MCIS has developed a unique language independent training program for translators in languages of lesser diffusion with funding from the
Ontario Trillium Foundation.
There is a shortage of translators in languages of lesser diffusion
that is affecting access to critical information and services for limited/non-English speaking persons in key areas such as health care, emergency services, legal access, education, social services and many more.
The program aims to offer equal access to translation training,
in order to help reduce the shortage of trained translators.
MCIS’ Translator Training Program provides linguistically diverse Ontarians build the skills and knowledge to become community translators,
as it focuses on topics present in Community Translation.
The training program is composed of 40 modules with one Mid-Training Assessment and a Post-Training assessment. There are two sections of in-class sessions: Daytime (10 weeks) and After hours (11 weeks). The curriculum covers an introduction to translation, the industry best practices, as well as comprehension of the source text, research and terminology, translation strategies, and building & managing a translation business. Since the main focus of the program is Community Translation, it has a core section that covers translation of official documents and public outreach documents. Seeing as the area of Community Translation often overlaps specialized translation fields, the curriculum also includes an introduction to: legal translation, medical translation, technology and translation, and audiovisual translation. Since the focus of the program is on Community Translation, it does not lead to professional certification by professional associations such as ATIO.
These are the dates for the upcoming sessions:
- Daytime: September 26 to November 30, 2017
Every Tuesday and Thursday (2 full days a week) from 9:30am-12:30pm / 1:30pm-4:30pm
Afterhours: September 19 to November 30, 2017
Every Tuesday, Thursdays & Saturdays (3 times a week)
Tuesday and Thursday is 6-9pm
Saturday is a full day from 9:30am-12:30pm/1:30pm-4:30pm
Winter 2018 – Schedule will be posted in the Fall of 2017.
Cost: FREE for the first 500 trainees in the first two years*
*Candidates shall pay a deposit when enrolling for the training which shall be reimbursed upon completion of the training program.
Location: Training Room (Basement level) – 789 Don Mills Road, North York, ON M3C 1T5
Contact the translator training team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Proficiency in at least two languages is essential, but simply being bilingual does not make you a translator. Here are some key qualities and competencies of good translators:
Professionalism: Responsive and Prompt
A good translator will provide a quote at the beginning of an assignment and will agree on a deadline with the project coordinator. It is the responsibility of the translator to only accept translations that are within their area of expertise.
A good translator does not miss their deadline! They are responsible for managing their time efficiently and allowing extra time for unexpected difficulties.
However, when unexpected situations occur and a good translator realizes that they will not be able to complete an assignment they let the project coordinator know IMMEDIATELY. Good translators also ensure that they back up their work, as computer crashes are not an acceptable reason for missing your deadline.
Translators are freelance workers who generally work alone without supervision. This means that the translator should be self-motivated to complete their work on time, and should also possess time management skills to ensure their work load is manageable.
Translators are encouraged to touch base with the Project Coordinator for questions and clarification but being able to work independently is a key attribute for translators.
Technical & Cultural Competence
A translator should be familiar with the cultural nuances of the languages he/she is translating into/from. Translators act as cultural mediators and need to ensure the target text is appropriate for the end-users.
A translator should be proficient in typing into their target language using the appropriate keyboard and font. Many translators work with a computer-aided translation tool, or CAT tool in order to increase the quality of their work and to be more productive. Even when not using a CAT tool, being familiar with technology is crucial for translators; all translators have to know how computers and different software programs work and be able to learn to use new tools easily.
Translators must have the readiness and ability to research. Often times a client will provide reference material and preferred terminology, but additional research is regularly required in order to produce a high quality translation.
Attention to Detail
Good translators should ensure that they follow the instructions set out by the client and/or project coordinator. They also use the reference materials and preferred terminology indicated to complete the assignment. Good translators must also double check their work and aim for 100% accuracy, by staying as close as possible to the source text and confirming name spellings and dates with the Project Coordinator.
- An excellent command of the English language (both writing and reading skills)*
- Good writing skills in working languages **
- Computer literacy (ability to type in English and the other working language(s))
- A working laptop with MS Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader to bring and use in the class (Chromebooks or tablets may not be used)
- Research skills (needed for modules on terminology, reference material and stylistic guides)
- Cultural competence (both cultures of translation)
- Post-secondary degree/certificate
* Proofs of proficiency for all languages are required. Proof of proficiency can include:
- University or College degree or certificate completed in the target or source language (course work should be completed in that language);
- Internationally recognized proficiency tests (such as IELTS, TOEFL etc.) with a passing grade;
- Proficiency test administered by MCIS Language Solutions.
** Short writing samples in all working languages are required. If the candidate is a translator, then a translation sample will also be accepted. Portfolios and publications may also be submitted.
