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T&I Education and Training in China 2007-2008

Education and training on translation and interpretation witnessed notable developments between 2007 and 2008.

Three pilot universities, namely, Fudan University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and Hebei Normal University, were approved to launch undergraduate degree programs on translation and interpretation in 2006, marking the recognition of translation and interpretation as an independent discipline. In 2007, four more universities followed suit, and in 2008 six more were added to the list. These universities are: Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai International Studies University, Xi’an International Studies University, Zhejiang Normal University, Beijing Language and Culture University, University of International Business and Economics, East China Normal University, Shangdong University, Beijing International Studies University and Sichuan International Studies University.

In 2008, Beijing Foreign Studies University launched T&I degree programs under the discipline of foreign languages and literature with the approval of the Ministry of Education. It was China’s third institution of higher learning to have its own programs of master’s and doctor’s degrees in translation and interpretation after Shanghai Foreign Studies University (2004) and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (2006). Six students graduated from Shanghai International Studies University with doctors' degree on translation studies, the first batch of doctoral degree programs conferred under the subject title of “translation studies” in China.

Another milestone came in May 2007, when the Academic Degree Committee of the State Council decided to establish the Master of Translation and Interpreting (MTI) program. The MTI program aims to train high-caliber and professionally competent translators and interpreters who master translation and/or interpretation skills and a wide range of knowledge and who are capable of handling tasks of different subject fields. In 2007, 15 institutions of higher learning were approved to experiment with MTI training. These Universities are: Peking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Fudan Unversity, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Hunan Normal University, The PLA University of Foreign Languages, Nanjing University, Nankai University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai International Studies University, Tongji University, Xiamen University, Southwest University, Central South University and Sun Yat-sen University.

The MTI program marks a new start in professional education for translators and interpreters. It fills in a gap in high-level professional education in translation and interpretation. With this new program, translation and interpretation training in China has formed a comprehensive system which includes the bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees and features both academic and professional degrees. So far as the personnel training mechanism is concerned, the platform for nurturing both academically and professionally competent translators and interpreters has been preliminarily formed.

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