Translation—the synthesis of new polypeptides encoded by messenger RNAs—is an essential process involved in nearly every aspect of cellular survival and growth. In recent years, the importance of translation has been demonstrated to be critical for the manifestation of persistent forms of synaptic plasticity such as long term facilitation (LTF) in Aplysia and long term potentiation (LTP) in vertebrate hippocampal neurons [1–4]. Importantly, translation is critical to the formation of long term memory (LTM) in panoplies of phyla [5–8]. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) have been critically linked to the regulation of processes both upstream and downstream of neuronal translation. To better understand the role of NMDARs in the regulation of translational machinery, it is important to first overview the many stages and levels of regulation involved in the translation of mRNA into new protein.