Translation and Interpreting Program

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

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Graduate Program

M.A. IN SPANISH: OPTION IN TRANSLATION/INTERPRETING

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Purpose: This program provides advanced professional and theoretical training for translators and interpreters. Includes practice in legal, medical, technical, legal, audiovisual and literary translation, as well as community, court and medical interpreting. It also includes advanced training in translation technology tools and project management. Students will acquire a thorough understanding of the main contemporary theoretical approaches to translation and interpreting and prepare students to work in a variety of leading roles within the language industry, such as court and medical interpreters, legal and technical translators, project managers, in-house specialized translators, translation and interpreting for the government etc. Students can also be trained in translation and interpreter training.

The MA in Spanish (Option in Translation) is considered to be a terminal degree, in that it does not automatically lead to a consideration for the PhD. For the student who wishes to seek admission to the PhD program in literature or linguistics after having completed the MA (Option in Translation), s/he must apply to the PhD program through the normal application process. If the student wants to switch programs before completing the MA (Option in Translation), s/he must re-apply to the MA/PhD program through the normal application process.

Admission Requirements: Students are admitted on the basis of undergraduate records, letters of recommendation, appropriate score on the Graduate Record Examination (native speakers of English and Spanish) and TOEFL (native Spanish speakers from abroad), and demonstrated competency in both English and Spanish. Applicants should have the fluency of a college educated native speaker of their first language and a near native competency in the language from which they will translate. The undergraduate major need not be Spanish (or English, for foreign students from Spanish-speaking countries) but should be related to the intended field of translation. Applicants must submit a personal statement of approximately 500 words in both Spanish and English in which they outline their relevant background and their reasons for pursuing the master option in translation/interpreting.

Degree Requirements: Students must complete twenty-four credits of course work and an additional six credits of either thesis or practicum.

Course work may include twelve credits of undergraduate courses at the 300-400 level (generally numbered no lower than 400), subject to approval by the Graduate Director.

01:940:401 Advanced Translation I (3 cr.)
(This course will not be counted in the degree but may be required of some students as a prerequisite.)

Core Courses: Translation/Interpreting (12 cr.-18cr. of which at least 3 cr. must be interpreting.)
(This latter requirement is waived for practicing interpreters)

01:940:471 Internship in Translation/Interpreting (BA)
(This 1-3 credit option will be required of degree candidates who do not have experience as practicing translators or interpreters.)
01:940:476 Legal Translation (1.5 cr.)
01:940:477 or 16:617:535 Court Interpreting (3 cr.)
01:940:486 Medical/Technical Translation (1.5 cr.)
01:940:487 Hospital/Community Interpreting (1.5 cr.)
16:940:502 Advanced Translation (3 cr.)
16:617:531, 532 Computer-Assisted Translation (1.5 cr., 1.5 cr.)
16:940:563 Theory and Practice of Translation (3 cr.)
16:940:575 or 16:617:533 Interpreting (3 cr.)
16:940:579 Translation Workshop (3 cr.) 


Linguistics or related field (minimum of 3 cr.)

A course on linguistics or related field among the list of approved courses for the MA in Translation related to Research and Training Methodologies, Dialectology, Bilingualism or any other graduate course offered by our Department in the Bilingualism/Language Acquisition PhD or the MAT (Prior approval by faculty responsible for course required). Other appropriate linguistics theory courses, taught within or outside the Spanish program, are subject to approval by the Graduate Director. (Students who have had a substantial concentration of linguistics courses as an undergraduate may waive this requirement.)

Literature/Culture/Specialized Field (maximum of 6 cr.)
All degree candidates must have some study abroad or life experience in both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries. For native speakers of English, this requirement may be met through six credits taken in the Department’s Summer Study in Spain Program or other appropriate program.

For foreign students coming from Spanish-speaking countries, this requirement may be met through appropriate English-language coursework within Rutgers University. (Possibilities include American Studies as well as offerings in the English Department.)

Degree candidates who have already met the study abroad requirement will fulfill their literature/culture component through 400-level or graduate courses in Hispanic literature/culture or British/American literature/culture, subject to approval by the Graduate Director.

