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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Course Validation

 

1.     Do courses with the same name, but a different code number count as degree courses?

Yes. In the PGT catalogue, there are many courses entitled "Translation Seminar"or "Translation Practice Seminar," although they have different codes.  If the codes of the courses are different, then it does not matter whether the name is the same—they can be considered degree courses. 

 

2.     Do courses with different names, but with the same code count as degree courses?

Yes. For example, "TRAD 6990"and "TRAD 6995"are "umbrella courses" which can be repeated as long as the names (or subtitles) of the specific courses are different. In the PGT catalogue, there are other course codes that may be used repeatedly. The important thing is for the course title to be different.

 

3.     Does the PGT validate translation internships abroad as credits? How many credits are they worth?

Internship experiences abroad could be validated, depending on their characteristics and the number of hours worked. The student must consult with the program director.

 

Comprehensive Exam

 

1.     What is the comprehensive exam?

The comprehensive exam consists of a text of approximately 450 words in the language combination and direction chosen by the student, to be translated within a period of three and a half hours.

 

2.     Which language combinations can be selected to take the comprehensive exam?

The comprehensive exam can be taken from Spanish into English or from English into Spanish. Any other language combination is subject to the availability of qualified examiners in that particular combination.

 

3.     How long does the comprehensive exam last?

The exam must be completed within three and a half hours.

 

4.     If a student passes the exam in a specific language combination and direction, for example from English into Spanish, could he or she do his thesis in the other direction (from Spanish into English)?

Students must do their theses in the same language combination and direction selected to take the comprehensive exam.

 

5.     When can students take the comprehensive exam?

Students may enroll in the comprehensive exam any semester after approving 24 credits.

 

6.     How can students enroll in the comprehensive exam?

Students must enroll in the course "Comprehensive Exam"(TRAD 6920), which is not worth any academic credits, but is considered a full academic workload. Students must fill out a form in which they will select the language combination and direction of their exams no later than a week before taking it.

 

7.     How many opportunities do students have to pass the comprehensive exam?

Students have two opportunities to pass the exam.

 

8.     What happens if a student fails the exam the second time?

Students who fail the comprehensive exam twice are not eligible to complete their Master's degrees in Translation.

 

9.    What tools are allowed during the comprehensive exam?

During the comprehensive exam, students are allowed to use dictionaries, glossaries, and other reference materials deemed necessary by the student. Likewise, the students will have internet access throughout the exam. However, automatic translation programs and spell checkers are not allowed. 

Thesis

 

1.     When can students enroll in thesis?

Students may enroll in thesis once they have approved the comprehensive exam.

 

2.     Can students select professors who are not part of the PGT as thesis advisors?

Yes. At the Program's discretion, students may select thesis advisors from other departments or colleges of the University of Puerto Rico, as long as they meet the requirements to be on the evaluation committees of master's theses of the College of Humanities. The person chosen will have to express their agreement to serve as advisor for the student's thesis project.

 

3.     How frequently do students have to meet with their thesis advisors?

Each thesis involves the commitment of a weekly meeting of at least one (1) hour to work with the thesis advisor.

 

4.     What does the thesis comprise?

The thesis is the translation of a text, which will be accompanied by an academic essay that will serve as the translator's preface. Students will select texts of approximately 12,000 words after having been translated. The language combination and direction must be the same as the one used for the comprehensive exam.

 

5.    Can there be a thesis committee in which all of the professors are not ascribed to the PGT?

No. As a general rule, the thesis advisor and one other member of the committee must be professors of the Program.

 

6.     When do students have to hand in their theses to their readers?

The thesis must be handed in six weeks prior to the defense with the advisor's approval.

 

7.     Who may attend thesis defenses?

Thesis defenses are open to the public. However, the deliberation and evaluation will be private.

 

8.     Can students finish and defend theis theses in one semester?

Yes, although, infrequent, it is possible to finish and defend a thesis in one semester.

 

9.     What happens if a student does not approve his or her thesis?

Students who do not approve their theses cannot complete their degrees. However, in nearly 40 years since the PGT's founding, there has never been a case in which a student who has submitted his or her thesis for defense has failed. Thesis advisors who deem that their students' theses do not meet the minimum passing requirements do not authorize them to submit their theses to the members of the examining committee. However, if after having submitted the thesis, one of the readers deems that it is not up to the expected standard, the reader will mention it before the day of the thesis defense and will suggest that the student withdraw and amend the project before resubmitting it.  

 

10.     What do I need to know regarding Copyrights as a translator?

Read the article Information about Intellectual Property for Translators to learn more about  copyrights for translators and translation students in Puerto Rico.

 

Job Opportunities

 

1.     What job opportunities are available for translators in Puerto Rico and abroad?

Translators can work freelance or as employees of government or private sector companies. Freelance translators can offer their services locally to direct clients and translation agencies, as well as international clients through the internet.

In Puerto Rico, there are translation positions in some government agencies, such as the Supreme Court and the Legislature. There is a high demand in the federal government for translation and interpretation services in agencies related to security, such as the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, as well as in courts. There is also a high demand for translators and interpreters in hospitals and other health care providers, and schools and educational districts, particularly in cities and states where many immigrants live.

According to a recent survey, the language combination for translation that has the highest demand in the United States is Spanish<>English, and the fields with the highest demand are legal and medical translation. According to projections of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected that the demand for translation services will increase a 40% in future years.

 

Certifications

 

1.     What is a professional certification?

A certification provides credit for the combination of professional skills that qualify a person to pursue a professional activity.

 

2.     Who certifies translators in Puerto Rico?

In Puerto Rico, the State does not regulate the practice of translation or interpretation. There is no state or government entity that certifies translators. Professionals who wish to become certified resort to the one offered by the American Translators Association (ATA) or the Federal Court interpreter certification.

 

3.    How do you acquire an ATA certification?

The ATA certifies translators who have passed a written examination. These people are entitled to use the acronym "CT" (Certified Translator) after their names. Details regarding how the exam is administered and who is eligible to take it can be found in the ATA web page. For more information, click here.

 

4.     How do you acquire a Federal Court certification?

The USCCI (United States Court Certified Interpreter) certification can be acquired by means of an exam. This exam is divided into two parts—written and oral. You can find more information about the certification process by clicking here.