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Not Sure What Major to Choose for Becoming a Translator/Interpreter

MiliniumMilinium 0 replies1 threads New Member
I want to become a translator/interpreter between English and a few Asian languages. The ones I want to translate are Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, but mainly Japanese.
I can transfer to 2 different universities each with different degree options.
Uni 1: East Asian Studies major
Uni 2: Japanese major and Chinese major

I was wondering which one you think would be better for a translator. All the languages I'm learning are East Asian, but would it be better to get a general degree or a specific one? If I can double major in Japanese and Chinese would that the best option (I'm not sure if this is possible at the university).

Thank you!
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Replies to: Not Sure What Major to Choose for Becoming a Translator/Interpreter

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    edited April 26
    What do you want to translate?

    The actual major is a secondary consideration. Your level of fluency in your language(s), including speed / accuracy / slang / regional accents / dialects / etc. will matter more. You will want to spend meaningful time living in the language, get internships and do an interpreter course before sitting a certification exam.

    The real key is to figure out what you want to interpret (internships are great for this)- it should be something intrinsically interesting to you. Most interpreters specialize in a field or sector, b/c you get familiar with the field-specific vocabulary and some background in the field makes for a better interpreter. And if you are thinking "UN" or something general like that- which part of the UN?? you can do anything from agriculture to intellectual property, from government to technology, from economics to human rights, etc.
    edited April 26
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