Minnesota West to offer interpreter program
WORTHINGTON -- Through a new partnership with Century College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College will be able to offer certificates and associate degrees in Language Translating and Interpreting (TRIN).
The program aims to give bilingual students the skills they need to be successful interpreters and translators in a variety of fields, including education, healthcare and law.
"The idea is that Minnesota, like other states in the United States, wants and there is a desire to make, translating and interpreting a more professional field," said Christiano Mazzei, program coordinator at Century College, in an informational meeting held at Minnesota West Worthington campus on Wednesday. "A lot of people have been doing TRIN ad hocly -- in an improvised manner. There are skills students need to develop in order to do this more professionally."
To participate in the program, students will have to apply to Century College and once they have completed the program, will receive their certificate or degree from Century College.
The classes will be offered through interactive television that will connect students in Worthington with those at Century College and the other partner institution, Riverland Community College.
Mazzei explained the majority of students interested in the program are those who grew up in homes that speak a language other than English, native English speakers who have learned a second language and professional translators who are looking to develop their translating and interpretation skills.
The TRIN program is language neutral and anyone who is bilingual can participate.
"We have all languages in the same classroom paired with English," Mazzei said. "Everyone contributes with their own knowledge of their own language in the same classroom. We do believe that this broad mix of cultures really enriches the learning environment of the classroom,"
To facilitate the numerous languages spoken in a typical TRIN classroom, the course material focuses on the process and methods of translating and interpreting rather than translating and interpreting within a specific language.
"Students do a lot of reflection and self-analysis of their own performance. And we also hire external language reviewers to give feedback to individual work that students are doing," Mazzei said.
The TRIN program teaches multiple methods of translating and interpreting, including sight transition, consecutive translation and simulation interpreting.
For each of these modes there is a different skill set that needs to be developed and practiced.
Le Lucht, coordinator of diversity and multicultural activities at Minnesota West, is helping coordinate the program on the Worthington campus and explained that specialized programs like interpreting and translating are expensive for colleges to offer independently. Through this partnership, Minnesota West will be able to have full classes for interested students.
"Our community has just tremendous needs for translators, and as the populations are being here for longer periods of time, they are building up their language skills and education levels so they are looking for employment and careers that are not only fulfilling, but give back to the community and also is truly a full-fledged profession," she said.
While the courses are currently offered on the Worthington campus, Lucht said offering the courses on other Minnesota West campuses is an option.
"If the need is there, I don't know why we wouldn't be able to do that," she said.
As a professional interpreter, Mazzei said he believes interpreting and translation as a viable career choice will only continue to grow and become more recognized.
"As the population becomes more and more diverse, this career will grow so fast. It's shocking to me that people don't think about it as a career," he said.
For more information about the TRIN program, contact Le Lucht at 507-372-3423 or Chrstiano Mazzei at 651-748-2639.
Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.