If you are interested please, complete the Application Form to pre-register. Candidates may contact MCIS for assessment of equivalent experience and proficiency tests at
Once participants have completed the training, they may consider obtaining certification, become members to professional organizations, or may wish to pursue higher education. Below is a list of some organizations that participants could join, and some information on available programs in Ontario.
Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC)
CTTIC is the national body representing professional translators, interpreters and terminologists. The organization has seven provincial member associations (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). Translators can apply to be members of the provincial associations. Members can apply for certification through the provincial associations. See more information about CTTIC here.
Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agrées du Québec (OTTIAQ)
The Order is the provincial body that represents professional translators, terminologists and interpreters in Quebec. See more information about OTTIAQ here.
American Translators Association (ATA)
The ATA is the body representing and providing professional development to translators and interpreters in the United States. Persons from other countries are also eligible for membership and certification. ATA offers a certification exam for translators. See more about ATA’s membership and certification here.
Glendon College, York University – Master in Translation Studies
York University’s Glendon College offers a 2 years Master’s program in Translation Studies. The program does not provide professional training, but rather focuses on providing an opportunity for students and professional translators to reflect on their practice and become familiar with the growing academic field of translation studies.
University of Ottawa – Master in Translation Studies
The University of Ottawa offers a Master’s program in Translation studies. The program is intended to develop research capabilities in various fields of translation, as well as to provide advanced training in terminology, computerized translation and translation teaching.
University of Ottawa – Doctoral Program in Translation Studies
The University of Ottawa also offers a Doctoral program in Translation studies, whose purpose is to produce qualified scholars in the field for academic teaching and research. The program focuses on: theories, history and pedagogy of translation, as well as lexicology, terminology and technologies applied to translation.
University of Strasbourg - Master in Technical Communication and Localization (TCLoc)
The Master’s program is a distance-learning, career-oriented, part-time, year-long online program, taught entirely in English, specially designed for professionals wishing to further their education. Graduates obtain a master’s degree from the University of Strasbourg and a professional Technical Communicator tekom certification.
Over a period of 12 months, TCLoc students participate in a series of online seminars divided into 9 Teaching Units (TUs). A number of optional real-time video conferences with instructors will allow students to share any questions or concerns they may have about their courses.
Translation Project Management
This course in translation project management is designed to provide students with the basic skills and tools to coordinate translation projects from the initial quotation and pre-translation planning stage to the invoicing and feedback stage. It is an intensive course created to provide an introduction to managing small scale, large scale and multilingual translation projects.
This course is designed for individuals who have experience in professional translation, either as freelance translators or as other participants involved in translation projects. To take part in the course individuals must have a general knowledge of the translation industry and the translation process.
See more information about the Translation Project Management course here.
Subtitling Techniques and Practice
This course teaches students about important concepts and technical aspects related to subtitling, its industry, audio and visual components, concision strategies, writing style, line breaks, synchronization, methodologies and international standards for DVD/Blu-ray, TV and digital movie file subtitling. Students complete a variety of subtitling exercises with video samples of different genres and difficulty levels using MS Word and Subtitle Workshop v. 6 (free subtitling software).
In short, the course will offer students a series of activities and strategies to develop the basic technical abilities needed for providing professional subtitling services, which the students can subsequently apply to their working languages.
See more information about the Subtitling course here.
“Thank you very much for your great effort to put together a very high quality program!”
“I will pursue Certification in the future once I had more practice in this field. I really like this course a lot and would encourage my family, friends and colleagues to take it too.”
“Excellently prepared class notes and power point slides, in addition, I find each and every facilitator knowledgeable with varying degrees of humor. The delivery was equally impressive to allow students remain focused and attentive. This is quite an accomplishment.”
“Thanks to MCIS and the wonderful facilitators in general who guided us unreservedly.”
“This training presented an amazing opportunity to launch my career in translation! Thank you, MCIS!”
“Thank you to all instructors. You did a great job. I appreciate your time, effort and patience. Without doubt, I learnt a lot of things in this course and all the tools you have provided me will be very useful in my career as translator.”
“Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. True to [the] MCIS [vision]. The whole team was professional, competent and diligent. It was probably [a challenge] to design the course, so kudos to all of you!”
“MCIS has done it again and provided an excellent and wonderful learning experience. Thanks to all our wonderful facilitators and friendly group.”
“Thank you very much for the hard work and dedication to this project. I greatly enjoyed this training. It has a good combination of theoretical teaching and hands-on practice. I would recommend this training to any person wishing to become a professional translator!”
“Special thanks to all [the] facilitators. They are very knowledgeable and professional. Excellent program!”
What are the training hours, dates and costs?
