Public invited to apply to four-week translation program

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Japanese newspaper.

Translation programs in Arabic, Japanese or Spanish

KALAMAZOO—Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis for Western Michigan University's Summer Translation Program.

The four-week program is for those learning Arabic, Japanese or Spanish who want to improve their translation skills while working on their language proficiency. Spanish is a new offering this year.

Enrollment is open to all college students; high school teachers; government officials and other professionals who rely on translation or foreign languages as part of their careers; and native speakers who want experience translating to English. International students are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Organized by WMU's Department of World Languages and Literatures, the program will take place on the University's main campus in Kalamazoo and run from Monday, July 1, through Thursday, July 25—the first four weeks of WMU's second summer session. Tuition ranges from $2,200 to $2,800 and includes access to library, fitness, recreation and other WMU services.

The Summer Translation Program consists of two courses: Translation Practicum, a three-credit-hour class that meets four days a week, and Theory and Business of Translation, a two-credit-hour class that meets two days a week. The courses will run concurrently and be supplemented by presentations from distinguished guest speakers.

"Translation is a critically important skill for the current global economy, but relatively few people, even in established language programs, stop to think about how to develop that skill," says Dr. Jeffrey Angles, director of WMU's Soga Japan Center.

Angles, who teaches the Japanese translation component of the Summer Translation Program, notes that the program combines theory, business and practice.

"Most modern language programs typically train students to function fluently within the target language. That makes a lot of sense since they are trying to get students to function as best they can within a culture," he says. "But translation—the moving back and forth between two languages and cultures—is a skill not typically developed in the classroom. Our Summer Translation Program helps students understand the process of trans-lingual, intercultural communication; helps them develop this skill; and shows them how to use it in their careers."

WMU has a growing cadre of translation experts with a national and international reputation.  For instance, Angles has earned several national prizes and grants for his translations of Japanese literary works.

The Summer Translation Program's other three other instructors this year.

Dr. Mustafa Mughazy, WMU associate professor of world languages and literatures, teaches the Arabic translation component of the program. An expert in Arabic and linguistics, he edits Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XX and is the author of "Dardasha: Introduction to Egyptian Arabic."

Dr. Mikela Zhezha-Thaumanavar, who recently received her doctoral degree in Spanish linguistics from WMU, is a guest professor and teaches the program's Spanish component. She has worked in translation and speaks Albanian and Italian in addition to English and Spanish.

Dr. Vincent Desroches, WMU associate professor of world languages and literatures, teaches the business and theory of translation course. He is an expert in French, Quebec studies, and francophone cultures and literatures of Africa and the Caribbean.

For more information about the Summer Translation Program and an online registration form, visit Direct questions to the Department of World Languages and Literatures at or (269) 387-6243.