Certificate in Spanish Legal Interpretation

Interpreting students at UN headquarter

Interpretation is the process by which oral communication is rendered from one language to another. The original is spoken, and the rendition is delivered in another spoken language. This certificate program prepares students for careers in legal/court interpretation. It instructs students in the techniques and procedures of producing an accurate, efficient interpretation, particularly in the legal field. Students completing this certificate will be prepared to take the state and federal court interpreter certification exams and for careers in interpretation.

Learning outcomes 

Students will be able to:

  • analyze source texts, both technical and non-technical, from the perspective of an interpreter;
  • perform liaison, consecutive or simultaneous interpretation or sight translation as needed by the situation;
  • convey oral communications from a source into a target language according to specific standards of accuracy;
  • enter the interpreting market or, if already in it, to advance with a high degree of professionalism, skills and knowledge;
  • gain a valuable broader understanding of the cultures implied, in addition to technical and professional knowledge.


The U.S. Department of Labor foresees a 42% employment growth rate for translators and interpreters between 2010 and 2020 (vs. a 14% average rate for other professions).  Every multinational company and organization uses interpreter services, and many companies now have interpreters on staff.  The ability to interpret between languages is seen today as an asset by companies, institutions and government agencies. Legal interpreting skills will make students more marketable and competitive. It will complement any major in criminal justice fields. This program also provides heritage learners with the tools to use and think about two languages in a professional context.

Credits required 18

Prerequisite Fluency in English and Spanish, as determined by the department is required for enrollment.

Program coordinator Professor Aida Martinez-Gomez Gomez, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, 646.621.3755, amartinez-gomez@jjay.cuny.edu

Please note Completion of all six required courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater is required for successful completion of the certificate program.

Required Courses Subtotal: 18 credits

SPA 230 Translating I 
SPA 231 Interpreting I 
SPA 250  Spanish for Criminal Investigation 
SPA 333 Interpreting II 
SPA 340 Legal Interpreting I 
SPA 440 Legal Interpreting II

Total Credits: 18