Are you very good at languages? Do you like to communicate with people, whether or not they are of your same nationality? You are in the right place if you want to study translation and interpretation.

Before explaining what the translation and interpreting degree consists of or where we can study it, we must know its primary denomination. Under the name of translation and interpretation we find some studies whose purpose is to train professionals who communicate in languages. These would be the translators and interpreters that we commonly know.

[This is an automatic translation, not a professional translation]

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What should I know about the degree of translation and interpretation?

With the Bologna Plan that came into effect in 2010, these studies have a duration of four years in Spain. They can vary from one to four years depending on the country and the stage of university.

They are taught in universities and the passing of these entails obtaining the title of translator and interpreter.

What do translation and interpretation studies consist of? Subjects studied in this degree

As a translator and interpreter who graduated in 2005, she can review the subjects for years.

First and second year of translation and interpretation


  • The first year is the most theoretical. It is a kind of introduction in which subjects such as civilization of the mother tongue and the target language are studied. We also find subjects from the language itself. By this I mean that we don’t start by translating, but we study vocabulary, grammar, etc. Very similar to an Official Language School. We also study the Spanish language, of course. There are optional subjects such as other languages, economics, computer science applied to translation, etc. We could summarize this year as an introduction to the world of languages and its culture.
  • In the second year, the translation courses begin. They are completely practical and begin by translating informative texts in various directions: this is what we call direct and inverse translation. Interpreting, in the faculty of Granada, starts later. One of the most interesting subjects in the course is documentation applied to translation. They teach you how to use Boolean operators for the Internet and quick search systems to find parallel texts and answers. As for translation, which is very practical, they teach you how to create glossaries and how to search for parallel texts. Parallel texts are those that are similar in both the mother tongue and the target language. For example, a French criminal record and a Spanish one.

Third and fourth year of translation and interpretation


  • The third year of the race begins to get complicated. The specializations appear: scientific-technical and legal-administrative translation. Glossaries, terminology databases, resources for translators, online dictionaries, cat tool and a host of other tools. On the other hand, we start with interpretation: consecutive and simultaneous interpretation.
  • The fourth year, and the last one of my promotion (2001-2005), is even more practical. The last of the subjects we touched upon was translating. It is a year in which one specializes in either interpretation or translation. Interpreting seems more difficult than translation, so most students opt for the latter. Translation is also complicated, medical texts, sentences, highly technical instruction manuals, etc. There are many fields for which one has to document oneself sufficiently to deliver a quality translation.

In short: a very practical degree and not very difficult if you like languages, writing, documentation and if you love words.

Regulation of the translation and interpretation degree

Although we have already explained what the translation and interpreting degree consists of, let’s dig a little deeper. This training is not yet regulated in many countries, so professional intrusion is a real threat.

Years ago it was demanded the creation of professional associations to regulate this profession, but there is still a long way to go. For example, in areas such as criminal proceedings, the figure of the translator or interpreter is fundamental. In this type of situation, a quality service should be available and highly regulated by law.

Although we talk about translation and interpretation, the truth is that they are two completely different profiles of professionals. The translator is the one who translates in written form, however, the interpreter does it orally. The translator has time and resources; the interpreter must react quickly and only have the information provided by the client.

Where can I study translation and interpretation?

If we focus on where to study translation and interpreting in Spain we have several options available to us.

We start with the formality of attendance. In this aspect we find many faculties where the degree of translation and interpretation is taught that we can choose depending on where we live.

We will highlight the Andalusian ones, as well as those from the Community of Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia.


Community of Madrid


Valencian Community

We can also opt for the degree in distance translation and interpreting or study translation and interpreting online. By doing an exhaustive search on the web we will find many of the distance or online universities that provide high quality training. This degree is just as valid as a face-to-face training.

I’ve finished my translation and interpreting degree and now what? Degree opportunities

The professional opportunities for translation and interpretation are many and varied. If you are about to finish your degree and you have some uncertainty, it is normal. Don’t worry, there is life beyond academic training.

Translation agency and companies

Even if they want to scare us with the crisis, unemployment or brain drain, the truth is that there is work. If we are constant, make an effort and trust in our abilities, we will manage to work as interpreters or translators. There are many companies that need translators and translation agencies. Advertise, send your CV, call foreign agencies and don’t give up… The first failure of the translator is to settle for the first job. You don’t have to let your guard down, you have to search and search in online translation agencies in Spain or abroad.

There are many job opportunities, but the best thing we can do while we find them is to continue training. Starting as interns in a translation and interpreting company is a good step, we learn the ins and outs of the trade and consolidate our professional bases.

Freelance translators and interpreters

We can also work as freelance translators and interpreters. Nowadays there are many translation agencies and companies that require these professionals to work telematically from home.

Do you know of any other outlets that might serve future translators and interpreters? Don’t hesitate to let us know and we will take them into account for future posts.

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