For training dates and times, please check our Format of Training section.
The training will be free for the first 500 trainees during the first 2 years. However, students accepted into the program must pay a deposit fee which shall be reimbursed to the student upon successful completion of the program.
What is required to complete the training?
For classroom training, the student must attend all classes and complete all required online quizzes, homework, and activities. Students must receive an overall passing grade of 70%.
Will I work with your company after completing training?
You will not be included automatically in the MCIS company roster as a translator upon completion of training and testing. All students that wish to work with MCIS, shall apply online at: http://www.mcislanguages.com/careers/freelancer/
Will I be able to work elsewhere with your training?
Many organizations require translators to have experience in the translation field combined with a certificate in the field. This program will confirm that you have completed a translation program.
Do you train me in my language(s)?
The training will be carried out in English. However, you will have plenty of exercises where you will practice translating into your language.
I’m already bilingual. Why do I need training as a translator?
Speaking two languages does not make a person a translator. Translation is a highly skilled profession, that requires a complex set of skills and competencies, and following industry best practices. Students that undergo our training will be instructed in a Translation Code of Ethics, as well as the Canadian Standards for Translation Services (CAN/GSB-131.10-2008) and the International Standards for Translation Services (ISO 17100:2015). Students will develop skills to accurately and faithfully transfer meaning from a document in one language to a document in a second language. They will also learn about the use of technology that increases productivity and the quality of a translator’s work, and many more.
Is this certificate recognized by Ontario Government departments?
If you are looking to work with agencies or organizations for translation, they look for experience in the translation field and/or a certificate or degree in translation. You will receive a certificate of completion that will prove you have completed the program. At this time we cannot guarantee that other organizations will recognize this training or, if recognized, to what extent.
What are the languages in high demand that you are looking for?
The great thing about working in Ontario is that it is so multicultural and the trends in language needs can shift quickly. Therefore, we are looking for several language combinations including, but not limited to: French, Punjabi, Tamil, Hindi, Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto, Turkish, Amharic, Tigrigna, Lao, Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese, Korean, Somali, Chinese and many more!
I have already taken many courses in interpretation and I am accredited (e.g. MAG, IRB, ILSAT, CILISAT), how will this program benefit me?
The program is for participants who have the language skills to become translators (written documents). It is very different than having IRB or MAG accreditation since those are specifically for oral interpretation. If you feel that you want to become a translator and work on translating documents, this is the program for you!
What kind of level will this training attain?
Our training is different from others available at universities. It is one of a kind that focuses on Community Translation. Students will receive certificates of completion upon successful completion of the program. This program does not lead to professional certification.
What do you mean by language independent?
All of the translation training programs available in Ontario and in Canada are language specific. This means that if you do not have a certain language combination, like French-English or Spanish-English, for example, you will not be able to be in a program to learn practical translation skills since the exercises, activities and evaluations are all conducted in those specific language combinations. This means that many people who would like to become translators in Ontario have no opportunity for training, if they do not work in the top few languages. Following in the steps of our Interpreter Training program, we are creating a program that will give students solid skills to apply translation strategies and industry best practices and solve common translation issues to their particular language combinations. This gives an opportunity to speakers of all languages to become competent professional translators. With a large roster of experienced translators, we have the capability of evaluating the languages of our students.
Who will be facilitating the courses?
Classes will be facilitated by professional translators with certification, professionals who hold Master’s or Doctoral degrees in Translation and who have experience in the translation field.
What happens if I don’t get placed in one of the first sessions?
The in-class pilot sessions can only accommodate 20 students per session. Candidates who have registered through the online form have been placed on our list. However, only a limited number of candidates will be contacted to submit supporting documents per session, as we will go through the pre-registration list.
Why are students required to pay a deposit fee? Will the deposit fee be returned to me?
MCIS is offering the Translator Training program with funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The training program is free of charge provided the student completes the entire training, including attending all required sessions and completing all required tasks, homework assignments and assessment activities.
In order to enroll in the program, at the time of signing the Training Agreement, the student is required to provide MCIS with assurance that they will complete the entire program or pay an administrative fee. In order to provide this assurance, the students may either provide a cheque in the amount of CAD 150.00 payable to Multilingual Community Interpreter Services OR provide MCIS with their credit card information. The cheque and credit card information will be kept on file and will not be cashed or used and will be returned to the student upon their completion of the program. If students withdraw from the program after the 2 day limit, MCIS reserves the right to deposit the cheque or charge the credit card to cover the administrative costs.
Can my ILSAT be accepted as a proof of proficiency?
Candidates may submit their ILSAT certificates if it is their only proof of proficiency. In addition, the candidate will be contacted to undergo MCIS’ proficiency test.