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The Master of Arts in Translation and Localization Management is designed to focus on three key areas of training: translation, localization technology, and management.

Why the Institute: Connecting language to industry

My name’s Min Tan, I come from China. I’m studying translation and localization management at the Middlebury Institute. We think of translation as just translated from one language to another language. But localization is when you translate this text but it’s applied to the real-world industry, like you translate a website or translate a game into another language. This does not only include translation but also includes engineering work.

Right now I’m working for one of the world biggest localization and translation companies. They are located in the Silicon Valley. And my job is to assist the project managers and the enterprise program managers to ensure the on-time delivery of the localization projects.

I think my job right now is to connect everything I have learned here. We have learned how to be a good translator, how to be a good project manager, and how to use the tools in the industry right now. It has amazed me that the courses are so practical.

I can always learn a lot from my classmates, because they are very intelligent people and they have the same passions as I do. To study a Master Degree in the United States is a good opportunity for me to explore this country and explore this part of the world.

Monterey’s a very international city. Sometimes you will just run into people talking in two different languages. That’s why I choose to study at Middlebury Institute.

Employers across this $52 billion and rapidly growing industry rely on the Institute as their go-to source for finding localization management talent.

Students in the program learn the software applications that enable localization, gain the skills to manage complex projects with virtual teams, develop lifelong employability, and are exposed to the real-world experience of working in a translation agency for actual clients. See the curriculum for more details.

Choosing How To Fulfill the Language Requirement

Translation Courses

If you want to become a translator or localization professional with translation or editing responsibilities, you should pursue translation courses to fulfill the language requirement. You will take classes with students in our MA in Translation, MA in Translation and Interpretation, and MA in Conference Interpretation. Your language expertise will be tested through the Language and Skills Test (LST) during the application process. Learn more about translation courses and available languages.

Language Studies Courses

If you want to be able to use your non-native language in professional settings e.g. writing business emails, participating in conference calls, making presentations to clients, etc., you should pursue language studies courses to fulfill the language requirement. For admission, you will need to show that you have achieved an intermediate-high level of proficiency (300-level) or higher in a second language. Learn more about language studies courses and available languages.

Watch the short video below to further help you decide whether you should pursue translation courses or language studies courses.

TLM Language Requirement

By now you know there are three Translation and Localization Management (TLM) programs: residential two-year, residential Advanced Entry, and online Advanced Entry. In this video about the language requirement, I’m going to talk only about the residential programs, as the online Advanced Entry students take Intercultural Competence courses instead of language. In any case, in all three TLM programs, the mix of technology and business is the same, meaning the only difference is how residential students satisfy the language requirement. 

Both of the residential degrees have a 16 or 8 credit language requirement—16 credits for two-year students, and 8 credits for Advanced Entry. There are two ways for residential students to satisfy the language requirement, and how you satisfy the requirement highly depends on your desired career outcome.

If you want to become a translator or localization professional with translation or editing responsibilities, you should indicate on your application that you plan to go for the Translation Specialization. You’d then be asked to take the Language Skills Test—or LST—which you need to pass in order to take translation courses. Students who take 16 credits of translation courses will earn the Translation Specialization. If you have an existing masters degree in translation from another school, or significant experience as a professional translator, you’re eligible to take the second-year entrance exam to attempt to get into the second year of translation courses as a first-year student to complete the Translation Specialization in one year.

If you want to improve your non-native language skills to be able to use them to write business emails, participate in conference calls, and make presentations to clients in your non-native language, then you should indicate on your application that you want to go for  Language Studies route. You’ll eventually be asked to take the Language Placement Test—or LPT—which is required to take courses in language studies or EAPP courses if your non-native language is English. EAPP stands for English for Academic and Professional Purposes in case you were curious. Language studies students are required to take a minimum of 8 credits in language studies or EAPP, and for two-year students, the remaining credits can be satisfied through a mix of translation courses (assuming the student made enough progress to pass the LST), Languages Studies or EAPP courses (even working on a third language), ICC or Intercultural Competence courses, general T&I courses such as the Theory of Translation, Public Speaking, and Standard American English, and even courses in the linguistics department. Students who take 12 credits of Language Studies or EAPP courses at the 300 level or higher, and who complete some additional deliverables, are eligible to receive the Language Studies Specialization.

Before you apply to MIIS, put some thought into considering what you want to do when you graduate. If you think there’s a chance you want to be a professional translator or put your language skills to use as a linguist, then go for the Translation Specialization. If you’d rather use your non-native language in a business setting, go for Language Studies. It’s important to point out there’s some flexibility built into the language requirement—you don’t necessarily need the Translation specialization or Language Studies specialization to graduate—but everyone needs to start out in either a translation, a Language Studies, or an EAPP course. Thanks for watching, and reach out to your enrollment advisor if you have any questions.

Advanced Entry Degrees

If you meet our advanced entry requirements, you have two options to complete your master’s in just 32 credits:

On-site Advanced Entry degree

This full-time, 32-credit master’s allows you to graduate in just two semesters. Please note that the language requirement for this degree is 8 credits. Visit our curriculum page for more details on the on-site advanced entry degree.

Online Advanced Entry Degree

Through our fully online Master of Arts in Translation and Localization Management you can earn a 32-credit master’s with the flexibility that allows you to continue working full or part time. Online TLM students take Intercultural Competence courses instead of a language requirement.

Learning Goals

  • Project Management: Managing translation and localization workflows, developing processes and procedures, prioritizing tasks, recruiting, hiring and managing resources, and implementing computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, crowdsourcing and machine translation solutions.
  • Business Management: Proficiency in a variety of key business areas such as globalization, accounting, marketing, organizational behavior, market economics, international business strategy, and data analysis.
  • Localization: Expertise in using software that enables the internationalization and localization of software, video games, websites, content management systems, print-based desktop publishing formats, and audio-visual formats such as subtitles and dubbing.
  • Translation: Written translation into the native language, editing and revision of translations, and work with a variety of translation and glossary management tools.
  • Communication: Ability to speak the language of everyone involved in the translation process, such as clients, translators, project managers, engineers, designers, etc., the ability to evangelize and share best localization practices, and the soft skills necessary to work in a team distributed throughout the world.

Careers and Internships

Students gain professional experience through internships. Our graduates work with some of the most prestigious organizations around the world. Learn how they are thriving in their careers.

Tuition and Fees

Visit our tuition and fees page for detailed information.