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Spanish Translation Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Spanish Translation

Learning Objectives:

Upon the completion of this Certificate, students will:

  • be able to identify, explain, and critically discuss theoretical and practical approaches to translation and/or interpreting, both as disciplines and as professional activities.
  • develop and enhance the linguistic, cultural and technical skills necessary to effectively produce high-quality translations and/or interpretations in various professional settings.
  • demonstrate a complex understanding of the intercultural dimension of translation and/or interpreting to understand the ethical implications and responsibilities of professional translators and/or interpreters.
  • critically analyze and evaluate diverse strategies, resources, and tools in order to successfully apply them to the practice of translation and/or interpreting.

Plan Description

The post-baccalaureate certificate program provides professional training in translation for both native English speakers with advanced knowledge of Spanish and native Spanish speakers with advanced knowledge of English. Translation and interpretation competence requires a near perfect understanding of the subtleties and nuances of meaning in one language, culture, and context for conveying the same or similar meaning in a different language. It requires superior command of the full range of registers not only in a first language, but in one or more other languages as well.

Plan Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must hold a B.A., with a GPA of 3.00 in their major field.

Applicants must demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in both English and Spanish; non-native speakers of those languages must take a placement exam administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures (Spanish) or the English Language Center (English). There is no cost for the placement exam in Spanish, which involves a written test and an interview. The English Language Center will charge $95 for the higher-level Michigan Test of English Language Placement. A degree from an English-language accredited institution of higher education may be substituted for the latter, upon departmental approval.

Applicants must be accepted by the Graduate College.


Plan Requirements

Total Credits Required: 19

Course Requirements

Required Courses - Credits: 13

WLC 715 - Theory of Translation
WLC 716 - Workshop in Translation
SPAN 770 - Issues in Translation
SPAN 780 - Studies in Interpretation
SPAN 799 - Final assessment and exam

Elective Course - Credits: 6, as follows:

Complete two graduate-level Spanish, or WLC 717 and one graduate-level Spanish course from the following list of courses: SPAN 696, SPAN 703, SPAN 709, SPAN 710, SPAN 713, SPAN 716, SPAN 717, SPAN 720. Other advisor-approved courses may be substituted for those on the list, but only with signed approval.

Note: Per Graduate College requirements, courses first used to fulfill requirements for the certificate may be used later toward the M.A. in Hispanic Studies. However, courses used first to fulfill requirements toward a previously-conferred degree may not be used to fulfill requirements for the certificate. The degree and certificate may be earned simultaneously.

Certificate Requirements

Students must complete a final assessment given in the context of the final course, SPAN 799. The final assessment will take into account three different components - linguistic, technical, and cultural - and each component will be equally weighted.

For the duration of the certificate program, each student will build an Assessment Portfolio. The Assessment Portfolio will comprise all relevant courses taken at UNLV or at another institution, language tests in the source language and target language, translation projects completed within the UNLV program or specific training in interpretation. The Assessment Portfolio will perform a diagnostic function, allowing the instructor(s) to assess strengths and weaknesses of the student. The portfolio will be used to provide constructive feedback to those students who have weak areas and need additional work before they can successfully complete the program.

Once the student has met all required conditions for the certificate - number of credits, core courses, and language proficiency - he or she will be required to take an exit exam administered in the context of a one-credit final course, SPAN 799. The exam will duplicate as closely as possible the conditions in which translators and interpreters work in the professional world.

The exit exam will be performed under specific time constraints, appropriate to the task.
Students will choose which of the two exit exams (translation or interpretation) they will sit for, based on their individual preparation and experience.

Once the exit examination is selected, it may not be changed.

Each candidate will be able to utilize the necessary tools typical for these situations (dictionaries, glossaries, terminology databases; laptops/computers; Internet resources, etc.).

A minimum of 80 percent must be achieved in this test to be awarded the Translation Certificate.

Should a student fail to achieve 80 percent on the SPAN 799 exit exam, s/he may take an incomplete in the course. Following standard practice of the Graduate College, that incomplete allows for up to one year for the student to re-take the exam and score a passing grade of 80 percent or better.

The criteria used at the final exam for interpreters and translators vary, as the two disciplines require partly different skills:

Assessment for Interpreters includes: language quality, appropriate cultural decoding, grammar, pronunciation/enunciation, timing/rate, register, style, accuracy, eloquence, and general effectiveness.

Assessment for Translators includes: language quality, appropriate cultural decoding, grammar, spelling, punctuation, recognition of textual levels, style, and general effectiveness.

Plan Certificate Completion Requirements

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in all course work completed. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the program within three semesters, given the rotation of courses.