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New master's program at Illinois will train translators and interpreters

Elizabeth Lowe
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L. Brian Stauffer

Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.'s Center for Translation Studies, says the program will offer a new master's program for translators and interpreters.

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4/29/2013 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568; rhodes8@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The demand for translators and interpreters is projected to increase by at least 20 percent by the year 2020, and a new program at the University of Illinois will offer a master’s degree to equip graduates to fill those jobs. Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.’s Center for Translation Studies, says the program offers both on-campus and online options, and is accepting applications now for courses that will begin in the fall.

“We anticipate a national and international audience for the online program,” Lowe said.

The growing demand for translators (who convert text) and interpreters (who convert oral communication) is due in part to laws requiring all agencies that receive federal funding to make their services accessible to non-English speakers. But nongovernmental agencies, security firms and the health care, software and publishing industries are also experiencing an increased need for translators and interpreters. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that career opportunities in this field would grow by about 20 percent between 2010 and 2020; the Illinois Department of Employment Security projects an increase of 37 percent during the same period.

The Center for Translation Studies, one of five comprehensive programs in the U.S., provides instruction in 37 languages, Lowe said.

“We’re excited about this new graduate degree,” she said. “What’s unique is its location at the U. of I., which is a comprehensive research university with an incredible depth of resources. Our library is one of the best in the world, and we have a robust library resource site where people in the online program can do their research.”

The online and on-campus courses will have the same timelines and requirements, except on-campus students will take two courses concurrently for 16 weeks, while online students will have the option of taking two consecutive eight-week courses, because, Lowe said, research has shown that online students are more satisfied if they can focus on one course at a time while balancing other responsibilities.

For more about the application process, visit www.translation.illinois.edu.

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