Diploma in Business Translation and Interpretation Skills

Provided by Confucius Institute

Course introduction


This programme is designed to meet the needs of professionals who deal with Chinese documents and/or Chinese-speaking clients or customers in their daily work and thus desire to understand the grammatical differences between Chinese and English, and to master the basic theories and skills for Chinese-English bilateral translation and interpretation.

Course Objectives
On successful completion of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Deepen their understanding on the peculiar characteristics of both the English and Chinese language;
  • Master the practical skills and knowledge on Chinese-English and English-Chinese bilateral translation;
  • Become proficient at translating commonly used business documents;
  • Master the basics and skills of interpretation;
  • Learn the application of various computer software for translation.
Course Highlights
  • Increasing the job prospect for those who aspired to be full/part-time translators or interpreters;
  • Collaboration with top Chinese universities, for example, trainings on interpretation skills will all be conducted at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU);
  • Students who successfully completed all the 8 modules (with an attendance rate of not less than 75%), will receive a diploma certificate from the Confucius Institute, Nanyang Technological University.
Faculty Members
  • The programme is taught by respected scholars and academics from within and outside the country, and senior practitioners from the translation and interpretation industry

Curriculum Overview

Programme Structure

  • The course comprises 8 modules, with a term of 10 months.
  • Each module consists of 30 training hours and carries 3 credits. A student will need to complete all the 8 modules and obtain 24 credits to fulfil the graduation requirements.
  • The maximum candidature for a student will be 2 years (from the date of registration).
Medium of Instruction
  • Chinese and English

Area of Studies

DBTS001 Contrastive Study of English and Chinese Languages

This module makes contrastive analyses of English and Chinese languages, discusses and exposes the differences between these two languages in terms of lexicon, grammar, semantics, pragmatics, culture, and way of thinking, and highlight the implications of these differences for practical English-Chinese bilateral translation.

DBTS002 Practical English-Chinese Translation Skills

This module aims to help students understand basic concepts and acquire basic techniques and skills for English-Chinese translation. Focus is placed on the cultivation and mastery of proven techniques through a large number of examples and exercises. Multiple translations of the same original English text will be analyzed to enhance students’ awareness of the importance of techniques. Common errors in translation from English to Chinese are summed up and explained.

DBTS003 Practical Chinese-English Translation Skills

This module focuses on basic theories and techniques in translation from Chinese to English. Students will learn how to analyse short Chinese texts and use the techniques taught to translate them into English. Common errors in translation are analysed and corrections explained. Comparison of different versions of the same original Chinese texts will be used to enhance students’ understanding of various translation techniques. Students will have opportunities to practice the techniques through in-class drills and individual assignments.

DBTS004 Translation of Business and Trade Documents

This module is designed to equip students with the effective skills and techniques for translating business and trade documents including advertisements, business correspondence, contracts and agreements, memorandums, notices, press releases, and annual reports. The students will read and analyze a variety of business and trade related documents, familiarize themselves with the jargons, terminologies, and styles of these documents. The students will then learn how to render the texts from English to Chinese and vice versa through proper diction and expressions, keeping in mind the cultural differences between Western and Chinese communities.

DBTS005 Translation Topics: News, Legal and Technical Translation

This module is designed to develop students’ skills for translating news (news report, editorials, etc), technical writings (manuals, lab report, product review, etc), and legal documents (laws, rules and regulations, articles of association, arbitration award, court judgment, etc). The focus is placed on the analysis of the linguistic and stylistic features of these genres and effective strategies and methods are then introduced and elaborated. A fair number of examples and exercises are designed to help students master the methods and skills discussed.

DBTS006 Modern Translation Technologies

Modern translation service requires translators to be able to apply various technical tools either in PC or networked environment. This module aims to introduce and teach students how to use various computer-aided-translation software to improve the efficiency and management of translation projects. Software covered includes SDL Trados, Déjà vu, SDLX, Idiom, Systran and logomedia.

DBTS007 Consecutive Interpreting (C – E)*
This module is a basic course in consecutive interpreting from Chinese to English focusing on the basic interpreting skills and techniques. Students will be equipped with the basic consecutive interpreting ability from Chinese to English, through a large number of practical exercises.

DBTS008 Consecutive Interpreting (E – C)*
This module is a basic course in consecutive interpreting from English to Chinese focusing on the basic interpreting skills and techniques. Students will be equipped with the basic consecutive interpreting ability from English to Chinese through a large number of practical exercises.

* To be conducted at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU)


Entry Requirements

Applicant should possess the following academic qualifications:

  • Tertiary Education (or its equivalent).
  • Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education holder must attain at least a B4 grade in GCE ‘O’ Level English (or its equivalent).
  • Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education holder must attain at least an A2 grade in GCE 'O' Level Chinese OR a B3 grade in GCE 'O' Level Higher Chinese (or its equivalent).
  • Non-Singaporean applicant will need to present educational certificate(s) that could prove that he/she is well versed in both Chinese and English.
Applicants who do not meet the above mentioned requirements will have to sit for an entrance test.

Duration & Intake

Programme Duration

Intake Schedule

Application for the programme will be opened in October for admission in February/March the following year.

Fees & Funding

Funding / Grants
  • Skillsfuture Credit

Applicants may apply for the following credit usage and/or subsidy provided by the Singapore Government and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) for the payment of tuition fee.

I.Credit Usage

       SkillsFuture Credit (SFC)
  • Receive an opening credit of $500 that will not expire and periodic top-ups from the Government to offset the tuition fee of approved skills-related courses.
       Eligibility Criteria:
  • Applicable only to Singapore Citizens.
  • Aged 25 years and above.
  • Applicant must be self-sponsored.
       For more information, please visit www.skillsfuture.sg/credit or contact SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) hotline at (65) 6785 5785.
II.Fee Subsidy

       (a) Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP)
  • NTUC members enjoy 50% unfunded course fee support, capped at $250 each year.*

       Eligibility Criteria:
  • Paid-up NTUC membership before programme commencement, throughout whole programme duration and at the point of claim.
  • Programme by training provider must be supported under UTAP, and training must commence within the supported period.
  • Programme must not be fully funded through company sponsorship or other types of funding.
  • Unfunded course fee must be $20 and above.
  • Applicant must achieve a minimum of 75% attendance for each application, and have sat and passed all prescribed examination(s), if any.
  • UTAP application must be submitted within 6 months after programme completion.

       *Unfunded course fee refers to the balance course fee payable after applicable government subsidy.
       This excludes GST, registration fees, miscellaneous fees etc.

       For more information, please visit http://skillsupgrade.ntuc.org.sg or contact NTUC at [email protected].

     (b) Translation Talent Development Scheme (TTDS)
  • Offsets 90% of actual expenses incurred by TTDS grant recipients, capped at $10,000.
  • Supports capability development programmes related to translation / interpretation / languages in Singapore and overseas.

     Eligibility Criteria:
  • Singaporean private translation and interpretation practitioners with at least 3 years of relevant experience.

For more information, please visit www.mci.gov.sg/ttds.