Part-timeLegal Interpretation and Translation Certificate (Mandarin Chinese/English)

Frequently asked questions about this program

Admission and application process

Q: Do I need a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certficate?

A: No. We'll use our own screening tests to assess your cultural understanding, language proficiency and translation skills.

Q: Can I study/prepare for the screening tests?

A: No. Our assessment tests are designed to let you spontaneously demonstrate your abilities. No study techniques would help you prepare for the tests.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: For the current application deadline, please visit our Program details page. Since space is limited, we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Q: I don’t have a university degree. Should I apply?

A: We also consider other forms of post-secondary education from recognized universities and colleges. In some cases, we'll also consider an equivalent combination of educational and practical experience. If you are unsure about your qualifications, please contact us before applying.

Q: How soon will I receive an admission decision?

A: We typically make admissions decisions within four to six weeks of receiving application materials and completed screening tests.

Q: Can I transfer credits earned from this certificate to undergraduate or graduate studies?

All courses and programs offered through SFU Continuing Studies are non-credit—they do not carry university credits. The work doesn't transfer toward other university degrees, and most institutions, including SFU, would not accept the course work completed as transfer credits towards undergraduate or graduate programs.

Program-related questions

Q: Who is the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate for?

A: This certificate program is ideal for the following:
  • Professional interpreters and translators who would like to pursue certification
  • Anyone considering a career in professional interpretation and translation
  • Individuals interested in becoming certified court interpreters
  • People with a high level of bilingual fluency developed through formal education or interpretation-related work experience in legal settings

Q: Can I take individual courses?

A: No. Our legal interpretation and translation courses are available only to students who take the full Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate.

Q: How many students will be in my classes?

The student/instructor ratio is 20 to 1.

Q: Are there any textbooks required for the program?

A: There are no required textbooks. Our instructors custom-design course materials for this program based on their front-line experience in legal/court interpretation and translation and in creating court-interpreter-certification exams.

Q: Do you have a co-op program? Do you provide job-search assistance?

During the program, instructors will provide guidance and feedback and you'll gain first-hand knowledge of agencies and organizations that require professional services from legal interpreters and translators. We also invite our students to join our LinkedIn group and Facebook, where we share job opportunities, industry news and more.

Job demand and job market

Q: What kind of work can I get after I finish the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate?

A: Our graduates may work in various settings: law firms, businesses, government agencies, international organizations and specialized translation and interpretation agencies.

Sometimes, legal translators are self-employed and work for a variety of clients on assignments. They generally work by themselves from home or in their own offices. Court interpreters work mostly in court or in law firms. They may also find themselves accompanying law professionals to meetings and negotiation sessions in other settings.

Keep in mind that it takes time to establish a professional interpretation or translation career.

Q: How do I become a certified interpreter/translator after I complete this program?

A: The Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC) governs the certification process. It is a non-profit professional association and an affiliate of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC), the umbrella organization for the provincial and territorial associations of translators across Canada. It is also a member of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). For information about becoming a certified legal/court interpreter/translator, please contact the STIBC directly.


Q: If I am accepted into your program, when do I have to pay my tuition?

A: When you are accepted into one of our programs, we will send you a letter of offer, which contains specific tuition payment details.

Q: What is your policy on program withdrawals and tuition refunds?

A: Tuition is non-refundable with an exception: In case of a cancellation by SFU Continuing Studies, you will receive a full refund.

Q: Is there a different fee structure for international students?

A: No. Both international students and permanent residents/Canadian citizens pay the same tuition of C$7,950 for the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate.

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