Summer Translation Program Courses

Students in the Summer Translation Program in the Department of World Languages and Literatures will take the following two classes and will be considered full-time students at Western Michigan University for the duration of the program. The classes will meet a total of 17 contact hours per week with approximately 15 to 20 students in each class.

  • ARAB 5030: Practicum in Translation, Arabic-English (three credit hours). This class is designed to give you hands-on experience with translation between Arabic and English. Classroom exercises and discussion will focus on the particular challenges of translating each language. This section will meet for three hours per day (MTWR) for four weeks (48 contact hours).
  • LANG 5800: Intercultural Communication: Arabic-American (two credit hours). In this course on US-Arabic intercultural communication, the students will compare social practices between the US and various Arabic cultures. They will also study Arabic-American life in Michigan, touring key locations in Dearborn: the Arab American National Museum and local schools, bookstores and markets. Students will be able to see how the Arab and American cultures have influenced each other in the city’s businesses, government, arts, and education, and the role that translation plays in this dynamic.

In the translation practicum, students focus on specific linguistic issues in translating between Arabic and English. In the other course, students talk about related issues of communication between Arabic and American cultures. The courses are designed to be mutually reinforcing.

The two courses have been designed as a set and cannot be taken alone.

In addition to the two courses described above, the Summer Translation Program hosts events for the enrollees.

Transfer credits

WMU is a fully accredited research institution, so you should be able to transfer the credits from the two courses to your home institution. Please check with the registrar’s office of your home institution for details on how the credits would appear on your transcript.


Beginning in mid-spring semester, the books required for the classes will be listed on WMU course offerings. Choose the term "Summer II" and go to two courses:

  • The language of your choice, e.g., Arabic, and then Arabic (ARAB) 5030: Practicum in Translation, Arabic-English
  • World Languages and Literatures, then Language (LANG) 5800: Intercultural Communication: Arabic-American

Clicking on the course titles will lead you to the list of required books.

Online courses

The courses in the Summer Translation Program are not offered online at this time. The directors believe that it is best to learn about translation through direct, face-to-face discussions and practical workshops that involve all of the students. Face-to-face classes also allow you to practice your spoken language abilities.

Certificate of completion

The program provides a certificate for successful completion of the Summer Translation Program courses. If you are interested in gaining professional certification as a translator, we recommend that you consult the American Translators Association. The ATA has a system of tests that lead to professional certification, thus allowing translators and interpreters to vouch for their skills to potential clients.


Late enrollments

If there is still space available in the Summer Translation Program courses by the beginning of the semester, and the directors of the program give special approval for a last-minute request to join the course, a $100 late fee will be assessed per course for late enrollment (assuming you are not enrolled in any other WMU courses for that semester). The Office of the Registrar has further information regarding late enrollment (enrollment after the drop/add period has ended).

Drop/add policies

During the drop/add period for summer II, you may drop the courses for 100 percent refund of the tuition and the record of the class will not show on their transcript. You must notify the program director in order to drop instead of withdrawing from the courses on your own. The Summer Translation Program application fee of $50 is non-refundable.

After the drop/add period for summer II, you may no longer drop a course. You will have to withdraw to officially stop taking a course. A “withdraw” means you can stop coming to courses for the rest of the term. A “W” will appear on the transcript for each course withdrawn. A “W” does not affect grade point average. You must contact the program director in order to withdraw.

International students on F-1 and J-1 visas must consult with a WMU International Admissions and Services immigration advisor in advance in order to obtain authorization for early withdrawal from the program. If an international student withdraws from the class, it will likely affect their ability to stay in the country.

For more details about dropping and withdrawal dates and procedures, contact the program director.