French is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, and Canada is no exception. There are 8.2 million Francophones in the country, or 23.4%, mainly in Quebec. As an official language of Canada, there is a frequent need for French translators and interpreters to do the work of translating meetings, documents, speeches, presentations, and other materials from French to English, and from English to French.

The work of a translator is complex. You are tasked with the work of reading or listening the ideas and statements of one person or organization, and restating them in the target language, taking into account the meaning of the words and the tone and intent of the speaker or writer. As a translator or interpreter, your goal is to communicate the meaning of others as authentically and truthfully as possible. To do this work, you need a strong command of both languages you plan to work in, and specialized vocabulary for working in specific professions and industries. To keep up with the demands of working in multiple languages you will need frequent practice and regular study to be successful.

While there is no formal educational requirement to work in the field of translation or interpretation, translators tend to be among the most educated professionals and an undergraduate degree will give you significant advantages when looking for work. In addition, academic training in languages and translation will also provide you with valuable preparation for the job.

So what courses should you take to ensure you have the training to be a stellar professional in the field?

Are you bilingual in French and English? Learn more about career opportunities you can take as a translator or tutor.

french tutor vancouver
There are many programs and courses you can take to become a French translator. Source: Unsplash.
The best French tutors available
Jose
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Namita
$45
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Jose
4.9
4.9 (45 reviews)
Jose
$24
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Awa
5
5 (22 reviews)
Awa
$55
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Florence
5
5 (16 reviews)
Florence
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Camille
5
5 (11 reviews)
Camille
$25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Émilie
5
5 (33 reviews)
Émilie
$68
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Ritika
5
5 (8 reviews)
Ritika
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Domy
4.9
4.9 (27 reviews)
Domy
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Namita
4.9
4.9 (21 reviews)
Namita
$45
/h
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1st lesson is free!
Let's go

University Programs for Translation

There are many different programs you can take at the university level to support your career as a French translator.

French, English and Comparative Literature

If you are a native English speaker with proficiency or near native fluency in French, or a French speaker with strong English speaking skills, you may find that taking a degree in French or English will help you to build a strong foundation for work in translation and interpretation. In these programs, you will typically study literature and media in the language and write long form papers and analyses about the texts you are exploring. You will likely incorporate literary theory into your learning, which will push you to communicate sophisticated and nuanced ideas.

Does studying literature in one language sound boring to you? Check out comparative literature programs, where you will be reading and analyzing literature from different countries and languages.

It’s important to note that French and English degrees are not programs where you will learn the language as a second or additional language. If you do want to learn elements of the language like grammar or vocabulary, you will need to take courses in a different department.

Bilingual French and English speakers are well-positioned to embark in careers in translation and education. Do you have the experience and background it takes?

Linguistics

The study of linguistics is particularly fascinating to multilingual speakers: it is the scientific study of languages, and their properties and characteristics. As a linguistics student, you will learn different theoretical perspectives on languages, language families, and how they are connected from one region to another.

Linguistics studies will richly inform you work as a translator and provide you with an appropriate base to be a leader in the field.

Translation and Interpretation

Universities like the University of Ottawa, McGill, and York have translation and interpretation programs that are focused on the work that you will do in the field. At the University of Ottawa, you will find plenty of opportunities for internship and work with such close proximity to Parliament.

If university isn’t in your plans, you can also find certificates in Language Interpreter training at colleges or companies like MCIS. These are much shorter programs that you can take that will prepare you to start working right away as a translator or in a translation related field.

Some Translation and Interpretation course titles include:

  • French Translation in the Workplace
  • Fundamentals of Translation
  • Community Translation
  • Developing Translation Competence
beginner french grammar
There are many great university programs that prepare you for a career in translation. Source: Unsplash.

Should I Brush Up My Skills with French Lessons Near Me?

If you are preparing for a program in French or Translation and Interpretation, you may find that you want to brush up in the language you are ‘weaker’ in. For students that want to brush up on French, taking courses to enhance already advanced knowledge can be incredibly useful and the perfect way to boost your confidence as you enter the field.

Additional French lessons may help you to master a whole new area of industry or professional specific vocabulary, help you to write more clearly and competently, or practice your listening skills.

