UMass Boston

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Spanish-English Translation (Certificate)

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About the Program | Curriculum | Outcomes | Internships | Your Future | Admission Requirements | Tuition | Contact Us

About the Program

UMass Boston's Spanish-English Translation Certificate program is designed to meet the increasing local, national, and international demand for professionals, educators, and students interested in meeting the challenges of modern multicultural and multilingual societies.

This year-long program is intended for bilingual (English-Spanish) speakers who wish to learn, improve, or expand their knowledge and skills in oral or written translation.

During the program, you'll explore the history, principles, theory, and practice of oral and written translation. You'll practice the techniques of legal, medical, technical, general, and literary translation and learn to work with a wide variety of online dictionaries, reference materials, and other tools and resources used by professional translators. You will also improve your knowledge of English and Spanish syntaxes, morphologies, and semantic systems.

UMass Boston and the Spanish-English Translation Certificate program are recognized by the American Translators Association (ATA) as an Approved Translation & Interpreting School.

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Over two intensive semesters, students in the translation program learn the theoretical foundation and practical skills all effective translators possess. Here is the thematic focus of each semester:

  • SPAN 408 Advanced Techniques and Skills for Translation (Fall semester: September through December)
    Develop the basic techniques and skills needed for translation with an emphasis on translation into the native language with some practice in the opposite direction. Methods of contrastive linguistics to analyze pertinent aspects of language structure, involving syntax, vocabulary and style, are employed. You’ll be given ample opportunity to apply these techniques through a series of translation assignments, which form the basis for class discussion.
  • SPAN 409 Advanced Practice of Translation (Spring semester: February through May)
    Practice translating a variety of genres and styles, both literary and non-literary. You’ll have the opportunity to analyze critically, and to resolve creatively, the problems involving such issues in translation as context, register, tone, and audience. There will be an emphasis on translating into the native language (English/Spanish), but considerable practice is given in the non-native language.
  • SPAN 580 Translation in Media (Spring semester: February through May)
    This fully online course explores contemporary media translation in print, television, radio, and social media. Students will learn to analyze the form, content, structure, and function of media in different linguistic, cultural, and social contexts to be able to make informed translation decisions while keeping in mind the wider cultural, ideological and ethical implications of the work of a media translator. Through a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in translating authentic materials (news articles, editorials, reviews, short video scripts, and social media content) students will gain knowledge and practical skills to be able to readily meet the growing demand for qualified professionals in the field of Media Translation. Students will also participate in bilingual media content production for local and regional media outlets, bringing diverse communities into local and global communication and improving their language command in both Spanish and English as target and source languages.

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Learning & Career Outcomes

At the end of this two-semester program, you’ll be awarded a professional certificate in Spanish-English translation. Successful completion of the Spanish-English Translation Certificate program includes a minimum combined grade average of 80/100 and demonstration of excellence by successfully completing a comprehensive certification examination given by a departmental panel. The certificate will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. Use your certificate to pursue full-time, part-time, or freelance work in virtually any field — medicine, law, education, technology, and more.

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If you're interested in finding an internship, please fill out this form.

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Your Future

  • From 2020 to 2030, employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 24 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • 2020 Median Pay: $52,330 per year
  • Each year since 2018, the number of students enrolling in the program has doubled
  • About 10,400 openings for interpreters and translators are projected each year, on average, over the current decade

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Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the program, participants must pass a proficiency test that can be followed by an online interview. To participate in the Spanish-English Translation Certificate program, complete this application form.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for fall admission.

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  • This program consists of two 6-credit courses, or 12 credits.
  • Total estimated cost to complete this program is $6,100, including all fees, materials, and exams.
  • Estimate is based on completing program by minimum duration. Other fees may apply.
  • There is a monthly payment plan option (an interest-free way of paying tuition in equal monthly payments with a one-time non-refundable enrollment fee per semester). Please contact the Bursar’s Office if you have any other financial questions.

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Contact Us

Email us your questions at or fill out this form to get the inside scoop on the Spanish-English Translation Certificate Program experience, career outcomes, events, and more.

For information about application procedures, program fees, or registration, please contact:

Peggy Fitzgerald / Latin American and Iberian Studies Department
Phone: 617.287.7550

For academic and professional information, please contact:

Diego Mansilla, Program Director

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