The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Graduate Translation and Interpreting Studies Certificate


Graduate Certificate Course Requirements 

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) CL 681 Introduction to Translation and Interpreting I is required for ALL students.
2) For the second course, students can choose to take either CL 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 and understanding of

  • past and current academic research on theory and practice in the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies;
  • translation and interpreting as socio-cultural and ethical interventions as well as linguistic ones;
  • the function of translation and interpreting in communicative situations where an imbalance of power is evident;
  • the significance of translation and interpreting in the fair distribution of social justice within and across communities, societies, and nations;
  • the relevance of translation and interpreting to other academic disciplines and professional work, including literary studies and publishing, legal studies, anthropology and sociology, politics, social work, and educational and health-related settings;
  • 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 (CL 682) outside the classroom guided by input from a community partner.


Course Descriptions

Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Research and Practice I (CompLit 681)

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.

Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Research and Practice II (CompLit 682)

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. Professor Cristiano Mazzei

Theory and Practice of Translation (CompLit 751)

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 pursuing the MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies or Comp Lit PhD students following a Translation and Interpreting Studies track this remains a required course.) Professor Maria Tymoczko.

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