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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.

Connect with Your Advisor

Your personal enrollment advisor is ready to help you navigate the application process, customize your program to meet your goals, explore options for financing your education, and connect with current students, alumni, and faculty. Connect with your enrollment advisor.

Learning Goals

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.

Visit the curriculum page to review the TLM learning goals.

STEM Designation

Our MA in Translation and Localization Management is designated as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree program. If you are an international student who graduates from this program, and you are eligible to apply for standard Optional Practical Training (OPT), you may also qualify to apply for a STEM 24-month extension of your work authorization. Our International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team can tell you more about these requirements.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents can take advantage of a number of scholarships for STEM-designated degrees.

Language Requirement

During the application process, you will choose if you would like to pursue translation or language studies courses so that we can assess your language skills appropriately.

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.

  • Take translation courses through our MA in Translation.
  • Learn to provide high-quality translation and independently edit and revise pieces using the latest in translation technologies.
  • Review the second language proficiency (including the Language and Skills Test) needed to take translation courses.
  • Check out our available languages (all paired with English).
  • Visit the curriculum page for details on your translation courses and credits.

Language Studies Courses

If you want to be able to use a second language in professional settings, you should pursue language studies courses to fulfill the language requirement.

  • Take content-focused courses in your target language.
  • Develop specialized professional vocabulary and content knowledge in your target language, write business emails, participate in conference calls, and make presentations to clients.
  • Review the second language proficiency needed to take language studies courses.
  • Check out our available languages.
  • Visit the curriculum page for details on your language studies courses and credits.

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

TLM Language Requirement

Hopefully by now you know there are three options for the TLM program: residential two-year, residential Advanced Entry, and online Advanced Entry. There are really only two curriculums, one for the two-year program, and one for the two Advanced Entry programs although the residential version takes on year, and the online version takes two years to complete. For both curriculums, the core is the same for everyone, but you do have a choice to make when it comes to satisfying the language requirement.

The two-year residential program has a 16 credit language requirement, while the Advanced Entry programs require 8 credits. There are two ways for residential two-year students to satisfy the language requirement, and three ways for both residential and online Advanced Entry students! When considering options for the language requirement, consider your desired career outcome, meaning what you want to do with your non-native language.

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. Only 8 credits of translation courses are required for Advanced Entry. 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. Both residential and Advanced Entry students can take translation courses if they qualify, but all translation courses are fully synchronous and require attending a class meeting scheduled at a specific time.

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 the  Language Studies route. Just before the start of the semester, you’ll 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. For two-year students, the remaining credits can be satisfied through a mix of languages studies for a different language, ICC or Intercultural Competence courses, general T&I courses such as the Theory of Translation, Public Speaking, and Standard American English, courses in the linguistics department, and possibly translation courses (assuming you make enough progress to pass the LST). 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. Language studies courses are generally fully synchronous, meaning class attendance is required.

If you’re already a professional translator, or are already fluent in a second language and want to try something new, Advanced Entry students can consider taking Intercultural Competence courses, which allow students to become an expert in working with and managing global teams. Again, this ICC option is available only to Advanced Entry students, but it has one huge advantage over the translation and language studies options: most of the ICC courses are fully asynchronous so they’re a great option for those in the Online Advanced-Entry TLM program.

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. If you’re an Advanced Entry student and you want to try something new, take ICC courses. 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, or an ICC 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 may complete your master’s in just 32 credits either in person or online. Note that advanced entry students also have greater flexibility on the language requirement. This full-time master’s allows you to graduate in just two semesters. Visit our curriculum page for more details.

Joint Translation and Interpretation/Translation and Localization Management degrees

Launch a flexible career in the language services industry with advanced language and technical skills. Earn two master’s degrees in three years by combining TLM with an MA in Translation, an MA in Translation and Interpretation, or an MA in Conference Interpretation.

Learn more about the joint master’s degrees.