You may have a tough time finding a course that addresses your unique needs. This is where having individualized instruction is critical. While having a private teachers may sound luxurious, it is in fact a highly efficient way to accelerate learning in areas where it may be hard to find a specific course.

To create an arrangement with a tutor that work, discuss your unique needs with them at the outset to determine if they have the background to help you get to the next level of your French learning. Ask your tutor about what instructional strategies they like to use, and see if it can work for you. You may be able to collaborate to design a program that is just right for you!

Wondering what kind of educational background you need to be a French translator or teacher in Canada? The answer might surprise you!

The best French tutors available
Jose
4.9
4.9 (45 reviews)
Jose
$24
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Awa
5
5 (22 reviews)
Awa
$55
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Florence
5
5 (16 reviews)
Florence
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Camille
5
5 (11 reviews)
Camille
$25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Émilie
5
5 (33 reviews)
Émilie
$68
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Ritika
5
5 (8 reviews)
Ritika
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Domy
4.9
4.9 (27 reviews)
Domy
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Namita
4.9
4.9 (21 reviews)
Namita
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Jose
4.9
4.9 (45 reviews)
Jose
$24
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Awa
5
5 (22 reviews)
Awa
$55
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Florence
5
5 (16 reviews)
Florence
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Camille
5
5 (11 reviews)
Camille
$25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Émilie
5
5 (33 reviews)
Émilie
$68
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Ritika
5
5 (8 reviews)
Ritika
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Domy
4.9
4.9 (27 reviews)
Domy
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Namita
4.9
4.9 (21 reviews)
Namita
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson is free!
Let's go

Where can I find a French Tutor Vancouver?

Finding a French tutor is easy thanks to Superprof Canada. On Superprof, you can browse through dozens of amazing tutors near you or in Canada. Tutors on Superprof will have a broad range of experiences and backgrounds, so make sure you take the time to read profiles before taking the next step of contacting them.

Contacting a tutor through Superprof is easy thanks to the site’s messaging system. You can set up an account and directly contact the tutors you like without the hassle of emailing or calling. You will also want to make sure that your schedules align and that you find a tutor that works with your budget.

Are you bilingual in English and French, or French and another language? Find out everything you need to know about becoming a French translator or educator in Canada.

Getting Certification as a French English Translator

Certification requirements to become a licensed translator depend on the province you live in. Each province has its own body or organization focused on licensing and standardizing practice, so do your research and make sure you are getting the right certification to work in the region you want to live.

How Else can I Use my French Skills to Make Money?

Translation is not the only pathway you can use your French skills to generate income. In fact, you can be a tutor yourself working with students who are learning beginner or even intermediate French - which ever level you feel most comfortable with!

To become a tutor, you can set up your own profile on Superprof, and advertise your services to a large market. There are literally thousands of students every year who need French help and practice, at all different ages. Indicate on your profile which age groups you can work with, what strategies you use to help students become successful, and your own background and training in French.

Tutoring is excellent if you do not want the stress of working with a large group of students and enjoy having some flexibility with when and where you work. It is actually very easy to teach French virtually from wherever you want. As a tutor, you can also gain valuable work experience as an educator, preparing you for a career as a teacher at some point should you wish to do so.

Looking to start a career or embark on a new one? Why not become a French translator? Learn  more on how to get started.

french basics for beginners
Become a French tutor on Superprof. Source: Pexels

Teach Beginner French Grammar or French Basics for Beginners

With experience as a tutor under your belt, you will find that teaching introductory French courses to larger groups is a breeze. Teaching French at a basic level is an excellent job for bilingual speakers of French who are looking to build their teaching repertoire. There are hundreds of resources online that you can use to teach, not to mention textbooks and workbooks you can use to supplement your teaching practice.

Where can you teach beginner French courses? You can teach in the public school system - however, to pursue this option you will typically need an undergraduate degree and a teaching degree. Alternatively, you can teach in a private school or after school program: in some cases you may not require a degree outside of your knowledge of French, but a strong interest and background of the language.

Some of the topics you might address in a beginner level course in French include:

  • conversational dialogue
  • Vocabulary relating to every day items, places and school supplies
  • Travel dialogue
  • Present tense verb conjugations
  • Colours, numbers, animals
  • Alphabet
  • Pronouns
  • Common Irregular verbs
  • pronunciation
>

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Colleen

Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.