Frequently Asked Questions: Translation Certificates

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How do I apply to the program? Can you mail me an application or can I apply online?
Please fill the online application form. For further program information about the program, you can also attend an upcoming information session.
What are your admission requirements?
Applicants must fulfill the following requirements for admission into the program:

  • Fluency in 2 languages (Korean/English or Chinese/English). Interpretation components will take place in Korean or Chinese.
  • Advanced reading and writing proficiency in both languages
  • At least two years post-secondary education or relevant professional experience, and Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status or already in possession of a working or student or tourist visa valid for the duration of the program.
  • Pre-program language level tests will be completed through interviews and written tests administered by program instructors and staff.
I am an international student and not a Canadian citizen, can I apply to the program?
Yes, you can apply to the program. You do not have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada in order to apply.
I am worried about my English level. What does your language level test measure?
We require all applicants to take a language test because fluency and advanced reading and writing proficiency in both languages are needed for our rigorous certificate program. This requirement helps ensure that students are prepared to succeed. If your test results show that you do not meet our language requirements, we will provide suggestions regarding other language learning resources to help you bring your language proficiency up to the level required by this program.
How long is the language test?
The language test will take approximately 45 to 90 minutes.
What is a complete application package?
A complete application package must include:

  • a completed application form (online)
  • original transcript(s) from a Canadian college/university or foreign degrees, and a $500 non-refundable application fee (payable by check or online).
What are the employment opportunities in the field of translation and interpretation?
The UBC certificate program is a non-credit professional development program and does not guarantee employment. The topic of employment opportunities is included in the course content and discussed at the information sessions. Due to the size of the Korean or Chinese communities in English-speaking countries and increasing globalization, there have been a number of contract-based opportunities for translators and interpreters. International corporations, non-profit organizations and individual employers require both translators and interpreters.
What is the time commitment of the program?
The program is designed for part-time study and many students are able to work full-time and manage to complete their course work. On average each week, you are required to attend a two-hour evening class and the occasional full-day weekday or weekends, read materials and complete online and offline assignments taking approximately 9-12 hours.
Is this program available through distance education?
UBC Certificate for Translation and Interpretation program uses a blended-delivery method, combining in-class (face-to-face) instruction with online learning. You do need to participate in both in-class (offered at UBC Vancouver campus and UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver) and online portion in order to successfully complete the program.
I am interested in enrolling in select courses, but not the full program. Is this possible?
Yes, you can take individual courses.
Will the UBC certificate allow me to translate documents such as driver's license, transcripts, and diplomas issued by Korean or Chinese organizations?
You need to check with each organization to find out about their specific requirements as they vary widely. For example, an ICBC-approved translator must be certified by the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC). Vancouver School Board District Reception and Placement Centre requires a copy of original school documents along with translated copies: "All documents must be translated into English before registering. Translations must be certified by a professional translator."
How do I become a member of the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC)?
When you register for the UBC certificate program, our instructors will provide information on the requirements. There are 2 kinds of membership: Associate and Certified. Associate Members must be in good standing and have passed the Ethics Exam, and comply with the following:

  • Able to provide proof of four years full time experience in translation, according to the chart posted at the STIBC website
  • Hold a degree in the study of translation, linguistics, interpretation or language from a Canadian University, (or overseas that has been evaluated by the International Credential Evaluation Service), plus one year of full-time experience. However, in order to become a certified member, you need to take the necessary steps set by STIBC. Please refer to STIBC website for membership requirements. You may also contact STIBC directly at 604.684.2940.
What is the passing mark for this program?
Students must successfully complete all six required modules with a combined minimum average of 75% to be awarded a UBC Certificate in Translation and Interpretation for Business. The modules include the five courses identified in the curriculum, as well as the practicum. Students must achieve a mark of 75% for each component of the program or will be required to repeat that component. Students who are required to repeat components of the program will need to re-register and repeated components will be subject to regular fees.
Who are the instructors?
Certificate program instructors are university-educated with experience teaching languages. Instructors are also translators and interpreters with experience working in professional settings and are able to offer insight into the realities of working as a professional in this field.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The translation and interpretation courses are designed to be taken in sequence, while the intercultural communications course may be taken at any time during the program. The practicum is the final component of the certificate program after completion of all coursework. The Introduction to Translation and Interpretation course may be taken without applying to the certificate program and may be applied retroactively within two years. Students should normally be able to complete all requirements of the certificate program within two years.
What if I have to travel overseas for work and miss some classes?
In many cases, accommodations can be made with the Instructors to complete course work and assignments. If you are away for an extended period of time for our face-to-face classes, you may not meet the 75% passing mark as participation and attendance are important.
Once I complete the program does this mean I am a licensed translator?
No. The UBC Certificate in Translation and Interpretation program is recognized by the STIBC as part of their knowledge/experience criteria for membership. STIBC, not UBC, is the licensing body. For further membership details please view the STIBC website.
How many students are there?
The class size is small in order to allow more student-instructor interactions. It ranges from 10 to 25.
I'm a UBC employee. How can I access UBC Extended Learning courses?
Most UBC employee groups are eligible for tuition fee waivers that reimburse or offset the cost of most UBC Extended Learning courses. Please note that the administration fee is not covered by tuition waivers. Find out more on the UBC HR website.
Where do I get parking or transit information?
For information regarding parking or transit directions for both the UBC Vancouver campus and UBC Robson Square, click here.
As a Extended Learning student am I eligible for a U-Pass (bus pass)?
UBC Extended Learning students are not eligible for the U-Pass. The U-Pass is provided to credit students who pay student union and other fees associated with the university.