Covid-19 update: This program was scheduled to start on April 14th, 2020, but was postponed. Once social distancing restrictions permit, the program is expected to be re-scheduled. 

Who is the program for?

MCIS has developed a unique language-independent training program with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Currently, the only formal translator education programs available in Canada are in French and Spanish. For other languages, training is only available overseas, or not at all for rare languages and dialects. As a result, there is a significant shortage of professionally trained translators in many languages spoken in Canada. This is affecting access to critical information and services for limited/non-English speaking persons in key areas such as health care, emergency services, legal access, education, social services and so on, in a country characterized by its diversity.

MCIS’ Translator Training Program aims to offer equal access to education, in order to help reduce the shortage of trained translators in the multitude of languages spoken in Canada. The program provides linguistically diverse Canadians with the means to develop skills and knowledge to become community translators, with focuses on topics present in Community Translation (legal, medical, social). The advanced portion of the training program seeks to bridge the gap between academic learning in university programs and real-world tools and technology being used in the industry today, and focuses in areas such as multimedia, literary, and creative translation.

This program is offered both in-class and online.


The training program is composed of 40 modules (3 hours per module), assignments throughout the course, and a Post-Training assessment. There are two sections of in-class sessions: Daytime (10 weeks) and After hours (11 weeks). The curriculum covers an introduction to translation, the industry best practices, as well as comprehension of the source text, research and terminology, translation strategies, and building & managing a translation business. Since the main focus of the program is Community Translation, it has a core section that covers translation of official documents and public outreach documents. Seeing as the area of Community Translation often overlaps specialized translation fields, the curriculum also includes an introduction to legal translation, medical translation, technology and translation, and audiovisual translation. Since the focus of the program is on Community Translation, it does not lead to professional certification by professional associations such as ATIO.

Please note that this is an intensive program that will require students to complete work on time.

Professional Development: Approved for 120 Professional Development Credits (PDUs) with the Ontario Council on Community Interpreting (OCCI)

Topics covered in the curriculum:

  • Fundamentals of translation
  • Developing translation competence
  • Community translation
  • Introduction to specialized translation
  • Building and managing a translation business

Applicants must have:

  • An excellent command of the English language (both writing and reading skills)*
  • Good writing skills in working languages
  • Computer literacy (ability to type in English and the other working language(s))**
  • A working laptop with MS Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader to bring and use in the class (Chromebooks or tablets may not be used)
  • Research skills (needed for modules on terminology, reference material and stylistic guides)
  • Cultural competence (both cultures of translation)
  • Post-secondary (university or college) degree/certificate

*This is mandatory as the course will be delivered in English.

** Students must already possess basic computer knowledge. This course is not intended to teach basic skills. If students do not possess this – MCIS may refer the student to skills development courses.