Happy International Translation Day!

Sunday, the 30th of September is International Translation Day, when we reflect worldwide on the vital, attractive professions of translation and interpreting. Want to know more about these professions? Might working as an interpreter or a translator be something for you? These wonderful professions are indispensable for the globalisation of society. Becoming an interpreter or translator in the Netherlands, however, is not easy as 1-2-3. A good education is a must!

These professions demand an affinity with language overall and a thorough understanding of Dutch. You also need a good command of a second language. This can be your mother tongue if you have another origin and nationality or if you already know another language reasonably well, such as a language for which you have completed exams. If you want to become an interpreter or translator in the Netherlands, there are two different higher professional education programmes for interpreting or translation, located in Utrecht and Maastricht.

ITV University of Applied Sciences for Translation and Interpreting

At ITV University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, you can follow a four-year bachelor's in translation or interpreting, choosing from ​​the target languages of German, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. This degree programme focuses on social, economic and political developments at play within the society of the source and the target language, as well as the European Union. The programme focus during the first three years is on translation. In the fourth year, interpreting training is offered, with an emphasis on practical exercises.

ITV University of Applied Sciences also offers short courses that focus on specific aspects of a language. Examples include literature, linguistics or societal developments in the country of the working language. ITV University of Applied Sciences also offers professionally oriented modules for an introduction to, or a deeper understanding of, the various fields in which you already work as an interpreter or translator or will in the future. These modules allow you to refresh or expand upon your knowledge while meeting the requirements for continuing education set by professional associations and the Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (Rbtv).

Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting

The Maastricht School of Translation & Interpreting is a four-year programme for higher professional education. Dutch and English are required subjects for all enrolled students. Students may elect to study German, French or Spanish as an additional foreign language. At the end of the second academic year, students designate one of the two foreign languages ​​as their main language and discontinue studying the other one. At the programme's start, students work intensively not only with two foreign languages, but also with Dutch, because a professional translator usually translates from a foreign language into his/her mother tongue; being able to produce attractive and error-free texts in Dutch, therefore, is a requirement.

In addition, the Maastricht School of Translation & Interpreting offers continuing education courses for professionals in the context of Lifelong Learning. The curriculum is designed to advance translators and interpreters' expertise in language and translation, but also to improve their interpersonal skills or entrepreneurial qualities.

Other education programmes

The website of the Netherlands Association of Interpreters and Translators (NGTV) provides an overview of other translation and interpreting programmes, including in Belgium.