Where can you complete a translator or interpreter training course?


Generally you study translation and interpreting after grammar school at the University of Geneva, Zurich University of Applied Sciences or at another recognised school. Other possible avenues leading to a career as a translator or interpreter include completed professional training or university education such as language study, provided that you have a sound knowledge of your native language and of foreign languages.


Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI) University of Geneva

At the FTI it is possible to complete a Bachelor's degree in "Multilingual communication" and a Master's degree in "Translation" or in "Conference Interpreting". You can take a doctoral degree in the fields of "Translation Studies", "Multilingual Information Processing", "Conference Interpreting" or "Multilingual Communication Management".

Official languages in the courses offered are German, English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian and Russian. Further languages may be offered at times. The teaching language is French. Further information can be found here.

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) Winterthur

At the ZHAW, the Bachelor's course "Translation" is offered with the specialisations "Multilingual Communication", "Technical Communication" or "Multimodal Communication". As a Master's course "Applied Linguistics" is possible and leads to degrees in "Conference Interpreting", "Professional Translation" or "Organisational Communication". The languages offered in addition to German as the teaching language are French, Italian, Spanish, English, and if applicable, additional languages for which there is a need in the European market. The combination options depend on the chosen training course. Further information can be found here.



Schule für Angewandte Linguistik (SAL) (school of applied linguistics) in Zurich

The SAL offers a part-time, three-year translation studies programme in the following languages: German, French, English, Italian and Spanish. Graduates are given the title of “Dipl. Übersetzer/in SAL” (qualified translator). A postgraduate Master’s programme can then be completed at the Institute of Communication & Leadership (ikf) in Lucerne. Further information can be found here.


HDS St. Gallen

The HDS St. Gallen offers graduates of higher education institutions and people with extensive translation experience the opportunity to complete a further education programme which will earn them the right to use the title of “dipl. Übersetzer/in HDS” (qualified translator). Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian. Further information can be found here.


In addition to translation and interpreting training courses, specialised training is possible at various institutes. For instance, training in literary translation is offered by the University of Lausanne. The Intercantonal University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education Zurich offers a course to become a sign language interpreter. You can also specialise in the fields of court interpreting or intercultural translation. Court interpreters work for administrative bodies, police bodies and, as the name states, for courts. Intercultural translators enable business partners of different linguistic, and above all, cultural origins to understand each other.