Summer Translation Program

2015 Program: Arabic-English

July 20 through Aug. 14, 2015

The Summer Translation Program, hosted by the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, offers a unique opportunity for language learners and professionals to improve their translation skills while working on their language proficiency.

In order to translate accurately and efficiently, it is necessary to develop special skills above and beyond the skills you have already developed in your language studies. Come join us at WMU in Kalamazoo for a four-week intensive summer program that will teach you about the practice and business of translation.

Program benefits

Most language programs focus on developing students’ ability to interact with native speakers smoothly and fluently in the target language. The emphasis on producing automatic, natural responses means that most language programs tend to engage students in activities that happen solely in the target language, and thus translation is kept to a minimum.

While such techniques are crucial in developing automaticity and fluency, it is also helpful for students interested in translation to think about the correspondences (and sometimes, the lack of correspondences) between English and their other language. Translation involves going smoothly back and forth between languages—a skill that is rarely emphasized in the language classroom. The Summer Translation Program offers students an unusual opportunity to begin developing these skills with published professors specializing in the field of translation.

Program goals

The Summer Translation Program will:

  • Give you practical skills and basic knowledge necessary to the career of translation.
  • Help prepare a future generation of translators specializing in practical and literary translation.
  • Provide participants with intensive training on translating to and from the particular language of their specialty. This year's participants will work between Arabic and English.
  • Raise awareness of the theoretical and practical problems of translation, especially in regards to linguistic and cultural issues. This year, one of the courses will focus on communication between Arabic and American cultures.


Contact Dr. Cynthia Running-Johnson, director.