The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)

Translation and interpreting are age-old activities that promote communication and understanding among countries and languages. The College of Humanities at the University of Arizona is the site of intensive translation and interpreting activity, including research, teaching, and practice. To guide you through these activities to the right department or unit, we have created the directory on this page. We recommend that you refer to it if you have questions about opportunities to study translation and/or interpreting at the UA, require a translation or interpreting services, or have a different translation/interpreting-related question. Represented here are the National Center for Interpretation (NCI), the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

ALTA is a nonprofit arts membership association that provides resources, community, and professional affiliation to its members: individual translators, academic institutions, presses, and others working in literary translation. In January 2019, ALTA moved to Tucson and became affiliated with the College of Humanities.

Please visit our website to learn more. You can also join our mailing list and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @LitTranslate.

Want to learn Translation and Interpretation?

Are you looking for professional development or non-credit education/training in interpreting or translation?

National Center for Interpretation (NCI) offers a variety of professional development options for interpreters and translators, including… 

  • A​n online, non-credit certificate in ​Spanish/English translation
  • Comprehensive training for Spanish/English court interpreters
  • Short, stand-alone webinars on a variety of topics
  • Customized training in interpreting or translation for your employees or organization

Are you looking for a course in translation and interpreting that counts towards a degree at the UA?

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers translation and interpretation courses in the translation and interpretation track of the Spanish BA.

You can also take a graduate-level course on Translation Studies and do research in translation and interpretation in combination with an MA or PhD.

Would you like to learn about how to break into translating literature?

Whether you are looking to break into literary translation or are an established translator, ALTA’s mission is to support the work of literary translators by providing resources and professional membership.

Are you a graduate student in the College of Humanities (COH) looking for an assistantship in a non-profit working for literary translators? Are you a UA undergraduate looking for internship experience?

ALTA offers year-long graduate student assistantships and flexible, for-credit internships to undergraduate students at the University of Arizona who are looking for experience working in a nonprofit literary arts organization. 

Are you looking for opportunities to work with a mentor on a literary translation project?

The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is nine months.

Need to Hire a Professional? Need Professional Advice?

Are you looking for expert advice or consulting on translation and interpreting?

NCI can assist in the preparation of language access plans and offer expertise and advice in regard to the translation and interpreting needs of your organization and employees.

Are you looking for an interpreter for an event, appointment etc.?

If you need an interpreter for your conference or event, please visit our interpreter request page.  An NCI representative will contact you soon to discuss your needs.

Are you looking to translate documents?

If you need a written document translated from or into a language other than English, please visit our translation request page.  An NCI representative will contact you soon to discuss your needs.

Are you looking for assistance with grant requirements for inclusion of limited English proficient participants?

NCI can help you write the linguistic diversity and inclusion sections of your grant and draft a plan that will demonstrate to funding agencies that you have thought carefully about inclusion of linguistic minorities in your project.

Looking to Enhance your Career?

Are you looking for professional membership in a literary translation organization?

Professional membership with ALTA provides access to our community and resources, including networking and access to members-only resource databases. Wherever you are in the world, you can access our online community and participate in engaging, exciting conversations about literature and translation.

Would you like to attend or present at a conference about literary translation? Would you like to be part of a panel at a conference about literary translation? Are you interested in taking part in a translation workshop?

The annual ALTA conference, held in a different location each year, is the largest gathering of literary translators in the United States, and the only one of its kind. It brings together nearly 500 translators, writers, and editors for an intense, three-day conversation through panels, workshops, roundtables, and bilingual readings.

Are you looking for information on interpreter or translator certification?

Here is an overview of certification in the U.S. today. You’ll also find training and tools to help you prepare for state or federal court certification.

If you are UA faculty interested in teaching translation, would you like more information about becoming a UA faculty affiliate of ALTA? Would you be interested in talking to a UA-ALTA faculty affiliate about ALTA?

ALTA Faculty Affiliates at the University of Arizona are a crucial part of our shared effort to advocate for bold, diverse approaches to literary translation and multilingual arts on local, national, and international levels–in research, teaching, and public life.

Are you a literary translator looking for awards to submit your work to?

ALTA administers awards to recognize excellence in translation. Six major prizes are awarded at the annual conference: the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose, the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, the Italian Prose in Translation Award, the Spain-USA Foundation Translation Award, and the ALTA First Translation Prize, as well as Travel Fellowships for emerging translators to attend ALTA’s annual conference.