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Academics

Translation and Interpreting Studies Certificates

Undergraduate Translation and Interpreting Studies Certificate

The undergraduate certificate is open to students at UMASS Amherst and the Five Colleges 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 translators or interpreters or where they need to work with translators and interpreters to meet professional aims and purposes.

 

The two required courses COMP LIT 481 and COMP LIT 482 introduce students to relevant theory in the inter-disciplinary area of translation and interpreting studies and to the practical skills required of professional translators and interpreters.

 

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 481 and 482);
  • 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 translation and interpreting to other academic disciplines and professional work, e.g. literary studies, legal studies, social work, anthropology and sociology, politics, education, and medicine;
  • how translation and interpreting are socio-cultural and ethical activities as well as linguistic ones;
  • significance of translation and interpreting for members of communities for whom English is not their primary language through engagement in a Service Learning project (COMP LIT 482) outside the classroom guided by input from a community partner.

 

Required Courses

 

COMP LIT 481: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice I

COMP LIT 481 is the first part of a two-semester certificate course in the study of translation and interpreting. While no prior experience in translation or interpreting 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 translation and interpreting studies and to a number of practical skills required of professional translators and interpreters. Translation and interpreting are viewed throughout the course as socio-cultural and ethical activities as well as linguistic ones. 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 are introduced to 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 482: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II

COMP LIT 482 is the second part of a two-semester certificate in the study of translation and interpreting 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.

 

 

Graduate Translation and Interpreting Studies Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies is a nine-credit certificate. Students interested in obtaining the certificate are required to take two courses in Comparative Literature and one from a discipline related to their program of research. All courses counted toward the certificate must be at the 600 level or above.

1) COMP LIT 681 Introduction to Translation and Interpreting I is required for ALL students. 
2) For the second course, students can choose to take either COMP LIT 682 Introduction to Translation and Interpreting II or CL 751 Translation Theory
3) The third course should be a course from outside the program related to the student's MA/PhD research trajectory whose relevance to the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) can be demonstrated.
4) All students can also choose to take both courses offered in (2) above in addition to (1) to complete the certificate requirements if their program allows them to do so.

 

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 translation and interpreting to other academic disciplines and professional work, including literary studies, legal studies, social work, anthropology and sociology, politics, education, and medicine;
  • how translation and interpreting are socio-cultural and ethical activities as well as linguistic ones;
  • the significance of translation and interpreting for members of communities for whom English is not their primary language through engagement in a Service Learning project (COMP LIT 682) outside the classroom guided by input from a community partner.

Course Descriptions

COMP LIT 681: Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Research and Practice I

COMP LIT 681 is a required course for the Graduate Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies. This course is open to graduate students working in any discipline at UMass and the Five Colleges. While no prior experience in translation or interpreting is necessary, students must have a strong command of English and at least one other language. The course will introduce students to research in the field of translation and interpreting studies and to a number of practical skills required of professional translators and interpreters. Translation and interpreting will be viewed throughout the course as socio-cultural and ethical activities as well as linguistic ones. Students will 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 will be introduced to consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills using recorded texts in the language lab. Role plays will be conducted to familiarize students with the triadic nature of interpreted communication. Professor Moira Inghilleri

COMP LIT 682: Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Research and Practice II

In COMP LIT 682 students will build on the knowledge and skills acquired in Comp Lit 681. Students will 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. Cristiano Mazzei

COMP LIT 751: Theory and Practice of Translation

COMP LIT 751 explores a range of theoretical issues and practical problems concerning literary translation. The role of translated literature in cultural systems and in the history of literary development is examined. Genre and form (poetry, dramatic literature), language register and tone, metaphor, imagery and word play are also considered. Texts by translation theorists including Nida, Catford, Even-Zohar, Quine, Toury, Bassnett, and Lefevere are combined with workshop practice. For students in the MA or PhD in Translation Studies, this is a required course. Professor Maria Tymoczko

 

For more information, contact Professor Moira Inghilleri, Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies.