Links
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Academics

Translation and Interpreting Studies Undergraduate Certificate

 

Program Highlights

 

The certificate is designed to include any undergraduate student at UMass Amherst with a strong command of English and intermediate-level competence in at least one other language.

The certificate is invaluable for students who wish to work in local or global communities in which they might be called upon to serve as ad hoc interpreters or translators or where they need to work with interpreters or translators to meet professional aims and purposes.

 

The two required courses introduce students to relevant theory in the inter-disciplinary area of interpreting and translation studies and to the practical skills required of professional interpreters and translators.

 

To fulfill the requirements for the certificate students must complete six courses or their equivalent:

  • two required courses in Translation and Interpreting Studies (Comp Lit 581 and 582);

  • two 300 level or above courses in at least one language other than English;

  • two 300 level or above courses in any subject where substantial writing in English is required (these electives are normally chosen from students’ primary major).

Residency abroad or a high level of competency in a language other than English can replace one or both non-English language courses.

 

Certificate Objectives

 

Taken together, the required courses for this certificate will equip students with academic and skill-based knowledge of

 

  • past and current academic research on theory and practice in the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies;

 

  • the relevance of interpreting and translation to specific academic disciplines and professional work, e.g. law, social work, anthropology and sociology, politics, education, and medicine;

 

  • how interpreting and translation operate as socio-cultural and ethical activities as well as linguistic ones;

 

  • significance of interpreting and translation for members of communities for whom English is not their primary language through engagement in a Service Learning project outside the classroom guided by input from a community partner.

 

Required Courses

Comp Lit 581: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice I

Comp Lit 581 is the first part of a two-semester certificate course in the study of interpreting and translation; students who enroll are not required to take the second course unless they are interested in receiving the Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies. While no prior experience in interpreting or translation is necessary, students must have a strong command of English and at least one other language. The course introduces students to research in the field of interpreting and translation studies and to a number of practical skills required of professional interpreters and translators. Interpreting and translation are viewed throughout the course as socio-cultural activities as well as linguistic ones. The social, cultural and ethical complexities of the role of interpreters and translators are therefore an important focus of the course. Students work with written and spoken texts to develop an understanding of micro-textual elements and macro-textual structures and patterns and understand how to analyze both written and spoken texts. They begin to develop consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills using recorded spoken texts in the language lab. Role plays are conducted to familiarize students with the triadic nature of interpreted communication.

Comp Lit 582: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II

Comp Lit 582 is the second part of a two-semester certificate in the study of interpreting and translation across a range of contexts. In this course, students continue to build on the knowledge and skills they acquired in the previous semester. Students work on understanding the institutional and discursive structures of particular institutional domains, gain relevant vocabulary in English and other languages and practice translating, sight translating and interpreting a variety of relevant texts. This course is a designated “Service-Learning” course and endorsed by the office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning (CESL) at UMass. A part of the course has been designed to provide opportunities for students to engage in a service project outside the classroom that is guided by appropriate input from a community partner and contributes to the public good. Selected project sites have been selected and students, with the help of faculty, will be matched with one or more community partners in the first three weeks of the semester. The CESL component of this course reflects the view that interpreting and translation are socio-cultural activities as well as linguistic ones. Your experiences of serving the community will increase your understanding of the social, cultural, and ethical complexities of the role of interpreters and translators. It will give you first-hand knowledge of the significance of interpreting and translation (and its absence) for members of communities for whom English is not their primary language. All projects will involve some additional reading of relevant literature. Successful completion of this course is a requirement for the Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies for undergraduates.

For more information, contact Professor Moira Inghilleri, Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies, minghilleri@complit.umass.edu