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Translation and Interpretation (Spanish/English)

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About the Translation and Interpretation (Spanish/English) Program

UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your educational goals. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have transitioned many of our courses to an online or live online format. Live Online classes are fully online with live virtual class meetings each week using our Zoom conferencing system. Online classes will have pre-recorded lectures each week and guided assignments from the instructor. We will resume in-person classes when it is deemed safe to do so.


Earn your Professional Certificate in Translation & Interpretation (Spanish/English) to Help Advance your Career

Maximize your Spanish/English bilingual skills to take your career to the next level and provide essential translation and interpretation services. When you earn your professional certificate in Translation and Interpretation, you will certify to potential employers that you possess the skillset they are looking for including language proficiency, cultural understanding and theoretical knowledge. The program’s career-oriented, practical course content is designed to provide you with fundamental technical skills to improve your chances of passing the American Translators Association (ATA), the Certification Commision for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and the California Court Interpreter examinations. Total fluency in both English and Spanish, including the ability to speak, read, and write at a second-year university level is required. Fluency is determined by a written online entrance exam. Select courses may be taken prior to passing the entrance exam.

For detailed information, please enroll in the online on-demand Translation Program (Spanish/English) Information Session. Questions about our classes or certificates? Contact our department at 858-534-5760 or ahl@ucsd.edu.

  • Sight Translation, and Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpretation.
  • Choose to take elective courses in Medical, Legal, and Business translation and interpretation for further career advancement opportunities.
  • How to market yourself by engaging in an elective Strategic Marketing & Branding course for those seeking to create their own business, or work for private and/or public sector position.

Total fluency in both English and Spanish, including the ability to speak, read, and write at a second year university level, is required. Fluency is determined by a written online entrance exam. Select courses may be taken prior to passing the entrance exam.

Format: Online

In-class options not available.

Estimated Cost: $4,945

Cost does not include textbooks or class materials.

Duration: 15 - 30 months

Varies by student and courses taken per quarter.

Contact
Department
Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts
Phone
858-534-5760
Email
ahl@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid

Find out more about the program in a free information session.

Translation & Interpretation Program Information SessionINFO-70027

Units: 0.00

Free

This free information session is designed for those who are interested in learning more about UCSD Extension's Translation and Interpretation programs and the profession of translation and interpretat...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Entrance ExamEXAM-80002

Units: 0.00

$85

Students must pass the entrance exam prior to enrolling in either certificate program. The exam is a written assessment of your language skills in English and Spanish. In particular, it tests your kno...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

All 21 units are required.

Introduction to TranslationLING-40106

Units: 1.50

$250

Discover how to turn your language skills into a new career in translation. Get a practical introduction to the field of translation in this hands-on course. Vocabulary studies and problem solving tec...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to InterpretationLING-40109

Units: 1.50

$250

This course examines the profession of interpreting, including employment opportunities, the role of the interpreter, administrative matters, and ethical considerations. In addition, an overview will...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

English to Spanish Translation ILING-40039

Units: 3.00

$475

This course consists of an intensive review of the general rules of Spanish written language and its present modifications. It is taught entirely in Spanish and will cover the Spanish written fundamen...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Spanish to English Translation ILING-40040

Units: 3.00

$475

This course is designed to improve the writing skills of translators working from Spanish into English. Students will review the fundamentals of written English grammar and will make contrastive analy...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Theory and Practice of TranslationLING-40004

Units: 3.00

$475

This course introduces the basic theory and strategies for written translation. Students translate texts from various categories including literary, technical, business and advertising. Through hands-...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Consecutive Interpretation: Theory & PracticeLING-40037

Units: 3.00

TBD

This course offers students the opportunity to apply consecutive interpretation techniques in a variety of topics and settings. Topics are generalized and emphasis is placed on enhancing listening per...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Simultaneous Interpretation: Theory & PracticeLING-40038

Units: 3.00

$475

This course offers students the opportunity to learn and apply simultaneous interpretation techniques to a variety of topics and settings. Students interpret conference speeches dealing with politics,...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Sight Translation: Theory & PracticeLING-40086

Units: 3.00

$475

Learn the basic concepts and techniques of sight translation. Through text analysis, identify units of meaning, and the similarities and differences in English and Spanish grammar and writing styles. ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

A minimum of 9 elective units is required. Choose courses from any of the elective categories.

