Classroom Lecture

Translation schools in Belgium

What training courses are there in Belgium for future translators? As you can imagine, this is not a profession that can be improvised – it requires solid foundations. In Belgium, translation schools are flourishing all over the country, training hundreds of professional translators every year.

In recent years, translation training in Belgium has become an academic subject taught in universities over five years (a bachelor’s degree in three years and a master’s in two). This is due to the Marcourt decree, which stipulates that all master’s courses in translation and interpreting should be university degrees. We have drawn up a list of the main Belgian universities teaching translation.

Translation schools in Brussels

  • Institut Libre Marie Haps – Faculty of Translation and Interpreting

The Institut Libre Marie Haps trains its future translators and interpreters in the heart of the European quarter. This institution’s reputation for excellence makes it a first choice for students wanting to enter the profession. The bachelor’s degree in translation and interpreting has recently been taken over by the Université Saint-Louis, though teaching still takes place at the Marie Haps building. The master’s, meanwhile, is offered at the Louvain-la-Neuve site at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL).

  • Institut supérieur de traducteurs et interprètes (ISTI) – Department of Translation and Interpreting

ISTI, part of the ULB (Université libre de Bruxelles) since 2015, offers a complete translation and interpreting curriculum in no fewer than 19 languages. As well as European languages, students can choose more exotic tongues such as Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.

  • Vertaalkunde – Erasmushogeschool Brussel (EhB)

This Flemish university, affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), also offers a course for Dutch-speaking students wanting to specialise in translation.

Translation schools in Flanders

  • Vakgroep Vertalen, Tolken en Communicatie – Universiteit Gent

Students can also opt for this prestigious university. The reputation of the University of Ghent is well-established, and it is considered the best university in Belgium by the Shanghai Ranking.

  • Centre for Translation Studies (CETRA) – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is another pillar of the Belgian university system. This Dutch-speaking Belgian university is one of the biggest in the country.

Translation schools in Wallonia

  • Translation and interpreting – Haute École de la ville de Liège and Université de Liège (ULg).

The Université de Liège offers a course awarded jointly with the Haute École de Liège. During the bachelor’s course in the first three years, students take classes at both institutions (ULg and HEL), before focusing on either translation or interpreting during their master’s at ULg in the Place du XX Août.

  • International Interpreters’ School (EII) – Université de Mons (UMons)

The Mons EII enjoys an excellent reputation in the worlds of translation and interpreting. Students graduating from this school have a solid qualification with which to launch into their working lives. An unusual feature of this university is that students are offered an introduction to a third foreign language, including Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hungarian, Swedish or Norwegian.

  • Louvain School of Translation and Interpreting – Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve.

The Université catholique de Louvain should not be confused with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The two institutions are entirely separate. Unlike KUL (listed above), UCL is in Wallonia and offers teaching in French. UCL has organised two new master’s courses in translation and interpreting since 2015. The bachelor’s takes place in Brussels at the Marie Haps building (ULB). Starting with the 2017-2018 course, the master’s will also cover Belgian French sign language.

As you can see, would-be translators and interpreters have no shortage of choice. Belgium has evolved in parallel with the translation market, encouraging more and more young language enthusiasts to pursue this career. Every year, many professional translators graduate from these universities and set off in conquest of the translation market in Belgium and abroad.

What do you think of these universities? Do you know of any others that should be added to our list? We are interested in your opinion! You can also take a look at our full list of university translation courses worldwide.

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