Bilingual Talent Around the World Learn to Translate at SCE


If you’ve ever been part of an English instruction university in a nonnative country, you will appreciate the backbone provided by its languages department. That is certainly the case at School of Continuing Education (SCE) with its renowned languages programs that annually benefit over 30,000 students in their professional, academic, as well as personal lives.

Complementary to its robust English language courses, the department also boasts a premier translation program. Its prominent offerings range from foundational certificates to professional diplomas, as well as a number of standalone courses on popular topics such as computer-assisted tools and English for translators.

As a part of the centennial AUC, SCE’s translation program has a rich history of propelling learning for decades. Iman El-Zayat reflects on her journey at SCE starting in the 1980s when it was known as the Center for Adult and Continuing Education.

“The basic, and most valuable, the difference between SCE and formal education were that it was more career-oriented and hands on rather than theoretical. It provided students with a practical toolkit for immediate application in real life, and this particular emphasis has enriched my versatility and breadth of knowledge in a positive and focused manner, which reflected in my fast career progression, whether as an instructor at SCE, a translator and interpreter or chief of Arabic translation later on at the International Monetary Fund.”

Today hundreds more have followed her footsteps pursuing a professional diploma in Legal and UN Translation. Given Cairo’s strategic location for UN and multinational organizations, this intensive diploma trains talented translators to apply best practice techniques and strategies on a wide selection of industry texts. By the end, each of them has created a portfolio that they can leverage in their career prospects. 

Translators that enjoy a little more built-in entertainment in their work are more likely to enroll in the professional diploma in Media and Audiovisual Translation. Here they hone their skills to authentically translate newspapers, audiovisual media, and subtitles. If you’ve ever paid attention to translated subtitles, you will know that idioms, allusions, and cultural-bound expressions require trained interpreters. They cap it with refining their editing and revision skills that have useful applications across the professional scope.

Overall the translation programs have welcomed incredibly diverse learners from different backgrounds to its halls and virtual classrooms. Many come from around the world to this cradle of civilization to benefit from the immersive training at this iconic university whose stature translates abroad. Whereas at home, the rich and competitive translation market in Egypt encourages aspiring translators and professionals to seek skill strengthen programs. For some, their journey was one of determination to passionately pursue scholarships or work training opportunities.

Take Hoda, for example. She usually prefers not to disclose that she is visually-impaired because she finds it typically disqualifies her from opportunities. We mention here in appreciation of her resolve to pursue them with more persistence. Fresh out of college with an English linguistics degree, she found herself listening to an audio-transcribed announcement of a translation scholarship at SCE. Today she is in the final stretch of the professional diploma in Simultaneous Interpreting (designed for sighted learners) and working her first professional job at an American medical translation agency.

There is an intrinsic value in languages and in the power of translation. For decades SCE’s language programs have empowered speakers, academics, professionals, and enthusiasts to communicate confidently with an understanding of its intricacies. As languages department director, Ebtihal El Badry explains, “SCE is AUC’s outreach arm in the community to provide lifelong learning, qualify learners to the needs of the employment market and build capacities for employees in entry and middle levels.”

To have a look at SCE remote student from Singapore, Yasmin Abdul Nadzir experience, please click here