Introduction to Translation and Interpretation

Instructor: Dr. Natalia Romanova

Who Is This Course For?

This introductory course is for bilingual individuals who aspire to turn their language skills into a rewarding career. Having two languages does not make one a translator or interpreter any more than, as someone aptly put it, having two hands makes you a pianist. In each case success requires knowledge, study, and practice. This course provides an insider’s look at what being a translator and interpreter is like and explores the skills required for professional success.

This is the first in a series of Profiency1 courses for translators and interpreters. We’ll have more advanced offerings and specialized language-specific courses available soon.

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Students and New Professionals

This course will give you a head start on understanding fundamental concepts, principles, and techniques of translation and interpretation to prepare you for pursuing translation and interpreting as a career.

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If you’re a supervisor, your success largely depends on understanding what your employees—translators and interpreters—do and how you can guide and support them to do their jobs well.

What You’ll Get


Nearly Three Hours of Video Content

It includes 1.5 hours of video lectures and several hours of learning activities, practice tasks, and short quizzes for each of its three lessons.  It’s all self-paced, so take the course wherever, whenever, and as often as you like.


Course Transcript

Every lesson has a complete transcript so you can quickly and easily find key information when you need it.


The learning activities and tasks are downloadable and include a list of suggested online readings and videos on related topics.

What You’ll Learn

By the end of the course you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize and use common terms in the field of translation and interpretation
  •  Understand and explain the differences between translating and interpreting and among different types of translation and interpretation
  • Identify the critical skills translators and interpreters need
  • Articulate and debunk common myths and misconceptions about the profession
  •  Assess your own skills against the requirements of translator and interpreter positions
  • Define and discuss the role translators and interpreters play in society

Course Content

Lesson 1

  • Welcome Video
  • What is Translation?
  • Defining Translation and Interpretation
  • What Do Translators and Interpreters Do?
  • Learning Activities, Practice Tasks, Quizes

Lesson 2

  • Welcome Video
  • Qualities of Professional Translators and Interpretors
  • Linguistic Ability
  • Other Qualities
  • Unique Skills and Abilities of Translators and Interpreters
  • More About the Job of Translators and Interpreters
  • Learning Activites, Practices Tasks, Quizes

Lesson 3

  • Welcome Video
  • Common Misconseptions About Translation and Interpreting
  • About Machine Translation
  • International Translation Day
  • Learning Activites, Practices Tasks, Quizes
  • Course Evaluation
Chris Savos

Your Instructor: Dr. Natalia Romanova

Dr. Natalia Romanova has over 20 years of experience in the field of second language acquisition, education, and translation.  She holds a BA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and an MA in Translation from the Moscow Linguistic University (former M. Thorez State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages), and an MA and a PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Natalia works as Program Manager overseeing several federal foreign language training programs at JTG, inc. She is concurrently Adjunct Professor of English for Academic Purposes at the George Washington University helping international graduate students understand the process, features, and conventions of research writing. Natalia is a recipient of several awards for excellence in teaching and is a member of the GW’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. 

Natalia has worked as a free-lance translator/Interpreter for over 25 years. Her experience includes

  • Translation of (and review of translations of) literary texts
  • translation of technical, marketing, and legal documents
  • interpreting at business meetings and negotiations, international trade shows, and film festivals.

She is a member of DC-ALT, a network for literary translators in the Washington, D.C., area, and a frequent participant and presenter at translation conferences and meetings.

Natalia speaks Russian (native), English (near-native), French (intermediate), and Czech (novice-high). She studied Latin in college (elementary reading proficiency) and is learning Biblical Hebrew (elementary reading proficiency). You can learn more about Natalia by visiting her website:

Learn the fundamentals of translation and intepretation


30 Days Money Back Guarantee

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

We want this decision to be 100% risk-free so you can focus on learning. If you decide the course didn’t deliver on its promise for any reason, just let us know and we’ll refund your full payment, no questions asked.

Get reimbursed by your employer

Need help getting reimbursed by your employer? Click here to download a proposal template.

Most large organizations, and many smaller ones, will reimburse tuition for professional development.

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