August 20, 2018

American Translators Association President Speaks about the Need for More Translation and Interpreting Offerings in Education

ALEXANDRIA, VA — American Translators Association President Caitilin Walsh recently addressed academics at the Modern Language Association’s recent annual conference in Vancouver about the growing need for increased translation and interpreting offerings in education.

During the session, “Translation and Interpreting: Flexible Career Paths in Vulnerable Times,״ Walsh pointed out that based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions; there will be a 46 percent growth in the translation and interpreting industry from 2012-2022. She then made the case for increasing translation and interpreting exposure in education because of this significant and growing demand in the industry.

“Universities and colleges need to step up their game in terms of offering not just the traditional (literary) translation and interpreting courses, but they also need to increase the availability of undergraduate and graduate degrees, along with certificates and workshops,” Walsh said. She went on to stress that schools would best serve their students with more offerings because of growing requirements including the need for translators and interpreters to have degrees, especially for ISO- certified projects.

Walsh gave her presentation at a round table that also featured ATA member Bill Rivers of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies and Frank Christianson, the new associate dean of the Brigham Young University College of Humanities. Rivers spoke about how few students reach high levels of linguistic ability and specialized education, noting that these routes need more attention. Christianson described his university’s experience with a humanities program that prepares students for 21st century careers, including translation and interpreting.

Founded in 1959, the American Translators Association’s primary goals include fostering and supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters and promoting the translation and interpreting professions. ATA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has nearly 11,000 members in over 95 countries. For more information on ATA, please visit