In the face of the dearth of qualified professional translators and interpreters from the African continent, and given that most Africans are perfectly bilingual or multilingual, the interpretation and translation field has been taken up bilinguals who are not necessarily trained interpreters or translators. This scarcity of trained personnel in this specialized field has led to an emergence in substandard translation and interpretation services in the region. As François Grosjean said, “It takes more than having two hands to be a good pianist. It takes more than knowing two languages to be a good translator/interpreter.” Consequently, the University of Nairobi (UoN) in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) launched the Centre for Translation and Interpretation in November 2010, offering PhD in Translation, PhD in Interpretation, Master in Translation and Master in Interpretation Programs, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with view to fill this gap. The Centre being the only one of its kind in Eastern and Central Africa, is committed to provide quality training, research and practice in translation and interpretation, while ensuring we produce translators and interpreters equipped to compete for jobs in the international market on equal footing with those trained in Europe. To this end, we have partnered with the European Union, the European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI), the University of Geneva and the Pan African Masters Consortium in Interpretation and Translation (PAMCIT). Thanks to these partnerships, our students have access to state-of-the-art translation and interpretation resources as well as opportunities to brush shoulders with professional translator and interpreter trainers who have worked with the UN and EU. Our students are therefore able to examine a wide range of academic and practical issues and address challenges that take place in the field of interpretation or translation. Finally, CTI Nairobi is in the business of raising highly skilled language professionals, trained to international standards, ready to deliver wherever and whenever they are needed. We would be delighted to have you join us.
Prof. Jayne Mutiga
Centre for Translation and Interpretation