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Course Descriptions

(All courses listed are required, there are no elective courses in this program)

BLS 617: “Technology: Applications in Translation and Interpretation”
In this course, students will analyze the current availability of tools to enhance and speed the translation process such as word processors, CAT (Computer-assisted translation) tools, voice recognition tools, and proofreading tools. We will explore and discuss their practical applications and features in terms of pricing, productivity, user-friendliness, quality output and compatibility with other tools and among them. In the field of interpretation, we will look at simultaneous interpretation, video and telephonic interpreting in terms of the software and hardware available to perform these types of interpreting and the job opportunities for interpreters in these growing areas. Likewise, the course will introduce students to new fields in which translation and interpretation skills are being applied such as subtitling, web localization and software localization, and voice-over along with the tools needed to work in these fields.

Furthermore, students will also become familiar with tools and resources to aid them in getting their translation and interpretation business started and in keeping up-to-date with the new advances in the industry.

BLS 639: “Advanced Spanish and English Grammar and Syntax”
Designed to provide a review of standard Spanish grammar and syntax for advanced students of the language. The course includes intensive oral and written practice with the view of improving native and non-native students’ speaking and writing skills, particularly in translations of Spanish to English and English to Spanish. The course also intends to make students aware of standard Spanish cultivated in schools of higher learning in the Spanish-speaking world.

BLS 640: “Translation Studies: Theory and Practice”
The first stage of the course is theoretical. Surveying statements on the art of translation will acquaint students with typical issues experienced by literary translators. Focusing on individual solutions to translation problems will heighten awareness of the challenges of working intercultural and independently. Reading essays on the process of translation will help students understand what the field of Translation Studies has come to mean in abstract terms. Using explanations of the history of translation and of current theories, will help students to develop a broad perspective on the field as a whole as they begin to incorporate standard terms in their own usage. The second stage of the course is practical. Newspaper articles will be examined as types of language posing different challenges which, when identified, prompt the appropriate stylistic choices for a translator. Discussion and collaborative in-class translations of examples of each type will complement the individual work done outside class.

BLS 641: “Professional Uses of Spanish: Healthcare”
The topics and linguistic skills covered in this course include the following: vocabulary, oral practice (Spanish-English and English-Spanish), ethnical norms, health care practices in the U.S., the Hispanic culture of the patient, role-playing, writing of a short medical script, observation at a local hospital with bilingual services, supplemental readings on specific diseases or community health problems.

BLS 642: “Professional Uses of Spanish: Business”
This course provides students the opportunity to translate a variety of texts, with emphasis on current world economic and financial issues, international trade and business and economic forecasts. Students learn to apply basic concepts of economic and business to real-world texts, thereby improving their command of the technical terminology of these fields. Texts include printed and online promotional and informational material, as well as various types of business correspondence and transactions. The course also covers sectors of the business world in which consecutive interpretation is frequently used and emphasizes also sequential logic in note taking and accurate terminology in delivery.

BLS 643: “Professional Uses of Spanish: Legal”
A series of legal documents will be analyzed for their technical features in order to grasp some of the systemic and cultural complexities that need to be understood in order to bridge the gap between lawyer and client when Spanish and English are both involved in a common legal proceeding. Deeds, lease agreements, liens, living wills and power of attorney, all commonly used documents in the U.S. today, will be translated. Students will learn how to efficiently communicate with Spanish speaking clients as well as to relay their verbal messages to a lawyer or a court. Through sight translation of written testimony, for example, letters or statements from clients, students will practice basic skills of court translating. Attention will be given to registers of speech (slang, police jargon, legal terms, norms for courtroom testimony). Typical sessions of client counseling and contract negotiations will be simulated in class, in teamwork, to practice this aspect.

BLS 610: “Comparative Analysis English/Spanish”
This course studies the comparative/contrastive grammar in the English- Spanish language pair. The course includes intensive practice in reading comprehension *skim, scan, main idea, key words* sequence of events, usage, error detection, synonyms, and most common translation problems in terms of grammar, vocabulary, idioms, slang. The course explores a variety of language registers.

BLS 611: “Fundamentals of Interpretation”
This course is designed to introduce the basic skills of interpretation: public-speaking, memory work, and text analysis, as well as the theoretical foundations of interpretation. In addition, the students will learn terminology research and professional skills: general business practices and ethics. Practicum emphasis is on public-speaking skills, as well as the ability to understand and analyze a message in the source language (SL) and convey it in the target language (TL) in a straightforward and clear manner.

