Undergraduate Translation and Interpreting Studies Certificate
Undergraduate Certificate Course Requirements
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 CL 481 and CL 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.
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 Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) project outside the classroom guided by input from a community partner.
Student comments about Community Engagement and Service Learning Projects
"I felt very honored and proud of this project because I knew how much my work was needed, and how many people would benefit from it."
"Every project I took on impacted those who are undervalued, who may have been mistreated, are in danger, or are deemed inferior in our society. For all these reasons and more, I felt it was essential for these translations to be as powerful and accurate as possible."
"Promoting participation and empowerment is what makes community translation so important to me."
"When we understand the importance of service in the context of providing non-English speakers with the same quality of information as their English-speaking peers, the significance of this type of work becomes evident."
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.
For more information, contact Professor Moira Inghilleri, Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org