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Graduate Certificate in Translation

The TRIP Certificate in translation is a graduate program that provides students with practical training and introduces them to the formal study of translation. It may be taken as a separate track or in conjunction with other BU master's degree programs such as those of Comparative Literature (Plan C), Romance Languages, English, Human Development, as well as the doctoral programs of Comparative Literature and PIC (Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture).

Languages Offered

TRIP has been able to offer translation practice from Spanish and French on a regular basis. Depending on need and availability, translation instruction involving other source languages (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, German, Korean, and Russian) may be offered. Those interested in languages other than Spanish and French are advised to contact the TRIP Co-directors to check whether instruction is available in a given semester.

Admission Requirements

Students are expected to have an adequate written command of English, into which they will generally be required to translate, as well as a near-native command of a second language, which will generally be their source language.

Students who have not had any experience with translation are advised to take one semester of the translation workshop (see below) before formally applying to the program. After the first semester, the TRIP director will evaluate students' performance and advise students either to apply or improve their language skills before they pursue the Certificate.

Those pursuing the Translation Certificate must formally apply through the Graduate School Admissions and follow its standard matriculation procedures.

Course Requirements

- Literary or Non-Literary Translation Workshop (TRIP 572 or 573, 2 semesters, 4 credits each)

Depending on their performance, students may be advised to take one or two additional semesters of the Workshop.

- One graduate course in Translation Studies: either Introduction to Translation Studies (TRIP 580A, 4 credits), or Introduction to Computer-Assisted Translation (TRIP 580D, 4 credits). Whenever possible, students are advised to take both.

- One graduate course involving the history or culture of their source language (4 credits).

Total number of credits: 16

Students interested in certification in more than one language combination, i.e. Spanish>English and German>English, are required to take at least one more semester of the translation workshop in order to practice translating from the second source language of their choice, in addition to a graduate course involving the history or culture of this same language.

In order to sit for the Certificate examination, students must obtain a grade of B or higher in all of these courses.


After successfully concluding the required credits, students may request to take the examination, which is offered at the end of the fall and spring semesters. In consultation with appropriate faculty, TRIP director establish each student's examination committee. The examination includes sections on both theory and practice.

For the examination in translation practice, which is an in-house test, students can choose the genre (literary or non-literary) and the language combination involved. They may have two dictionaries and use of a computer. To pass this examination students are expected to show that they can translate at a professional level, which means that they can produce publishable translations without faculty supervision.

The theory examination is a 72-hour take home examination, and students can choose to answer questions either on translation theory or computer-assisted translation tools. It also includes a question on copyright issues pertaining to translation.

In order to pass, students must obtain a grade of A- or higher on each section. Each section of the examination may be taken twice.

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Last Updated: 8/1/16