General Program Description

The Legal Interpretation and Translation program offers a Legal Interpretation – Basic certificate (English/Spanish) and a Legal Interpretation and Translation – Intermediate certificate (English/Spanish). The program is designed for students desiring careers as interpreters and/or translators in the legal field, with employment opportunities in government offices, the court system, as well as private and public offices.

The program places emphasis on English/Spanish legal terminology, interpretation of oral communications between attorney and client, as well as written translation of legal pleadings, forms, simple reports, and certificates. The program also emphasizes terminology required by interpreters in the medical, immigration and business areas.


Legal Interpretation – Basic (English/Spanish) Certificate

 Bus 181  Spanish Computer Skills for Interpretation/Translation   3 units
 Bus 210  Business English  3 units
 Bus 226  Interpretation and Translation: Legal  3 units
 Span 215  Spanish for Bilinguals I  5 units
 Complete 6 units from the following courses:
 Bus 225  Interpretation/Translation: General Business  3 units
 Bus 227  Interpretation and Translation: Medical  3 units
 Bus 229  Legal Terminology: Bilingual (English/Spanish)  3 units
 Bus 233  Interpretation/Translation: Immigration  3 units
 MEDOP 229   Medical Terminology – Bilingual (English/Spansih)         3 units


 20 units 

Legal Interpretation and Translation – Intermediate (English/Spanish) Certificate

 Bus 211  Communication in Business and Industry  3 units
 Bus 212  Business Communication  3 units
 Bus 234  Advanced Interpretation and Translation: Legal  3 units
 Span 216  Spanish for Bilinguals II  5 units
 Complete 3 units from the following courses:
 Bus 225  Interpretation/Translation: General Business  3 units
 Bus 227  Interpretation and Translation: Medical  3 units
 Bus 233  Interpretation/Translation: Immigration  3 units
 MEDOP 229   Medical Terminology – Bilingual (English/Spanish)  3 units
 Courses for Legal Interpretation Basic Certificate                                  20 units


 34 units 


Career Outlook

Interpreters and Translators enable the cross-cultural communication necessary in today’s society by converting one language into another. Interpreters and translators must thoroughly understand the subject matter in which they work so that they are able to convert information from one language, known as the source language, into another target language. Interpreters convert spoken language into another language. Translators convert written materials from one language into another. They must have excellent writing and analytical ability. They also need strong editing skills since the documents they translate must completely match the intended message. Interpreters work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, courtrooms, and conference centers. They are required to travel to the site wherever their services are needed. Translators usually work alone and they must frequently work under the pressure of deadlines and tight schedules.

The following is a list of career options available for the interpreter/translator. Some require a certificate and most require an associate degree: court interpreter, freelance interpreter/translator, assistant in legal intake and services in juvenile mediation, immigration, and family counseling. Employment opportunities exist in courts, legal clinics, related public and private agencies, and international business settings.


Salary Information
The salaries of interpreters and translators can vary widely depending on language, subject matter, skill, experience, level of education, certification, and type of employer. Competency in language determines the speed of advancement for translators and interpreters. Advancement may consist of more difficult assignments and higher pay.

Wage and salary interpreters and translators had median hourly wages of $38,850 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,940 and $52,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,190. Individuals classified as language specialists in the Federal Government earned an average of $79,865 annually in March 2009.

(Data taken from the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Employment Outlook
Interpreters and translators can expect much faster than aver¬age employment growth. Overall, employment of interpreters and translators is projected to increase 22 percent over the 2008–18 decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupa¬tions. Higher demand for interpreters and translators results directly from the broadening of international ties and the large increases in the number of non-English speaking people in the United States. Both of these trends are expected to continue throughout the projections period, contributing to relatively rapid growth in the number of jobs for interpreters and transla¬tors across all industries in the economy.

(Data taken from the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Last updated: 8/1/2011 10:01:05 AM