Degree candidates who already have a substantial concentration in the relevant literature/culture area may choose additional translation/interpreting/linguistics or courses in a specialized field with approval of the Graduate Director.

Elective in Field of Specialization (3 cr.)
This is a flexible option, depending upon individual student need. The course may be outside the Graduate Program in Spanish, subject to approval by the graduate director. 

Language Requirement: The foreign language requirement may be completed by taking two semesters of an approved foreign language (in addition to the twenty-four credits of required coursework), one semester of an appropriate intensive course, or by passing a reading examination in the foreign language.

The requirement will be waived for candidates who completed an undergraduate major in or are native speakers of a third language, or who had extensive study abroad experience in a relevant country. Approval of the Graduate Director is required. 

Examination: The comprehensive examination for the translation option will be based on coursework and includes three different types of translation. The exam must be taken before beginning the thesis or practicum. The exam lasts six hours and is administered in two parts on a single day. Students can use any reference material of their choice and will be administered using a departmental computer with unrestricted access to Internet resources. The first part replicates the American Translators Association Certification Examination and it includes both form and style oriented translation. The second specialized part is based on the student’s main field of expertise (Prior to registering for the exam students will discuss with the program director on their field of specialization). Students will prepare a comprehensive resource and documentation list throughout all of their coursework. The examination will have the following format:

Morning [3 hours]
a. Translation – Literary/Essay: Spanish to English or English to Spanish (Language B to Language A.) 
b. Translation - Non-literary: Spanish to English or English to Spanish (Language A to Language B.)

Afternoon [3 hours]
a. Specialized Translation based on student´s field of choice (Language B to A) [450 to 500 words]

Grading Policy: Each translation is graded independently by three faculty members appointed by the graduate director using a standardized translation grading scale. If a faculty member assigns a failing grade (i.e., below 70%) on any question, the faculty member will submit an explanation in writing. All scores are averaged. If any one grade deviates ten points or more from the other three grades on any translation, it will be eliminated.

• In order for the exam to be judged passing, the candidate’s translations must average 80% (i.e., be of B quality) or better. 
• If the examination average falls between 75% and 79%, the Graduate Director will call a meeting to discuss the examination and the Graduate Faculty will make a recommendation.
• If the examination average falls below 75%, the examination is considered an automatic failure. 
•Faculty members will normally grade translations within thirty working days of the completion of the examination. The Graduate Director will then convey the results to the candidate in writing. 
•In the case of a failure, the candidate may meet with the Director, the Chair, or other appropriate faculty to discuss the examination.


Guidelines for Translation Projects and Thesis:
The source text of individual projects will be selected by the student in consultation with the course instructor or thesis director. In general, texts chosen for projects should not be ones previously translated to the target language. (There are bibliographies in the library to assist in verifying what works have previously been translated.)

In the case of the Master’s thesis in translation, the project will include an introduction to the source text. If the text selected is under copyright, the thesis should include written authorization for its translation or evidence of efforts to obtain such authorization. Translation projects should be prepared on a word processor to facilitate revision from first draft through final version. The text of the translation should coincide, page by page, with the source text. Both texts must be submitted for evaluation. Like other Master’s theses, a translation thesis will be evaluated by a faculty committee. Whenever possible, the committee will include someone with particular expertise in the subject of the source text (e.g., a professor of Economics for a text in that field). 

Guidelines for the Practicum (940:669-670):
Students receive letter grades for Practicum credits. That grade is assigned by the faculty member directing the individual work. In this respect, work in progress is treated as independent study.

Masters candidates who wish to use Practicum credits (minimum of six) in lieu of a thesis, must file the relevant application form in the Department and submit a final project to the Graduate Director. A practicum can consist of an advanced internship in a Translation Company or Department, or a project. The project should be reviewed or supervised by a reader in addition to the faculty member who directs the work; the reader may be Rutgers faculty or may be a qualified professional from outside the university. The reader will be invited by the candidate and director to offer suggestions/corrections related to the project and will be asked to submit a signed/dated note for the student's file indicating that he or she has reviewed the work. No formal defense of the practicum project is required.

 

 

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