also relies heavily on translators to adapt programs and user manuals to other linguistic and cultural environments. All students in the MA in Translation also receive a solid foundation in translation technology (e.g. computer-assisted translation or CAT tools) and terminology management and, with the proper prerequisites, can take additional Localization Management electives such as website localization, multilingual desktop publishing, and games localization.
Although translation and interpretation have much in common, the practice of each profession requires different skill sets. A translator renders the written word from one language to another. An interpreter renders the spoken word from one language to another. Some employers expect you to be able to perform both tasks and many students find that they greatly enjoy the balance of both. The Middlebury Institute is one of few graduate programs in the world that offers a combined degree that prepares you for expert professional work both in translation and interpretation. The degree also includes a grounding in translation technology (e.g. computer-assisted translation or CAT) and allows for additional localization-management electives.
A conference interpreter enables participants in multinational meetings, such as international conferences, the Olympics, diplomatic events, global business collaborations, and international litigation, to communicate with one another in a seamless fashion, making the language barrier almost imperceptible. Our MA in Conference Interpretation prepares you to interpret in two modes: consecutive and simultaneous. The degree also prepares you to sight translate documents aloud in a different language as needed during meetings or as an aid to simultaneous interpretation in a booth.
Customize Your Degree: Content Areas
At the Middlebury Institute, you can combine your degree with electives in environmental policy, trade, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, threat financing, education management, international development, social change, and other key content areas. Once you are on campus, you will be able to explore these exciting possibilities with your academic advisor.
Students entering any of the programs choose to focus on one (or two) of the following languages, all paired with English. Each program has skill-based and language-specific courses, experienced faculty, and extensive access to internship and employment opportunities.
Advanced Entry: Two-Semester Program
Each year, a group of highly qualified Chinese translation and interpretation candidates are selected for the Advanced Entry program, which allows them to complete the program in two semesters. These students have typically earned a master’s degree from a recognized translation and interpretation program or have at least two years of relevant full-time professional experience.
Advanced Entry students test out of the first year of courses by passing a rigorous exam offered at a variety of test locations in China or on campus at the Institute. Find out more about our Advanced Entry in Chinese.
For all other languages, you may be eligible to complete the degree in only two semesters if you already have a master’s degree from a recognized translation and interpretation program or at least two years of full-time professional experience, and if you test out of your first year of course work by taking the first-year final exams.