Translation & Interpretation Certificate: Q&A with Graduate, Christine Clay

Student Christine Clay

Translation and Interpretation is a growing career field. There is an increasing demand for skilled translators and interpreters who can effectively facilitate foreign language translation for a growing number of business sectors. Individuals with high language fluency in English, and at least one other language, are able to use their skills to work as translators or start their own translation and interpretation businesses.

The Translation & Interpretation Certificate Program at Bellevue College Continuing Education is one of the few credit programs of its kind in the nation. This certificate is ideal for individuals looking for professional training and education taught by experienced instructors in an intimate setting. Translation & Interpretation Certificate completer, Christine Clay, shares her experience in the program and how it helped her to accomplish her goal of starting a translation business. Read our Q&A with her below:


What goal(s) were you hoping to accomplish when you signed up for the T&I Certificate?

I wanted to learn the fundamentals of translation and how to start a successful translation business of my own.


Why did you choose Bellevue College Continuing Education?

I was lucky that such a great translation and interpretation program was so close to home. (I live in Seattle.) I didn’t want to travel a long distance or invest a lot of time and money in a master’s program because I already had graduate degrees in other subjects and I was eager to get out there and start a translation business. I just needed enough translation skills and knowledge of the business of translation to hit the ground running, and the BC certificate program provided that.


What are your biggest takeaways from the program?

I learned a lot about the business of translation and best practices. From talking to other translators who have completed master’s programs at other institutions, the BC program’s focus on business practices is unique and extremely valuable. I came away from the program with a basic understanding of how to start a T&I business, market it, and follow ethical guidelines in my practice.


What was your favorite class? Why?

Every one of the classes was useful and enjoyable and contributed to the success of the program. But if I had to pick one, I would choose the Ethics and Business Practices course because it gave me an opportunity to develop some marketing materials and really put some thought into how I wanted to run my business.


What was your experience like with the instructors?

All of the instructors were knowledgeable, friendly and engaging.

Was there a specific project or activity that was especially memorable?

For the Technology for Translators and Interpreters course, I worked with a small group of classmates to learn to use a computer-assisted translation tool and create a video to present it to the class. It was a lot of fun to learn how to use a new tool and get to know my classmates better.


How did the T&I certificate help your career after completing the program?

In so many ways! I started my translation business during my last quarter in the program and it has really taken off. I gained knowledge in every one of my BC courses that I now use on a daily basis, from translation skills, to technology know-how, to good business practices.


What advice would you give someone who is considering the certificate?

Take stock of your current skills and your future goals. If you have a high level of both English and another language and strong writing and/or speaking skills and you think translation or interpretation may be for you, then jump in! Since the classes are in the evening, you can keep your current job while you take classes. You will come out of the program with a tremendous amount of practical knowledge that you can use in your career. And, since this is a growing sector of the economy, the work is out there. You just need the know-how to take advantage of it and the BC program will give you that.


Interested in learning more about the certificate? Attend one of our free information sessions to hear from a program representative and ask your questions in person. Register here to attend.

Last Updated May 31, 2018