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Loyola launches first-in-region Spanish/English translation, interpreting program

April 26, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans is launching a new program—the first in the Gulf region—to prepare professional interpreters and translators to meet the growing demand for their services in the health care and legal fields. Loyola will begin offering its Spanish/English Translation and Interpreting Certificate Program courses, open to the community and students, beginning in August 2013. The non-degree continuing education program is designed for bilingual students and residents who want to launch careers as trained interpreters and translators.

Not only will translators and interpreters with a certificate make more salary-wise, but the demand for these professionals will grow approximately 18 percent, according to Uriel Quesada, Ph.D., director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Loyola.

Without a trained interpreter, important information is often put at risk of being skewed or miscommunicated—especially in specialized industries such as the health care and legal fields where vocabulary is very technical and often complex.

“Interpreting and translating—even simultaneous translating—is a skill set beyond simply being bilingual,” according to the program’s academic director Lisbeth Philip, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of languages and cultures at Loyola. “There is a cultural component to be taken into account in order to guarantee an objective and accurate translation or interpreting.” Philip previously owned a translating and interpreting agency and spent many years working for the court system and other high-profile clients.

“You have to have an interest in a specific field to be able to interpret and prepare yourself for the task,” Philip said. “You work a lot with memory, and you work a lot with lexicon. And you have to make sure you know the vocabulary and certain expressions that come with the field.”

With that in mind, the program features introductory courses during the first semester covering the fundamentals of translation and principles of interpreting. Because translation deals with written work, those classes are all online. All the interpreting classes, because the field deals with oral presentations, are all on-site classes. Classes during the next semester will offer the different tracks of health care interpreting, health care translation, legal interpreting and legal translation.

The cost is $1,600 to $2,000 for either the health care or legal certificate, or $2,400 to $2,800 for the combined health care and legal certificates. Register online.

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