Specialized Study Program in English/Spanish Document Translation

Specialized Study Program in English/Spanish Document Translation

Classroom Program


9 months


9 Units

UCR Extension

Professional translators are in demand in schools, businesses, government offices, healthcare facilities and courtrooms. Complete a comprehensive program so you will be able to accurately express the meaning of written texts between target and source languages. Use practice assignments, research methods, technology, analysis of language structures and other tools to ensure nothing is "lost in translation".

Designed For

Individuals who are:

  • Looking to strengthen their language of habitual use.
  • Ready to speed up their bilingual development.
  • Looking for a position as a professional interpreter or translator.

Courses are not separated by language. Principles and examples are applied concurrently in each course to translate to and from English and Spanish. All translation competencies and methodologies are appropriately integrated in each course, and then students advance when ready to translate more difficult texts.

What You'll Learn

  • Basic, intermediate and advanced tools to translate accurately
  • Reading comprehension and analyses in both English and Spanish
  • Bilingual writing mechanics
  • Translation concepts
  • Translation methods and procedures to solve difficult translation problems

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in a variety of industries all over the world, and can be found in firms, government, or nonprofit organizations. They might include:

  • Professional Translator
  • Linguist
  • Interpreter

Program Overview


9 Units

“I have been translating for about eight years, and this program gave me the help I needed to overcome a block I struggled with when working on translation projects. It exposed me to valuable tools and available resources. My instructors were highly experienced and an inspiration.”

Marleni Carias

Content Management Specialist
Reliance Steel and Aluminum Co.
Alhambra, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Must successfully pass the qualifying admissions written exam to determine mastery in both languages.

Admissions Exam:

  • Students must successfully pass the qualifying admissions written exam to determine mastery in both languages
  • Bring a bilingual dictionary
  • Bring pencils or pens

Program Timeline

  • Summer Quarter: Enroll in the Information Session and complete the Admissions Exam
  • Fall Quarter: Start the program

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Specialized Certificate in English/Spanish Document Translation: Information Session

SPN 851.02

An overview of the Specialized Certificate in English/Spanish Document Translation Program offered through UCR Extension. Learn about the field of professional translation including career paths and specializations, education levels, job requirements, skill sets, and responsibilities. If you are looking to break into the field of translation, this program is for you. Program offers approximately 90 hours of professional level instruction. Conventient, free parking included.

Qualifying Admission Exam for the Interpretation and Document Translation Programs

SPN 852.32

Applicants for the Professional Interpretation and Translation English↔Spanish Certificate and the Specialized Program in English↔Spanish Document Translation must successfully pass the Qualifying Admissions Exam prior to enrolling in either certificate program. Admission to the program will be based on an assessment of your language skills in English and Spanish. The exam will test your knowledge of vocabulary, reading, comprehension, spelling and grammar, as well as the ability to complete college-level coursework.

Applicants for the Professional Interpretation and Translation English↔Spanish Certificate Exam, please bring a recording of good quality (any size) on which you have recorded the following:

  • a 2-3 minute reading selection in English from a newspaper or magazine article of your choice
  • an oral interpretation into Spanish of the same article
  • an autobiographical statement in your non-native language (no longer than 3 minutes)

Applicants should also bring a bilingual dictionary, pens, and pencils.

Applicants for the Specialized Certificate in English↔Spanish Document Translation Exam, please bring:

  •  a bilingual dictionary and pens and pencils

Note: Graduates of the Professional Interpretation and Translation English↔Spanish Certificate Program, and/or experienced professionals working in the Interpretation and Translation field for more than two years may be given special permission from the department to be exempt from taking the admissions exam. 

Quarter 2

Fundamental Principles and Methodologies of Translation

SPN X409.01

2 units

An introduction to the theories and methods of translation, and to the practical elements of five core translation competencies with real-world bilingual examples: (1) personal competencies and (2) basic tools for the translation task. Emphasis is placed on (3) reading comprehension and analyses in both languages. You will read a wide variety of bilingual topics, and analyze the source and target readers. Also, you are introduced to writing (4) and translating (5) short texts.

Comparative Analysis of the Structures of English and Spanish Languages

SPN X409

2.5 units

An examination of key grammar and punctuation elements of both language structures including the standard and non-standard forms of a language, and the importance of sentence structure, verbs, punctuation, reading, and writing, editing and proofreading. Emphasis is on in-class reading; comprehension and writing exercises and discussions; syntax and semantics; and vocabulary development with examples from both languages.

Quarter 3

Intermediate Principles and Methodologies of Translation

SPN X409.02

2 units

You develop intermediate language proficiency by further applying the theories and methods of translation and the practical elements of the five core translation competencies. (1) The personal competencies, technical (2) tools, and (3) reading competency continues to be covered, but emphasis is placed on (4) bilingual writing, including diverse register and styles; bilingual writing mechanics; and dealing with language interference. Also, you begin to (5) translate moderately difficult texts with accuracy and completeness.

Quarter 4

Advanced Principles and Methodologies of Translation

SPN X409.03

2.5 units

In this bilingual course, (1) personal competencies such as self-assessment and professional ethics; (2) computer-assisted translation tools; and competencies for advanced bilingual (3) reading and (4) writing are expected. Emphasis is placed on producing a corpus of professional (5) translations. Concepts include language functions, the translation process, and translation theory for dealing with texts. Application of translation methods and procedures to solve difficult translation problems is covered.

“I have worked in the healthcare industry in California and Mexico for more than 30 years. In addition to being an M.D., I am also a Nationally Certified Healthcare Interpreter. I enjoy working with a diverse group of students to help bridge the language and culture gap. I will guide you and help you develop the translation and interpretation skills to be successful in the healthcare industry.”

Dr. Jesus Oliva-Barron

Director of Healthcare Consulting & CEO
MAGNUS & SIERRA Language Health Training Center
Walnut, CA

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