English to Spanish Translation IILING-40027

Units: 3.00

$475

This course covers the basic techniques and strategies for English to Spanish translation. It analyzes common English to Spanish translation pitfalls and the differences between these languages' writt...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Summer

Spanish to English Translation IILING-40011

Units: 3.00

$475

This course covers the latest techniques and strategies in Spanish to English translation and is appropriate for beginning translators as well as experienced professionals who wish to refine their ski...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer

Translation and Interpretation in EducationLING-40132

Units: 3.00

TBD

This course provides an overview of translation and interpretation (T I) in educational settings. Students will learn about the role of the interpreter/translator, ethical considerations, and the laws...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Note Taking for InterpretersLING-40140

Units: 3.00

$475

This 10-week online course offers students the opportunity to develop a sound base in note-taking for interpretation. Although emphasis is placed on the note-taking process and developing a personaliz...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

A minimum of 9 elective units is required. Choose courses from any of the elective categories.

Business TranslationLING-40025

Units: 3.00

$475

Learn specific skills to translate a variety of texts found in a business environment. Learn about different types of business organizations, understand the language of contracts and gain vocabulary u...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Tools and Technology in TranslationLING-40107

Units: 3.00

$475

Learn about on- and off-line resources to increase productivity, refine researching skills and assure a top-quality translation work. Feel comfortable showcasing your talent and networking with client...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Strategic Marketing & Branding for Translators & InterpretersLING-40113

Units: 3.00

TBD

Acquire the marketing and personal branding tools needed for career success as a freelance or in-house professional in the language industry, including professional selling, image building, and other ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Introduction to SwordfishLING-40118

Units: 2.00

$300

Swordfish is a vital tool professional translators use to manage translation projects. In this introductory course, you will learn to use Swordfish, a cross-platform Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Summer

Introduction to SubtitlingLING-40130

Units: 2.00

$300

Learn what sets subtitling apart in the translation industry, both in terms of the technical knowledge required to make subtitles work and the language skills needed to make subtitles attractive for a...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

A minimum of 9 elective units is required. Choose courses from any of the elective categories.

Legal TranslationLING-40035

Units: 3.00

TBD

Through hands-on practice, exercises, and the study of legal concepts in our language/legal system combination, students apply translation techniques to render a product with the same legal effect it ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Introduction to Court InterpretationLING-40071

Units: 3.00

TBD

This course provides an overview of the court system and related proceedings and the registers of speech typically encountered in legal proceedings. The court interpreter's role and code of ethics are...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

A minimum of 9 elective units is required. Choose courses from any of the elective categories.

Medical Translation: Internal MedicineLING-40092

Units: 3.00

$475

Be a part of the future when you take Medical Translation for Internal Medicine, a specialized course which examines technical terminology related to the field of internal medicine. According to the U...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Medical Translation: Specialty AreasLING-40093

Units: 3.00

TBD

This specialized course examines technical terminology and scientific writing style required in medical translation. Emphasis is on developing a conceptual framework and cogent bicultural approach to ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Medical InterpretationLING-40104

Units: 3.00

TBD

This course addresses patient/provider communication, cultural interference, interpreter code of ethics, and the role of the interpreter in the healthcare setting and industry. Online exercises famili...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Please note: These courses do not apply to the certificate

Advanced English GrammarLING-40131

Units: 2.00

$300

This six-week course covers the most problematic areas of English grammar for both native and non-native English speakers when writing in English and translating from Spanish to English. The grammar t...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Spanish Advanced GrammarLING-40133

Units: 3.00

$475

Designed for bilingual students who are interested in improving their Spanish grammar competence. Students will review and improve their knowledge by making contrastive analyses between Spanish and En...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Download PDF

This Program Is Designed For:

  • Bilingual language speakers who desire to have a Professional Translation & Interpretation Certification.
  • Professionals seeking career advancement by becoming certified in translation and interpretation.
  • Medical, legal or business professionals seeking to enrich their ability to communicate with non-Native speakers.

Certificate Guidelines

Tailor the curriculum to suit your professional needs. Areas of specialization in translation or interpretation, or professional industry (medical, legal, and business) are available.

The Professional Certificate in Translation and Interpretation (Spanish/English) is issued upon completion of the entrance exam and the total number of required credit units (30 quarter units). The approximate cost of the program is $4,945 (includes course fees, entrance exam fee, and certificate enrollment fee) and is paid incrementally as students enroll in courses rather than up front. Cost does not include textbooks or class materials. Course fees and schedules are subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All

What is the employment outlook for translators and interpreters?

The employment outlook for translators and interpreters over the next decade is very good, with an expected increase of 17% overall (learn more from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics).
 

Can this program be completed entirely online?

