Great Online Courses for Learning Translation

Foreign Language Translation Learning Resources

There are many places where you can go online to get yourself educated on any number of different topics and subjects, especially foreign languages and certified translation services. The knowledge of language and the ability to translate thoughts and meanings from one language to another is powerful in today’s global community. The reach of the internet is at your fingertips – now more than ever! Educational institutions have been offering more and more courses through “distance learning” over the years, and there are other resources that are independent of colleges and universities as well. A full range of places for finding great learning resources are listed here. The idea is to use these resources as a starting point, because in life we never really stop learning!  And language holds the key to communication. So have fun and explore, because now more than ever learning a new language can be fun – as it should always be!

Language Translation

  • The University of ArizonaThe National Center for Interpretation Testing, Research and Policy (NCI) at The University of Arizona promotes intercultural communication and offers training and testing for translators with the focus on advancing professionalism. They offer online workshops in Legal Translation (Spanish to English) as well as Consecutive Interpreting Techniques and Skills.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston -The College of Advancing and Professional Studies online certificate course in Spanish/English Translation is designed to meet the increasing demand for professionals, educators, and students interested in meeting the challenges of modern multicultural, multilingual societies. This program is intended for bilingual (English-Spanish) speakers who wish to learn, improve, or expand their knowledge and skills in oral or written translation.
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice – This certificate program prepares students for careers in legal translation. It will instruct students in the techniques and procedures of producing an accurate, efficient translation, particularly in the legal field. Students completing this certificate will be well-prepared to take the American Translators Association (ATA) Certification test and for careers in translation.
  • University of Illinois Center for Translation Studies – The Center for Translation Studies offers an online Certificate in Translation Studies Masters course which is designed for graduate students in allied fields. This course is taught by accomplished translators and interpreters, and will provide you with the academic and professional skills this field demands.
  • University of Denver – This Translation Studies certificate program prepares you to become an effective, professional translator as you build valuable translating experience. This certificate is ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in the global translation industry. You can gain a broad theoretical and practical background in translation, as well as practice in different types of translation: legal, commercial, financial, localization, political, and medical translation. This program certificate program prepares students for certification by the American Translator’s Association (ATA)
  • UC San Diego – This Professional Certificate in Translation and Interpretation (Spanish/English) course is designed for bilingual adults who may or may not already be working in the field of translation and interpretation. Many graduates of this program go on to own and operate their own translation and interpretation service companies, freelance, work for private companies or work within the public sector.
  • University of Georgia – The University of Georgia has developed this online certificate course with one of the top educational interpreters and trainers in the field. It is focused on mastering  interactions in public schools with multi-lingual students and personnel. It features a weekly, interactive online session with the program’s expert instructor. Certificates are awarded to those who meet the course prerequisites for language proficiency, complete the program, and pass the final assessment after 8 weeks of training and course work.
  • Adelphi University – Adelphi’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies features this English/Spanish Translation Studies Online Noncredit Certificate course which puts the focus on the growing need for competent translators in today’s global society. This course teaches students the techniques and procedures needed to produce accurate translations, with a focus on medical, legal, and commercial translation skills. It is taught by experienced translation professionals and is conducted entirely online. It includes six separate components. Each program component takes approximately five weeks to complete, and the entire program can be completed in six months.
  • New York University – The School of Professional Studies offers the 36-credit MS in Translation. The degree focuses on legal and financial translation as well as software localization. It is offered in English into Spanish, French into English, and Spanish into English for online students. There are three groups of study – translation and language theory, legal and financial subject matter, and practical translation courses. Students get the benefit of working with the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development after studies are completed where advisors work with them on job searches, interviewing skills, résumé preparation, and other career-related areas.
  • Kent State University – The Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State offers a Masters of Arts Specializing in Translation. This course includes 36 semester hours of coursework and includes a case study in translation. Students are also encouraged to seek internships. This course is offered on a two-year schedule and rotation.
  • Gateway Community College –  A Medical Interpreter in Spanish Certificate course is offered for those students interested in the health and medical industry. A fluency in English and Spanish is required to take the course. The focus is on bilingual healthcare communication with an approach that results in extreme professionalism for it’s graduates. Graduates of the program will receive a Certificate of Completion (CCL) and are prepared to sit for the Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI) exam..
  • Bellevue College – The Translation and Interpretation (Credit) Certificate Program offers balanced, comprehensive, and rigorous professional training for individuals with high fluency in English and at least one other language. The program is designed for students seeking to facilitate communication between speakers of these languages. This unique certificate is one of the few credit programs of its kind in the United States, and offers experienced working professionals up-to-date training for aspiring and practicing translators and interpreters.
  • Future Learn –  This organization offers an online course entitled Working with Translation: Theory and Practice. It explores what it means to communicate in multiple foreign languages in many different contexts, and strives to help the student discover their inner translator. The course offers a wealth of practical tips and a broad understanding of the nature of translation in an increasingly multilingual world.

Foreign Language

  • Oregon State EcampusThe Ecampus at Oregon State University in conjunction with their World Languages and Cultures Department deliver language programs online using the latest technologies, including interaction with live speakers. These paid credit courses are given in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. The courses can lead to a B.A. degree or serve as a minor. They also feature a Career Development Center.
  • Georgia TechThe School of Modern languages at Georgia Tech has online courses available in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. These courses offer academic credits to Georgia Tech as well as non-Georgia Tech college students and provide live, weekly voiced conversation practice in a small class. They also have asynchronous online courses in Spanish that offer academic credits to Georgia Tech students and certificates in Spanish to non-Georgia Tech students.
  • University of Wisconsin/MilwaukeeThe School of Continuing Education at UW/Milwaukee  offers non-credit online certificate courses in Spanish that will teach you the tools you need to write, read, and speak in Spanish, along with skills to continue learning on your life’s journey. The Oral Proficiency Interview Test takes place at the end of the course with a proctored phone call examination. This is a non-credit enrichment program.
  • WellesleyXA prestigious liberal arts college for women since 1875, Wellesley College has free online courses in Italian language and Culture online. The courses can be audited for free and for a small fee you can choose to receive a verified certificate. Courses range from beginner to advanced and are self-paced.
  • Learn a LanguageThis site’s motto is “Saving the World One Language at a Time” and they offer hundreds of free language-learning lessons, games, and activities. They have an interactive Learning Lounge as well as other varieties of learning tools.
  • Open CultureOpen Culture has some of the best free cultural and educational media and basically serves as a clearinghouse for links to free language lessons on many different learning platforms and for hundreds of languages. They also feature an index of language tutors both free and paid to survey for whatever method you wish to use.


  • Boston College Front Row (Law) – Boston College Front Row is a web site that has free access using streaming media as well as tapes of cultural and scholarly events at Boston College.
  • Top 37 Legal Blogs Every Legal Translator Should Follow  – Lists many law blogs of interest to legal translators and court interpreters.
  • Harvard Law School – Harvard Law provides webcasts of lectures, seminars, panel discussions and major conferences. There’s lots of relevant information and insights about how and when current events and legal matters cross paths.

These are just some of the resources available to get yourself educated on Translation, Foreign Languages, and Legal topics. Today’s world is changing rapidly, and the world is becoming a smaller place thanks to technology. Communicating in that world is the key to understanding different people and different cultures. Learning languages and how to navigate among many cultures and languages holds great power and value. Remember that you should never stop learning…