Being a translator in the UK
Thread poster: Anita33

English to Italian
Sep 10, 2008

Hi everyone! I've been "sniffing around" in this community for a while, and I must say I found a lot of useful informations, but not specifically what I was looking for. So I thought I might ask it myself...
I live in Italy, I'm currently in my last year of high school and I'd really like to start a career as a translator someday. I've always thought I was going to study languages at university. So during the last few weeks I looked for information about the courses here in Italy, but unfortunately I found out that I don't like at all the way they're structured and organized, for many different reasons. And honestly, I don't want to spend a lot of money and three years of my life studying in an environment that I'm not confortable with. So I was thinking about moving to London when I finish high school. It's always been one of my biggest dreams, and I think it would be a great experience to have, that will help me improve my English, and also help me grew as a person. I was considering the idea of applying to a translation course in a university in England, once I get more confortable with the language, but unfortunately it's really difficult to find one with my language pairing (EN>IT), and I'm having a little trouble. Do you have any suggestions for me? Any particular courses that may be helpful for me? Do you think I will be able to start a career as a translator in England even without a degree?

I'm annoying, I know. But I'm very concerned about my future lately and I really need some advice. Thank you so much to anyone who will take the time to answer!


United Kingdom
Local time: 12:25
German to English
+ ...
It's mostly MA courses in the UK Sep 13, 2008

You might find getting translation work very hard without a university degree of some kind or having done a translation course, but if you're completely bilingual there's a chance you might find some work somewhere. Most of the good translation courses in the UK are MA courses that people take when they've finished their first degree. Most of the universities in London offer MA courses - UCL, Imperial, City, North London, they don't specify a particular langauge combination that I know of. Some universities also offer first degree courses in a language along with translation studies too. Glasgow, Edinburgh Heriot Watt and I think north London offer this now.

[Edited at 2008-09-13 20:00]


Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:25
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Would Scotland appeal? Sep 14, 2008

If i remember rightly (although this was nearly 10 years ago, so it might have changed), one of the few universities in the UK that does an undergraduate translation course is Herriot-Watt University, but that is in Scotland

I did a generic languages degree, which did include a translation module, but it was far from specialised in that field.

Good luck


English to Italian
Oh yes, I think I've heard about Heriott-Watt before Sep 15, 2008

It's a good university, as far as I know. London was actually my first goal, but I wouldn't mind Scotland either. I'll keep it in mind. Thanks so much for your advice!


Michal Glowacki  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:25
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
How about Sep 29, 2008

Check Swansea..I'm at a Posgrad at Swansea and there is Italian here, maybe there is also Italian for undergrads, check also wesminster university and maybe bristol, bath...
Hope you are lucky,


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Being a translator in the UK

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