Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Archives: 2005-2006 Summer Spanish Institute

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2005-2006 Summer Spanish Institute

The Program

The Spanish Translation Institute at East Carolina comprises four courses, each focusing on written translation:

  • SPAN 3340 Introduction to Translation explores the history, theory, and techniques of translation through the use of short prose texts from areas of general knowledge such as cultural information and current events
  • SPAN 4340 Intermediate Translation focuses on longer texts and introduces specialized materials such as business, medical, and legal documents, as well as literary texts
  • SPAN 5340 Advanced Translation I expands translation practice by incorporating a greater variety of style and subject matter.
  • SPAN 5940 Advanced Translation II moves the practice of translation skills to an advanced level and includes texts written in a variety of styles and topics.

Please note that the institute course work only involves written translation. Interpretation of the spoken word is not part of this program.

The program begins with an emphasis on translation from Spanish to English. A small amount of translation from English to Spanish is involved in the first course, but that work does not count for assessment. In the second course the balance shifts, with translation into Spanish occupying an equal place with translation from Spanish.

While there will be some discussion and readings about language and the process of translation, 90 percent of the course work will be devoted to practicing translation. The material will encompass a wide variety of fields and be drawn from many different sources, including commercial handouts, instructions, press articles, and stories. All texts to be translated will be modern, undoctored, and in their original form. They will reflect the usage of different countries.

Qualification for entry

The minimum prerequisite to enter the program is a native or near-native command of English plus successful completion of ECU's course SPAN 3330 (Advanced Composition), or an equivalent level of preparation. What makes for a successful translator? Translation is an art built upon a sound knowledge or attention to detail. You need to have a sophisticated knowledge of both languages and be able to adapt your use of language as appropriate for different social contexts and different subjects. And of course, you must be familiar with the cultures concerned.

More than ever before, professionals are realizing the importance of communicating effectively in a multilingual society. In particular, today's public-service fields in eastern North Carolina -- from social services to education, law enforcement to health care -- need people who not only have a command of the English language but who also can translate written text from and to Spanish.

In East Carolina University's Spanish Translation Institute, you can practice the art of translation while also working toward certification as a capable translator of Spanish text. During this intensive ten-week program, you will develop your translation abilities while discovering ways of expression that are traits of each language. Whether you use translation skills professionally, seek to expand your marketability in the workplace, or simply wish to improve your language skills, this institute will enrich your knowledge of the English and Spanish languages.

The Schedule

The Spanish Translation Institute begins with East Carolina's first summer session, from May 16-June 21, and continues through the second summer session, from June 22-July 28.

During the first summer session, classes will meet every weekday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a rest break in the middle. (Meeting times for the second summer session will be determines during the first summer session.) You will be expected to come to class having prepared texts for translation and also submit several translations for assessment, in addition to taking exams.

The first course will be covered during the first half of summer session one and the second in the second half. A similar pattern applies for the other two courses in summer session two.

The Certificate

If you complete the program and its exams with a high standard of performance, you have the opportunity to earn East Carolina's Certificate in Spanish Translation. The certificate will say that you are judged to be a capable translator to or from Spanish, or both.

Note: Completing the institute satisfactorily does not entitle you to automatic certification. East Carolina University faculty will evaluate your performance during the institute's coursework and exams to determine whether certification will be awarded. All students, however, will receive credit for the courses completed. The opportunity to be evaluated for certificate purposes will present itself periodically, and if you are not initially awarded the certificate, you may be reexamined at another time.

For More Information

For further details on East Carolina's Spanish Translation Institute, including prerequisite and registration information, contact Dr. Peter Standish, preferably via e-mail, at (phone 252-328-6022) or Mrs. G. Davies at (252-328-6017).