Miami-Dade to Offer Degree In Language TranslationMIAMIMiami-Dade Community College will offer the country’s first associate’s degree in translation/interpretation starting this month.With the large influx of foreign-born residents growing in and around south Florida, it was only a matter of time before the college started the course, according to Dr. Thomas Meyer, chair of ESL and Foreign Languages at M-DCC’s InterAmerican campus. Both students and members of the community had been requesting for a formal degree program, he said.“We do offer courses in translation but we didn’t realize the need for standardization until the local courts, hospitals and government agencies told us there was a need for qualified employers,” Meyer says. “There are plenty of people who speak two languages, but there is a difference between speaking and actually translating onto paper.”Along with Professor Humberto Cerna, who has been teaching many of the translation courses and has developed the new curriculum, Meyer said it took the college about two years for the course to get approved by the Florida Board of Education.“We also have a sociolinguistics course, which gives students a view of the cultural, regional and dialectical differences, as well as an understanding of how language and culture interact,” Cerna says. “Graduates will be skilled in simultaneous and consecutive interpretation and will become experts in written translation.”The degree program will start with Spanish-English/English-Spanish, but development of a similar program in Haitian-Creole is under way. Interested students must be bilingual, with demonstrated written and oral language proficiency, in addition to the standard college admission requirements. Those who complete the courses will be prepared to take the American Translators Association Accreditation Exam and/or the Florida Interpreter Qualifications Exam, which are required by many employers.
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