In 2005, the White House Conference on Aging discussed the barriers to communication for a growing population of “Limited English Proficient (LEP)” adults. Not surprisingly, the creation of, funding for, and distribution of translated information was a predominant theme. To its credit, the WHCOA site now provides up to date information in eight languages (MT-powered.) Despite some progress in the U.S. over the past decade in areas such as prescription drug labels, quality is still a major issue, particularly in the medical and legal industries.

The U.S. is certainly not the only nation facing language barriers that have economic, health, and legal ramifications. Our interview with Karl Lonnroth demonstrated the enormity of work in progress within the European Union to deliver multilingualism as a fundamental right. In 2006, China discussed a lack of translators as a “major obstacle to China’s economic development.” In late 2007, the Daily News Analysis India ran an article that bemoans the lack of translators as well as infrastructure as major barriers to the availability of Indian literature.

Certainly an over-simplification, but…

Solution? More translation services.

Problem? Lack of translators. Demand exists, tracked monthly by (also an excellent site for knowledge sharing and information on job opportunities.) Here’s a good start for our “Resources” contribution, with links to opportunities for certification, under and post-graduate degrees, grants, and research endeavors. Expecting the inevitable “you are missing this site, link, etc.,” we invite comments and additions for the list. We’ll republish updates as appropriate.

Industry Certifications

American Translators Association
Excerpt: ATA has established a certification program to enable individual translators to demonstrate that they meet professional standards. Translators who pass a written examination are certified by ATA in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English).

Institute of Localisation Professionals
Excerpt: The Institute of Localisation Professionals (TILP) has the primary aim to develop professional practices in localisation globally; offers the Certified Localisation Professional (CLP) program.

University Programs

California State University, Chico
Excerpt: The mission of the Localization Program is to provide education, training, and outreach in Localization and International E-Business, with the help of strategic partnerships and collaborations, to help students and businesses compete in the new global networked economy. Also offers the The Localization Certification Program with an updated 2008 schedule

Kent State University
Excerpt: The Institute for Applied Linguistics (IAL) is a research and training unit within the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State. Affiliated with the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies, the Institute and its faculty coordinate the four-year Bachelor of Science Program in Translation, the 2-year Master of Arts in Translation and the Ph.D. in Translation Studies.

University of Limerick: Localisation Research Centre (LRC)
Excerpt: In 1997, UL established the world’s first dedicated postgraduate programme in Software Localisation and in 2001 the first International Localisation Summer School. The LRC also runs regular Professional Development Courses which are linked to the Certified Localisation Professional (CLP) programme established by The Institute of Localisation Professionals (TILP).

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Excerpt: The Master of Arts in Translation Studies is a separate track of the M.A. in Comparative Literature. Thirty-three credits are required. Most students take four semesters to complete the degree. Two languages are required (one may be English). Students will explore practical techniques and strategies of translation in addition to theoretical and cultural studies implications of their field.

Wake Forest University, North Carolina
Excerpt: The certificate in Spanish Translation/Localization (STL) teaches strategies of Spanish into English translation and introduces students to various software language applications; includes an internship in a professional translation environment.


Finnish Literature Society
Excerpt: Foreign publishers may apply for a grant for the translation of Finnish, Finland-Swedish and Sámi literature into other languages. Funding is awarded primarily for the translation of Finnish literature, though a number of grants are awarded for the translation of works of non-fiction dealing with aspects of Finnish culture.


Translation Research Summer School
Excerpt: Each year between twenty and thirty students are admitted to the TRSS. Most are research students in the early stages of their projects, but some are experienced staff who want to go into translation and intercultural studies or who want to refresh their research skills. Two full scholarships (covering fees, travel and accommodation) are available; deadline for application is February 22, 2008.