Certificate in Spanish Legal Translating and Interpreting


Translation is the process by which written text is rendered from one language into another. The original is in written form, and the translation into the other language is also produced in written form. 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 translation and legal/court interpretation.
  • Instructs students in the techniques and procedures of producing an accurate, efficient translation, particularly in the legal field.
  • Prepares students to take the state and federal legal interpreter certification exams, the American Translators Association Certification test
  • Prepares students for a career providing high quality interpretation 

Learning outcomes 

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze source texts, both technical and non-technical, from the perspective of an interpreter/translator;
  • Perform advanced linguistic, terminological, and subject matter research as needed by the target communication or text;
  • Convey oal and written communications or texts from a source into a target language according to specific standards of accuracy;
  • Enter the interpretation/translation market or, if already in it, to advance with a high degree of professionalism, skills and knowledge;
  • Perform consecutive or simultaneous interpretation or sight translation as needed by the situation;
  • Gain a valuable broader understanding of the cultures implied, in addition to technical and professional knowledge.
  • Be prepared to take the State and Federal legal interpreter certification exams;
  • Be prepeared to take the ATA certification test


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 translate between languages is seen today as an asset by companies, institutions and government agencies. Legal translating skills will make students more marketable and competitive. It will complement any major in criminal justice fields. This program also provides heritage learners at with the tools to use and think about two languages in a professional context.

Credits required 24

Prerequisite Fluency in English and Spanish, as determined by the department, 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 eight required courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater is required for successful completion of the certificate program. 

Required Courses. Subtotal: 24 credits

SPA 230  Translating I 
SPA 231 Interpreting I 
SPA 250 Spanish for Criminal Investigation
SPA 330 Translating II 
SPA 333 Interpreting II 
SPA 340 Legal Interpreting I
SPA 435 Legal Translating
SPA 440 Legal Interpreting II

Total Credits: 24