Foreign language programs
Your language study at Northwestern will include cross-cultural opportunities around the world and outside your door as you learn about breaking through barriers. In addition to spending a semester abroad, you might accompany professors as they translate in the courtroom or hospital.
Translation and Interpretation Major: Spanish-English
The closely related fields of translation and interpreting 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 interpreting program at Northwestern College has been developed to equip the student 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 interpreting and translation students are encouraged to take additional courses in different subject areas. Furthermore, the seven specific courses in translation and interpretation are designed to give the necessary theoretical platform for successful translation and interpreting. As students advance through the program, they 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 interpreting outcomes.
The translation and interpreting program is intended for incoming bilingual students (those students who are seeking to improve their knowledge of Spanish should enroll in the regular Spanish major) and requires a minimum of seven semesters to complete. During the earlier courses in the program, the focus will be on translating and interpreting from the students' B language into their A language; however, as students progress through the program, there will be increasing emphasis as well on working from the A language into the B language. Courses focus on a wide range of subject areas and include a strong emphasis on service learning -- thereby providing real world experience for the students -- as well as an ongoing focus on moral, ethical and Christian considerations for interpreters and translators.
Not only is it one of a handful of programs at the baccalaureate level in the United States, the Northwestern program has also invested in the necessary training resources for its students. The college has a dedicated interpreting laboratory with 13 soundproof booths, an interpreting booth as part of the college's main venue for many public events, as well as portable equipment.
In the final year of the program, students will participate in a practicum experience in which they will be in the community as professional interpreters and translators. Not only will they be providing an important service to the community, they will also be acquiring valuable experience and applying what was learned in the classroom. The practicum is the final step of the Northwestern program before the student begins a career in interpreting and translation or proceeds to graduate study in the field.
Student Learning Goals:
Upon successfully attaining a B.A. in Translation and Interpretation, as student will:
- Be able to translate general written documents from his/her B language into his/her 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 his/her A language into his/her 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 his/her B language into his/her 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 his/her B language into his/her A language for a general speaker of that language without major meaning errors or major omissions.
- Understand the theoretical principles of translation and interpreting and be able to apply them in his/her translation and interpreting and thereby attain goals #1 and #2.
- Be able to sight-translate general documents from his/her B language into his/her A language.
- Have developed life-long 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 their role as Christians in these fields.
- Be able to handle and present themselves as professional translators and interpreters as well as reacting in a professional way to demanding and uncomfortable situations and translating and interpreting assignments.
|SPA 202 - Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture
(3 credits) 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.
|SPA 312 - Advanced Grammar and Composition
(3 credits) 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. Prerequisite: SPA202 or equivalent proficiency.
|SPA 326 - Spanish Phonetics
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) 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.
|SPA 327 - Hispanics in the United States
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) 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.
|SPA 331 - Introduction to Translation and Interpreting
(3 credits) 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.
|SPA 332 - Interpreting I
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) An in-depth study of interpreting at the
introductory level between Spanish and English, with both theoretical background knowledge and applied practice
included. Specific topic areas covered involve legal, medical and religious
interpreting. Prerequisites: SPA331.
|SPA 333 - Interpreting II
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) 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 more. Prerequisites: SPA331 &
|SPA 334 - Interpreting III
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) An advanced level course taken after
completion of Interpreting II, students will consolidate their skills in sight-translation and short and long
consecutive interpreting while primarily focusing on simultaneous interpreting.
Students will deepen and reinforce their simultaneous interpreting abilities
with the addition of new strategies, skills building exercises and practice
techniques. Course material will include a broad range of materials from the
legal, medical, religious, scientific, political and other fields and will
increasingly be from real-world situations. Continued discussion of moral,
ethical and Christian considerations for interpreters. Students will interpret
both from their B language into their A language as well as A to B.
Prerequisites: SPA 331, 332 & 333.
|SPA 336 - Translation I
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) This course is an introduction to the
theory, methods, techniques and problems involved in basic translation. The first half of the semester will focus mostly
on translating from Spanish to English. The second half of the course will
involve general material from specific areas of life: popular culture, music,
social sciences, education, business, medicine, the legal profession, etc.,
with translation exercises from both Spanish to English and English to
Spanish. Prerequisites: SPA331.
|SPA 337 - Translation II
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) 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.
|SPA 338 - Translation III
(3 credits, alternate year, consult department) An advanced level course taken after
completion of Translation II, students will consolidate their skills in translation. Students will learn how to
improve earlier translations (either from their own translation or from others)
as they target their translations for specific audiences. Course material will
come from a broad array of legal, medical, religious, scientific and political
sources, as well as materials stemming from community needs. Course material
will be longer in nature and more challenging than that of Translation II.
Students will translate both from their Language B into their Language A as
well as A to B. Prerequisites: SPA331, 336 & 337.
|Choose one course: 2 credits
|SPA 345 - Practicum in Translation and Interpreting
(2 credits, consult department) Designed for advanced translation and interpreting
students, this practicum gives students the opportunity to practice their professional skills in a real
world environment. Graded on a pass/no pass basis. Prerequisites: SPA334 , 338
& permission of the MFL department.
|SPA 417 - Internship
(2 credits may apply toward the major or minor)
|ENG 345 - Linguistic Perspectives on English
(4 credits, consult department) Where did our language come from? How did English get the biggest vocabulary of any modern language? How are the words joust, yoke, and yoga related? Why is English spelling so irregular? Are there bad words? This course traces the 1500 year development of our language, from the Germanic tongue of Beowulf to the Frenchified language of Chaucer, to the many varieties of modern English spoken around the world.
|Choose one course: 4 credits
|PSC 225 - Introduction to Law
(4 credits, alternate years, consult department) (American politics) 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.
|SOC 220 - The Criminal Justice System
(4 credits; alternate years, consult department) This course provides an introduction to
the criminal justice system. The primary goal of this course is to develop a general understanding of the
criminal justice system's response to crime in society. It is important to note
the general theme of this course involves the delicate balance between
community interests and individual rights that criminal justice decision making
requires. This theme is explored by examining the criminal justice process in
some detail, focusing on how the system is structured to respond to crime. This
requires an understanding of the core elements of the criminal justice system:
police, courts, and corrections.
|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.