The MA Translation at Leiden University offers a unique combination of translation theory, research and practice, preparing you for either a further academic career as a researcher or a professional career in the language industry as a translator, subtitler, terminologist, project manager or language consultant.
Thanks to our use of professional translation software (including Trados, MemoQ and SPOT) and our attention to developments in computer-assisted and machine translation, you will have all the necessary tools in your translator’s toolkit, as well as the ability to use them critically and reflect on their value in a world of increasing globalization and multicultural communication.
More than words
Translation is so much more than changing words and sentences in language A into words and sentences in language B. Most people have no idea just how complicated the Task of the Translator is! And why this means that it is actually unlikely that machines will soon take over completely and make all human translators obsolete. During your MA you will practice the translation of different kinds of texts – from legal contracts to young adult novels, medical leaflets to fantasy films, and corporate websites to Broadway musicals – using state-of-the-art tools and technologies, while learning about translation theory and research so you can reflect critically on your translation decisions. You will learn to look beyond the words and sentences and discover just how fascinating and important translation really is.
Why study Translation at Leiden University?
The MA Translation in Leiden is a member of the prestigious European Master’s in Translation Network and offers state-of-the-art training that includes the use of new tools and technologies and a strong focus on professional practice. The instructors all have experience in both professional practice as well as academic research, and their expertise is reflected in the different specialization electives: legal translation, literary translation, medical translation, and multimodal translation (including subtitling). Our programme includes translation practice both from English to Dutch as well as Dutch to English, as we believe there is a growing demand for translators from Dutch into English as a second/foreign language and lingua franca. At the end of your studies, you will earn a qualification that will give you entry to the national register of sworn interpreters and translators.
During your MA, your main source and target languages will be English and Dutch. If you also wish to translate from another language (e.g. Spanish or Japanese) into English or Dutch, please contact the coordinator of studies to discuss the possibilities.
EMT network membership
The MA Translation at Leiden University is a member of the prestigious European Master’s in Translation (EMT) Network, an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation. Having been awarded this label (for the period 2019-2024) reflects the high quality of our programme and the successful integration of translation research, practice and technology. Membership of the Network includes possibilities for internships and theses with the translation departments of the European Commission and European Parliament, as well as international exchanges with other EMT universities via Erasmus+ and improved chances of a career in the European translation industry.
As a Leiden University-trained translator, some of your most important assets will include your experience in using professional translation tools, your knowledge of current translation studies research in your chosen domain (legal, literary, medical or multimodal translation), as well as your ability to apply knowledge of auxiliary disciplines, both linguistic (e.g. pragmatics, semantics, stylistics) and non-linguistic (e.g. literary studies, culture studies, comparative law), to translation problems in a wide range of texts. Our Advanced Translation course includes a virtual translation agency, allowing you to practice working as a project manager, translator and editor with your fellow students. In addition, our elective courses will introduce you to different career opportunities by hosting guest lectures from professionals in the language industry. Finally, you will gain important hands-on experience at a company of your choice during your internship, working as a translator, editor, subtitler, terminologist, IT specialist or language consultant.
Translation Lab at Leiden University
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Translation at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme of Linguistics. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited master’s degree in Linguistics, with a specialisation in Translation and the title Master of Arts (MA).