Yes! This program can be completed entirely online.  All assignments, discussion posts, and tests can be completed online and submitted through Canvas, our online learning platform. 

For the online translation courses you are not required to login to Canvas at a specific time but homework is due each week by a specified deadline (ie the class is asynchronous but not self-paced due to weekly deadlines).

The three required interpretation courses (Consecutive Interpretation, Simultaneous Interpretation, Sight Translation) require much more visual and audio interaction between the instructor and students and therefore require some synchronous web meetings and video/audio homework.  Students need a webcam and headset with mic along with fast internet.  These classes are typically completed mid-way through the program (usually 3-4 quarters into the program).  The synchronous meetings are held on Saturday mornings, Pacific Time.

It is important to note that while most of the elective options for this program are offered online, there are two that we are currently transitioning to an online format.  This includes: Introduction to Court Interpretation and Legal Interpretation in Criminal Proceedings.  We plan to have those three remaining electives transitioned to an online format by the end of 2018 at which point the program will only be offered online.

The link for UCSD Extension’s Canvas is: https://extensioncanvas.ucsd.edu/

 

Is this certificate open to non-California residents and international students?

Yes, the program is open to non-California residents, including non-US residents. The tuition is the same for all students.

No student visa is required, nor does this program qualify for a student visa since it is a part-time online program.

Entrance Exam

Our programs are designed for individuals who are already bilingual in Spanish and English. This signifies written fluency, and an ability to complete college-level studies in both languages. To be admitted, students must complete an entrance exam: a written assessment of vocabulary, reading comprehension, and spelling in both languages. All students who pass the entrance exam are eligible to enroll in either program.

• Offered online once per quarter on a Saturday
• Graded by a qualified, bilingual practitioner in the field
• All exam results are reported to students within three business days
• You are eligible to retake the exam as many times as you need, but it cannot be transferred in or waived

For more information please review the Entrance Exam PDF.

Course sequence recommendations

Students may enroll concurrently in more than one course, however we recommend participating in the entry level translation and interpretation courses in the order listed below.

How long does it take to complete this certificate?

The Translation and Interpretation certificate consists of the entrance exam and 11 required courses, eight of which are preset and three of which are electives that the student chooses.

You officially have five years to complete all requirements for the certificate, although students can usually complete the entire program in 1.5- 2.5 years (6-10 quarters) by taking 1-2 courses per quarter.
 

How much does this program cost?

The fees are the following:

  • Entrance exam: $75 per attempt
  • Introduction to Translation (5 week class): $250
  • Introduction to Interpretation (5 week class): $250
  • English to Spanish Translation 1 (10 week class): $475
  • Spanish to English Translation 1 (10 week class): $475
  • Theory and Practice of Translation (10 week class): $475
  • Consecutive Interpretation (10 week class): $475
  • Simultaneous Interpretation (10 week class): $475
  • Sight Translation (10 week class): $475
  • Elective # 1 (10 week class): $475
  • Elective # 2 (10 week class): $475
  • Elective # 3 (10 week class): $475
  • One time certificate fee once you pass the entrance exam to enroll in the certificate: $95
  • Total: $4,945 US Dollars
Students pay as they go when they register for classes, not in one lump sum.

Additional costs not included in this estimate: Textbooks, the cost of having access to a computer with internet, and the cost of a webcam and headset with mic.

When does enrollment open each quarter?

Our classes post to our website and become open for enrollment about two months prior to the new quarter starting.

When should I enroll in my class(es)?

We recommend enrolling as soon as possible in order to secure your seat in both online and on-campus classes.  Additionally it is good to enroll early because some classes will reach capacity. 

Sometimes on-campus interpretation classes do not reach the minimum number of students needed to run which is why students interested in on-campus classes should enroll at least one week prior to the class start date so that we can anticipate student demand.

How do I enroll in a class?

To enroll in a class, click on the class link in the course matrix above and that will take you to the specific class page. On the class page you can find additional details about the course such as start date, time, classroom number, instructor and textbook info.  To enroll click on “Add to Cart” which will lead you to complete the registration/payment process. You can also register over the phone with Student Services at 858-534-3400.

When does enrollment close?

In general the translation and interpretation classes close on the following schedule:

  • Online classes close to additional enrollments the first Friday morning after the class starts. 
  • For on-campus classes students must attend the first meeting therefore students should enroll prior to the class start date.
  • Enrollment to the entrance exam closes the Thursday prior to the exam at 3pm Pacific Time.

Why was my certificate application denied?

