Saturday, December 15, 2012

Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation at the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland

I recently wrote about the specialization on court interpreting that will soon be available at Monterey Institute of International Studies (Monterey, California).  See, my December 7 post.  This week, I learned about the new graduate programs in interpretation and translation offered by the Department of Communication (College of Arts and Humanities) of the University of Maryland.  I am thrilled to see more intepretation and translation programs at the graduate level. Language proficiency by prospective students is one of the main challenges faced by interpreting programs. Generally speaking, students at the graduate level are more likely to meet the language proficiency requirement.

These degrees offered bye the University of Maryland are the following:

1.      interpreting:

• Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Consecutive Interpreting and a

• Master of Professional Studies in Interpreting, which offers two tracks:  
  Conference Interpreting; or Public Service Interpreting


• Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Translation and a

• Master of Professional Studies in Translation, which offers two tracks:
  Translation; or Translation and Localization Project Management

 The programs are receiving applications for both national and international students. The deadline for international applicant is March 1, 2013 for fall 2013 admission.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Monterey Institute of International Studies to add a specialization in English-Spanish court interpreting

The Monterey Institute of International Studies, which is known for its programs and degrees in translation and interpreting – especially conference interpreting – is preparing to offer a specialization in court interpreting for the English-Spanish language pair. Although Monterey has offered court interpreting and legal translation as part of its regular curriculum for many years, it has never had a specialization in court interpreting. It appears that this is about to change and beginning next year students will have the option of a specialization in court interpreting as part of their M.A. degree.

The specialization will require four courses specifically focusing on court interpreting, in combination with the general translation and interpreting classes. And while Monterey has not publicized this specialization yet, it is piloting it with current students and new students are being advised of this option as soon as they register. The plan appears to be that once the “kinks” of integrating this new specialization into the existing curriculum have been worked out, Monterey will publicize it on its website. However, anybody interested in this specialization may send their inquiries by email directly to the Institute.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Freek Lankhof: A friend who offers an invaluable service to interpreters and translators across the United States

In all undertakings, there are people who go the extra mile for the collective good, and our profession is no exception.  I could include here a list of immediately recognizable names, but have decided to highlight the work of a person whose service to the interpreting and translation community in the US is undeniable, yet sometimes not fully acknowledged or appreciated.

 That person is Freek Lankhof, President of InTrans Book Service – a true friend of our profession.  Those who do not know Freek (one measure of his friendship is that he lets us pronounce his name “Freak” instead of “Frake”) may think at first that he is just an exhibitor in interpreting and translation conferences and educational activities throughout the United States. Well, he is an exhibitor, but not just that.  Freek is passionate about our profession –being himself a translator.  Born in the Netherlands, Freek studied Swedish and worked as a Swedish–Dutch translator.  He also worked for a Dutch publishing company and then became a proofreader and copy editor.  The book distribution business brought him to the United States, but he quickly decided to start his own company focused on reference and teaching materials in English –Spanish translation and interpretation, although he also stocks a variety of resources in other languages.
If you organize an activity with enough participants to make it worth his while to attend (hey… the guy has to make a living), he will be there.  At times, he will load up his car with hundreds of heavy books and drive miles to allow us to buy resources right at the event.  Other times, he will fly to the event, shipping his books ahead of time. The wonderful thing about all this is that Freek is always there with his friendly smile and gentle manners. Even more wonderful is that he will not stop coming to our events even if some of his books have been stolen; sad to say.  Freek and his services have become a feature of most educational events in our field.  Exhibitors come and go, but Freek is always there. He is part of our profession.
Giants like, however, are an imminent threat to his business.  While Freek runs his business not only to earn a living but because he loves what he does, he cannot offer the discounts that the giants of the book distribution business can.  I would urge my fellow translators and interpreters to never use our friend’s list of books and prices as a source of information and then buy those books somewhere else.  The research work that Freek does to provide our profession with the latest publications is more than worth any small additional price for his books and reference materials. This is what I love about Freek and wanted to share with you.