Make Your Language Work For You!

Translation has an impact on virtually every aspect of society, politics, and economics, but how much of what you know about translation is really true? You might be surprised to learn that translation is a highly diverse and complex market - and one that's bigger than you might think.

What is translation?

Translation is the transfer of a written message from one language to another. Some of the biggest misconceptions about translation are:

  • Any bilingual person can be a translator or interpreter - just as having two hands doesn’t make you a pianist, speaking two languages doesn’t automatically make you a translator
  • Translation is a small, niche market
  • The need for translation is declining in the modern world
  • Translators and interpreters do the same thing
  • Machine translation is destroying the need for human translation

As any professional translator can tell you, translation is a fascinating career choice, which allows you to be your own boss and work when it suits you, as long as you have a computer and internet access.

Who should attend?

Aspiring and professional translators.

Do you have what it takes to be a professional translator?

If you have knowledge of more than one language, are able to meet deadlines and work without supervision, and are perhaps a professional working in another field, or if you are already working as a translator these courses are an excellent way to refresh and update your skills.

What do I need to apply for the translation courses?

You need:

  • Good language skills in English
  • Good language proficiency in any of the official South African languages, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, Mandarin, Arabic, Shona or Swahili (other languages available on request)
  • Computer literacy (Word, internet, and email) and a reliable internet connection
  • A National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) or equivalent
  • To pass an aptitude test

Translation Methods
is an undergraduate course offered at NQF level 7 (third year) and the following entry requirements apply:

  • A National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) or equivalent
  • Basic computer literacy (Word, internet, and email)

Principles and Practice of Translation
is a postgraduate course and as such requires:

  • A Bachelor degree or equivalent (please supply copies of qualifications) and/or
  • Professional translation experience – experienced practitioners should submit a CV plus contactable references

Students must pass a translation aptitude test in order to gain admission to any of the two translation short courses. A Certificate of Competence will be awarded upon successful completion of the course.

Course structure

All of the translation courses run for eight weeks part-time. During the eight weeks, participants must attend eight days of face-to-face workshops, which follow one of the following formats:

  • Four x two-day workshops followed by the examination
  • Two x three-day workshops and one x two-day workshop followed by the examination

In addition to this, participants have access to an online learning platform, Edmodo, during the entire eight-week period. Edmodo is easy to use, allows students to work in their own time, and also helps to improve knowledge of the internet and email, which are important skills in the world of work.

Translation Courses

Translation Methods

In this course, offered at a third-year level (NQF level 7), the theory and practice of translation are refined. Text types range from the technical to the creative. Practical translation skills are reinforced by critical reflection on translation problems and the selection of appropriate strategies. The methodology component covers the translation profession, translation-oriented text analysis, translation problems/ strategies, and ethics and professional practice. Students who receive a Certificate of Competence may receive credit for the third year module, TRAN3006 at Wits University.

Principles and Practice of Translation

In this course, offered at Honours level (NQF level 8), the focus is on a comprehensive range of practical and theoretical skills that candidates will need to work as professional translators. During this course, students are provided, not only with translating and computer processing skills needed, but also with training in WordFast, a computer-assisted translation program that will increase your employability, and ensure you know how to run a translation business, from invoicing to project management. Texts for translation reflect the typical range of texts encountered by a professional freelance translator and may include journalism, media/advertising, health/medical and general technical texts.

Students who receive a Certificate of Competence may receive credit for one module in Honours in the Field of Translation (which consists of five modules in total).

Course dates are available upon request.

Course fee

  • Translation Methods: R8,200
  • Principles and Practice of Translation: R11,000
Program taught in:
  • English
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Last updated November 23, 2018
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Feb 2020
8 weeks
8,200 ZAR
Translation Methods course fee: R8,200. Principles and Practice of Translation course fee: R11,000
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