The name “application” is a bit confusing because this is meant to be completed after passing the entrance exam which is the only formal prerequisite to enrolling in the certificate.  If you submitted a certificate application prior to passing the entrance exam it will be denied however you can enroll in select classes that do not require the exam as a prerequisite and take the exam when it is offered next.  Once you pass the exam, you would then resubmit the certificate application.

Why was my enrollment in a course blocked?

Enrollment in a class may be blocked in the following situations:

  • The class is closed (see FAQ on when enrollment closes).
  • The class is at capacity. If the class is at capacity you will only be able to join the waitlist.  Students on the waitlist are contacted in the order they joined the waitlist.
  • The class is cancelled due to low enrollments.
  • The class has prerequisites that the student has not completed yet.
For these reasons we recommend students enroll early in the class(es) they are interested in.

When is the refund deadline?

The refund deadline for translation and interpretation courses is two days after the class start date.

The refund deadline for the entrance exam is the day prior to the exam.

The exact refund deadline for each section is listed in the section notes.

When will I have access to my online information session, course, or exam?

You will have access to the online Canvas class on the official start date of the class/exam/info session.  Access will be available at 12:01am Pacific Time.

Enrollment to online classes can take up to 24 hours to process and sync up to our online classroom platform, Canvas.  For example, if a class started on Tuesday and that is the day a student enrolled, they will likely not have full access to the class until 24 hours later on Wednesday.

What are the grading options?

When students enroll in a class they are given three grading options: Letter grade, Pass/No Pass, or Not for Credit. Students taking a class as part of a certificate need to complete their classes for credit (i.e. Pass/No Pass or Letter grade) and receive a C-/Pass or higher grade.

Grades below a C-, No Pass, and Not for Credit do not count towards certificate requirements.

What is the difference between a certificate and being certified?

Our program is an educational certificate, not a professional certification:

  • Students who complete the UCSD Extension Translation and Interpretation certificate earn an educational certificate.  This is different from a professional certification.  Industry certifications are usually earned by passing an exam through the state or federal courts or through professional organizations.
  • There is currently no national form of certification required for translators and interpreters in the United States, however there are a variety of exams that you can take to demonstrate your proficiency to your employer or that are required for specific jobs.  Some of these exams require previous professional experience as a translator/interpreter or an educational certificate such as the ones available at UCSD Extension in order to qualify to take the exam.
  • You can read additional information about these exams/certifications in our online information session and this Certification Exams PDF.
To summarize:  Our program does not result in a student being "certified" by UCSD Extension since this is an educational certificate, rather than an industry exam, however it will give you the skills needed to work in the field and will be very useful in passing many certification exams.

Is financial assistance available?

UC San Diego Extension facilitates private education loans through UC Approved Lenders for students officially enrolled in a certificate. Information on these programs can be found at extension.ucsd.edu/financial. State-Funded Training is available through EDD (Employment Development Dept.); more information can be found on their website: www.edd.ca.gov.
 

Can I transfer in any courses?

Students can transfer in up to two courses that match the content of our required courses. Please email ahl@ucsd.edu for more information about the transferability of previously completed courses.

Are these classes transferable?

UC San Diego Extension is not a degree granting institution, however many UC San Diego Extension courses can be transferred to other colleges or universities.

The transferability of credit is determined solely by the receiving institution. Students should discuss how your individual courses will transfer with the Office of the Registrar at the receiving institution prior to enrolling.

Quarter to Semester Unit Conversion
If the receiving institution operates on a semester system, credits will be converted to semester hours during their evaluation. As a general rule, quarter credits are converted to semester credits by dividing the number of quarter credits by 1.5. For example, if the student completed a course worth 4 quarter credits at UC San Diego Extension, the course would be worth 4 ÷ 1.5 = 2.66 semester credits.

Additional questions?

For questions regarding our classes and certificates, please contact us at ahl@ucsd.edu or 858-534-5760.

Advisory Board

Rebeca Calderon, M.A.

Manager, Interpreter Services, United States District Courts

Federal and State Certified Court Interpreter

Barbara Edwards

Senior Court Services Analyst, Court Interpreters Program

Exec Office Programs Division, Judicial Council of CA

Grant Goodall, PhD

Director and Professor, Linguistics Language Program

University of California, San Diego

Holly Mikkelson

Associate Professor/Author and Founder of ACEBO

Monterey Institute of International Studies

Ana Morales

Manager, Translation and Community Services

San Diego Unified School District

Teresa Newman, PhD, FNP

Director, Community Outreach Services

Scripps Healthcare

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.