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  BA (Hons) in Translation

Translation - Open up a Whole New World!

Translation – it’s about languages, about cultures, and about how you can bridge the gap between them.  It’s about exploring and explaining ideas, about finding the right words at the right time, and about being there when a business deal’s on the line and you’re the only person who can tell both sides what they’re saying to each other.

Translation is great too because you can apply it to any area you’re interested in. If you’re into movies, then why not go into film subtitling? If you like reading novels, then try literary translation. And computer games? Then go for “software localization” – translating and adapting software for the local market. Almost any area you can think of needs translation. Quite simply, without it – and its oral form, interpreting – this world couldn’t function as it does.

Take a look around you – translation is everywhere. And it’s not always good! For example, how about this road sign from Hainan Island? Something is clearly wrong with the translation!

The BU Translation Programme

On the BU Translation Programme, we’ll teach you how to produce good translations that are effective and professional. But we’ll also teach you about how and why translation phenomena arise – how and why cultures perceive things differently, and how you can negotiate those differences.

So what do you get if you join us at BU Translation? In our core courses, we offer training in written translation and oral interpretation, with plenty of practice and a lot of individual feedback on your work, so that you’re always improving your skills – throughout the programme. We’ll offer you plenty of training in advanced English usage too, as well as a series of electives that address more specific interests – like translation for science and technology,  media translation, and drama translation, just to name a few. And of course, it’s not just practice. You’ll also get a training in the more theoretical aspects of translation and intercultural studies – such as the history of translation, the philosophical issues that underlie translation, and the issue of gender in translation.

At BU Translation, we also place strong emphasis on linking your studies to professional practice. We encourage our students to undertake commissioned jobs and we build such jobs into our practice-based courses. We have a longstanding and extensive network of employer contacts from the translation and interpreting industries, built up over more than twenty years, so we’re also ideally placed to help you explore internship options.

During your degree, you’ll also have opportunities for student exchange overseas. We have an extensive network of universities abroad for you to choose from – be it the UK, US, or somewhere you hadn’t thought of, like Norway or even Estonia!

All of this is delivered by a group of staff who really care for their students in a way that’s special to BU, and whose academic credentials are second to none in the region.

Translation teachers and students participating in 2008 Olympic Games Broadcast Training Center

Translation class of 2011 & teachers

Translating for the Children's Council


A scholarship, donated by a group of staff members in honour of Prof Jane Lai, provides an annual sum of HKD2000 to a Translation student who produces the best Honours Project.

With a translation degree in hand, you’re well-equipped for a whole variety of jobs: translation and interpreting of all kinds, of course, but beyond that, almost anything that demands an advanced proficiency in bilingual communication and expert intercultural competence. Our graduates have found jobs as court interpreters, government translators, public relations managers and news reporters. Others have gone into fields such as arts management, magazine journalism, bilingual editing, foreign diplomacy, and even marketing. The Translation Programme gives you a gateway to all these and many more.

What Our Students Say

The Translation Programme has helped me become a more independent person

The curriculum is designed to empower students. We are encouraged to read and think deeply and widely.

The teachers are professional, dedicated and supportive.

Translation Society

Translation Society

Student practising in the Interpreting Laboratory
Students participating in Harvard National Model United Nations

Translation Society
Information Day

For more information - on our courses, our staff, and our students - just visit our website at http://tran.hkbu.edu.hk/. You'll find everything you need to know there!

Updated in August 2017