Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation
The closely related fields of translation and interpretation are becoming increasingly important in today's society. With the growing importance of Spanish, the need for qualified interpreters and translators continues to rise. The translation and interpretation program at Northwestern College has been developed to equip you with the necessary knowledge, tools and abilities to become a competent interpreter and translator.
Successful professional interpreters and translators have a wide range knowledge in many subject areas. As such, a liberal arts education is key to future success in the field, and as an interpretation and translation major, you are encouraged to take additional courses in different subject areas. Furthermore, the seven specific courses in translation and interpretation are designed to give you the necessary theoretical platform for successful translation and interpretation. As you advance through the program, you will learn to apply the theoretical principles as well as the knowledge acquired in other liberal arts courses in order to achieve superior translation and interpretation outcomes.
The translation and interpretation program is intended for incoming bilingual students and requires a minimum of seven semesters to complete. (Those students who are seeking to improve their knowledge of Spanish should enroll in the regular Spanish major.) During the earlier courses in the program, the focus will be on translating and interpreting from your B language into your A language; however, as you progress through the program, there will be increasing emphasis on working from the A language into the B language as well. Courses focus on a wide range of subject areas and include a strong emphasis on service learning--thereby providing you with real-world experience--as well as with an ongoing focus on moral, ethical and Christian considerations for interpreters and translators.
Not only is Northwestern's program one of just a handful at the baccalaureate level in the United States, but the college has also invested in the necessary training resources for its students. Translation and interpretation majors have a dedicated interpreting laboratory with 13 soundproof booths, an interpreting booth as part of the college's main venue for many public events, and portable equipment. In the final year of the program, you will participate in a practicum experience in which you will be in the community as a professional interpreter and translator. Not only will you provide an important service to the community, but you will also acquire valuable experience and apply what was learned in the classroom. The practicum is the final step of the Northwestern program before you begin a career in interpretation and translation or proceed to graduate study in the field.
Student Learning Goals:
Upon successfully attaining a B.A. in translation and interpretation, you will:
- Be able to translate general written documents from your B language into your A language at a quality level that would be acceptable at a professional level without additional major revisions or editing.
- Be able to translate general written documents from your A language into your B language at a quality level that would be acceptable at a professional level with a limited amount of additional revision or editing.
- Be able to interpret consecutively from your B language into your A language for a general speaker of that language for segments of up to one minute without major meaning errors or major omissions.
- Be able to interpret simultaneously from your B language into your A language for a general speaker of that language without major meaning errors or major omissions.
- Understand the theoretical principles of translation and interpretation and be able to apply them in your translation and interpretation and thereby attain goals #1 and #2.
- Be able to sight-translate general documents from your B language into your A language.
- Have developed lifelong learning habits that include reading a wide array of materials in both languages from many different disciplines.
- Understand and be able to apply the moral and ethical considerations for translators and interpreters, as well as your role as a Christian in these fields.
- Be able to handle and present yourself as a professional translator and interpreter, as well as react in a professional way to demanding and uncomfortable situations and translation and interpretation assignments.
Spanish department homepage
SPA 202 -
Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture
Combined study of intermediate language and culture. Study of primary sources in print, audio and visual forms to develop appreciation for the ways culture in general and the language's culture in particular shape a variety of social contexts. Building on previously acquired ability in Spanish, continued study of language in a communicative context with considerable emphasis upon precision and expansion of linguistic skills.Prerequisite: SPA201, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.(3 credits)
SPA 312WI -
Advanced Grammar and Composition
(3 credits)(Writing intensive) Advanced development of writing skills and
a review of difficult grammar concepts. Students will be expected to
write in a variety of contexts. Emphasis will be on the writing process.
The majority of the assignments will be completed in steps including
multiple drafts. Additionally, students will be expected to review
grammar and complete some grammar exercises.
Note: Taught in Spanish.
Prerequisite: SPA 202 or equivalent proficiency.
SPA 326 -
An in-depth study of Spanish phonetics. Topics include techniques and rules of Spanish articulation, analysis of the sounds of vowels and consonants in Spanish and their differences from English pronunciation, syllabication, rhythm, stress, pitch and intonation. Prerequisites: SPA202 and one 3-credit 300-level course. (3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
SPA 327 -
Hispanics in the United States
A wide-ranging study of the current situation of Hispanics in the United States. After an historical overview, a thematic approach will be taken to better understand the role of Hispanics in the United States and their growing influence. Possible topics include demographics, voting tendencies, purchasing power, Hispanic media, religion, labor laws, immigration, Spanglish and bilingualism, among others. Using interviews and research, the course will conclude with a study of our Hispanic neighbors here in northwest Iowa.Prerequisites: SPA202 and one 3-credit 300-level course.(3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
SPA 331 -
Introduction to Translation and Interpreting
An introduction to the related fields of translation and interpreting.
Students will be introduced to the different theories and techniques of
translation and interpreting, the differences between the two fields and
within each field, ethical and moral considerations for translators and
interpreters, the role of translating and the translator as well as
interpreting and the interpreter, and the modes of interpreting including
consecutive, simultaneous and sight-translation. Students will apply the
theoretical principals by working primarily from their B language to their A
language for both translation and interpreting.
Prerequisites: SPA202 and two 3-credit 300 level Spanish courses, or by
permission of instructor. (3 credits)
SPA 333 -
An intermediate level course taken after completion of Interpreting I,
students will continue to strengthen their skills in sight-translation and
short and long consecutive interpreting while beginning in-depth study of
simultaneous interpreting. Students will reinforce their interpreting
techniques by applying consecutive interpreting strategies to simultaneous
interpreting. Course material will broaden from legal, medical and religious
interpreting to include other areas such as science and politics, and will
include continued discussion of moral, ethical and Christian considerations
for interpreters. Although primarily from Language B to A, students will
also begin to interpret from their A language into their B language more and
Prerequisites: SPA331 & 332. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
SPA 334 -
SPA 337 -
An intermediate level course taken after completion of Translation I,
students will continue to strengthen their skills in translation by becoming
more adept at applying the theory, methods and techniques first introduced
in earlier courses. Course material will come from a broad array of legal,
medical, religious, scientific and political sources, as well as materials
stemming from community needs. Although primarily from Language B to A,
students will also increasingly translate from their A language into their B
language more and more.
Prerequisites: SPA 331 & 336.
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
SPA 338 -
Choose one course: 2 credits
SPA 345 -
Practicum in Translation and Interpreting
SPA 417 -
(2 credits may apply toward the major or minor)
ENG 345 -
Linguistic Perspectives on English
In this course, we learn the rudiments of language study, trace the history
of English, and gain a rigorous appreciation for the power of words. We
follow the English language from its origin in a warlike Germanic tribe to
its present state as the dominant medium of international communication. We
learn the historical reasons for our irregular spelling and enormous
lexicon. We sample varieties of English across America and throughout the
world. Along the way, we learn to read basic Old and Middle English,
challenge common assumptions about the nature of language, and confront the
devastation of the world's linguistic ecology. (4 credits; alternate years,
Choose one course: 4 credits
PSC 225WI -
Introduction to Law
This course briefly surveys the landscape of the American legal system. Most
of the course, however, is devoted to examining significant constitutional
issues, such as government powers, civil rights and civil liberties. (4
credits; alternate years, consult department) (Writing intensive)
SOC 220 -
The Criminal Justice System
Total credits required: 43
Note: Internships range from 2-12 credits. The maximum credits applied to the major is noted under the 417 course designation.