Interpreting Courses

Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice I (ComLit 581)

This course is open to upper level undergraduates and graduate students. 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 will introduce students to research in sociolinguistics and interpreting and translation studies and to a number of practical skills required of professional interpreters and translators. Interpreting and translation will be 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 will therefore be an important focus of the course. In Part I of the course, 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 also begin to develop listening skills using pre-recorded spoken texts. Role plays will be conducted to familiarize students with the triadic nature of interpreted communication. 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.  Usually offered in the Fall. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II (ComLit 582)

This course is structured around six social and professional domains in which interpreting and translation play a significant role (Healthcare, Business, Court/Police, Refugee/Asylum, Human Rights Commissions, and the Military). Students will work on understanding the institutional structures and discursive practices of these particular domains; gain relevant vocabulary; and continue to practice translating, sight translating and interpreting relevant texts. By midpoint in the semester, students will decide on a topic for a small research project (individual or if appropriate working in pairs or small groups) in a domain of their choosing. The project will involve gathering information about the role of interpreting and/or translation in a particular domain using a variety of research methods. These might include: exploring the extent of translated materials or interpreter services available at particular institutions; exploring the extent to which a business, public service institution or NGO recognize the role that translation or interpreting in enabling them to function through a careful examination of their websites and other sources of informational, public relations, etc. materials; or developing and administering questionnaires, conducting interviews, or doing site observations at local schools, hospitals, police stations, courtrooms, etc.. 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. Usually offered in the Spring. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Medical Interpreting Online (CompLit 552)

Students learn how to provide professional interpreting services in medical settings.  The course covers medical terminology (anatomy, pediatrics, dental, labor, internal, orthopedics, cardiology, AIDS, neurology) and systems of the body (anatomy and physiology, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, nervous, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine). Students also learn about medical procedures, standards of practice, ethics, mediation, and multicultural problem-solving.  Texts by Mikkelson, Larson, Chavez, Angelelli, and others.  The class is all online all the time and can be worked on anywhere there is Internet access. Prerequisites: Must have advanced knowledge of one language other than English.  Registration is through Continuing and Professional Education at http://www.umassulearn.net/classes/. Usually offered in the Spring. Professor Edwin Gentzler and lab assistant.

Sociological Approaches to Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) (CompLit TBA)

Explores and assesses the development of sociological perspectives within translation and interpreting studies. Focuses on specific social theories originating within the discipline of sociology; also considers philosophical approaches that provide explanatory frameworks for social, linguistic, and ethical aspects of translation and interpreting activity. Discusses the relationship between these approaches and related research paradigms within TIS, including postcolonial, deconstruction, and descriptivism. Readings and discussions draw on a range of contexts and content from empirical and theoretical research in the field. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

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