BLS 612: “Consecutive Interpretation and Sight Translation”
This course builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Fundamentals of Interpretation. In consecutive interpreting, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and introduces note-taking techniques. Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation. Note taking and sight translation are introduced in the latter part of the course.

BLS 613: “Simultaneous Interpretation”
In simultaneous interpreting, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode. The course begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style.

BLS 614: “Legal Interpretation”
This one-term course seeks to further develop skills in consecutive with note-taking, sight translation, and simultaneous interpreting. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the introductory courses, and produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting. Students will be introduced to the procedures in criminal and civil law, legal language, the courtroom, and the Interpreter's Code of Ethics. Practice in the classroom will strive to recreate the most common scenarios in which legal interpreting takes place while developing the interpreting skills needed to work as a court interpreter. Students will refine their note-taking skills and special attention will be given to develop stamina and maintain concentration while under stress in the courtroom. Assessment will take into account both accuracy and fluency in delivery.

BLS 615: “Healthcare Interpretation”
This course will provide information on the healthcare system in the United States, medical terminology, code of ethics for medical interpreters, and the use of interpreters in healthcare situations. In consecutive interpreting, students will continue to enhance their memory and note-taking skills. They will work on detecting and correcting problems from the listening stage to the delivery stage. In simultaneous interpreting, students will work in polishing their delivery and language register. In sight translation, students will get familiar with the different forms used in hospitals and healthcare centers. Peer-assessment and self-assessment will be encouraged in order to bring awareness of the importance of self-monitoring in interpreting. Furthermore, this course will discuss current issues in healthcare interpreting and will provide information for further developing in the profession.

BLS 616: “Business Interpretation”
In this one-semester course, students will be introduced to simultaneous interpreting with text, so that they will learn to use appropriately any visual or written material to enhance their accuracy and completeness when interpreting. Conference interpreting will be practiced in class, with students carrying on research and preparation for "conferences", including compilation of glossaries and topic research. A code of ethics for conference interpreters will be discussed as well as booth etiquette. In consecutive interpreting, students will strive to continue developing their note-taking and interpreting longer utterances without interruption. Speech production aspects such as voice, fluency and pacing will be assessed as well. Material for practice will come from diverse business areas such as banking, finance, world economic issues and insurance, among others. Students are expected to read and research topics, make presentations, practice, grade their peer exercises and provide self-assessment. The purpose of all these aspects is to develop confidence, assertiveness and resources in students so that they will be able to deal with nuances of meaning and accuracy in interpretation while delivering smoothly and naturally in their target language.

BLS 701: “Internship”
Upon the conclusion of all other courses in the program, each student will be required to serve an internship in one of the following venues: (1) the State Courts in Pennsylvania or New Jersey--as openings are available; (2) a healthcare institution such as Einstein Hospital or the Shriners Hospital; (3) an international business where Translation and/or Interpretation will be required of the intern or, (4) a Translation and Interpretation company providing such services to the public, corporations, courts, healthcare organizations, etc. The student will have the ability to establish his/her preference. However, the preference voiced will be subject to the availability of intern openings at the time. Each student will be assigned a faculty supervisor that will monitor the kind of translation/interpretation being conducted by the student and will determine if appropriate to the skill’s developmental needs of the student. Equally, the faculty member will be in a position to assess whether the student is putting into practice the skills and theories learned during his/her course work. The internship period will last an entire semester and no less than one hundred hours of actual service (service = translation/interpretation time, exclusive of any other duties associated) will be required.

BLS 702: “Master Thesis/Project”
A supervised, individual Thesis/Project that must be related to the field of Translation and/or Interpretation. This is a research quality paper that could explore the linguistic, sociolinguistic, communication dynamics, applications of learned theories, and other matter related to the investigation of Translation and Interpretation in a general sense or, more particularly, in specialized linguistic field in Legal, Business and Healthcare Translation/Interpretation. The project is the required capstone experience of all graduate students of the M.A. in Translation/Interpretation program. All, students will be assigned a faculty advisor to direct their Thesis/Project.

Carmen Lamas, Ph.D.

The Hispanic Institute at La Salle University
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1209
Fax: 215.991.3506

La Salle University reserves the right to alter or change this information
at any time, without notice.

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