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Raquel Lázaro Gutiérrez
Cristina Álvaro Aranda
Universidad de Alcalá. Grupo FITISPos-UAH
Public service interpreting in Spain remains an under-professionalised activity.
One method of understanding professionalisation is through Bourdieusian
theories and the sociology of professions, which consider profession or occupation
as a dening characteristic of an individual or group of individuals who share
it (Bourdieu 1980, 1985, 1986). The sociology of professions emphasises the
formal, institutional and economic factors of professions, such as career patterns,
education, jurisdiction, professional norms, high status, altruism, credentials,
ethical codes and salaried work (Larson 1977, Abbott 1988, Torstendahl and
Burrage 1990, Macdonald 1995, Freidson 2001).
For example, in order to describe the professional plight of sworn translators
in Spain within the legal eld, Monzó (2009) uses two interesting concepts
borrowed from the sociology of professions (Abbott 1988): society as a market
for problems and the concept of jurisdiction. Certain groups try to provide
solutions to particular problems. If the set of problems is well delimited and the
solutions prove benecial, a group may be granted exclusivity for the provision
of solutions to a particular problem area within the market. For this to happen, the
solutions must be the most satisfactory and convincing in the opinion of society.
This does not mean that alternative solutions do not exist (other individuals may
produce alternative solutions based on alternative knowledge). However, society
will have a preference for this occupational group as they struggle to provide the
best possible solution. Following Monzó (2009), once the occupational group
is dened and delimited (this means that both the problems they solve and the
solutions they apply are set and dened), a range of mechanisms are established
to allow new members to become part of the group. Most importantly, those
who do not full the required characteristics are excluded. The main requirement
to become a member of an occupational group is usually to have completed
specialised training through which they have acquired the knowledge needed to
solve a problem applying the existing set of solutions.
Training has been dened as one of the main pillars of professionalisation.
For example, Goode (1957) considers professions as communities with shared
identity, values and roles, and identies up to twelve characteristics of an
ideal profession. These include extensive and specialised training, and the
establishment of training standards. According to Panaia (2007), each profession
is shaped by a particular theoretical knowledge which translates into practical
skills. This specialised knowledge is acquired after a long training period, usually
at university (Wilensky 1964, Evetts 2003, Nolin 2008).
Wilensky (1964) positions the creation of specialised training schools as
the second stage in the professionalisation process, following the emergence of
a work activity as a full-time occupation (rst stage), and preceding the emergence
of professional associations (third stage), the legal protection of the professional
activity (fourth stage) and the elaboration of a formal code of ethics (fth stage).
In contrast, Harries-Jenkins (1979) establishes six main professionalisation
elements: educational, structural,contextual, activity-related, ideological, and
conductual. Finally, Burrage et al. (1990) focus on the agents who interrelate in
the professionalisation process: i.e. universities and other specialised training
organisations together with practitioners, countries and clients or users. The role
of universities and training organisations is to develop the knowledge that builds
up the profession and to provide graduates with a professional status.
In turn, Paradeise (1984) states that training shapes the structure of the market,
and drives access to professional employment in that it implies the acquisition of
a title as a sine qua non condition for this access. Training is also related to career
development and remuneration, as life-long training or informal training inside or
outside universities also imply the acquisition of knowledge expertise (at dierent
training levels). This generates internal promotion, the accumulation of work
experience and expertise and, thus, internal stratication and increased salaries.
Spain underwent a process of industrial development alongside a strong
emergence of the tertiary sector in the 1960s, which created an increased internal
consumption capacity. With the restoration of democracy in the late 1970s and its
inclusion in the EU in 1986, Spain consolidated its position as one of the preferred
European destinations. One of the most signicant characteristics of immigration
into Spain is that, contrary to what happens in other European countries (Greece,
Italy and Portugal in the last decades and France, Germany, Switzerland and United
Kingdom some years ago), immigrants come to Spain for a variety of reasons. Its
climate, tourist and leisure facilities and its international policies (with relations
and agreements with other European, Latin America and Arab countries), make
Spain very attractive to both tourists and immigrants (López de Lera 1995).The
percentage of immigrants in Spain gradually increased (mainly from the year
2000) until it reached its peak in 2011, as can be seen in the following table:
Table 1.
Number of foreigners in Spain and percentage according to the total population
(Source: own elaboration from INE data)
Year Population Total %
1981 198,042 0.5 %
1986 241,971 0.6 %
1991 360,655 0.9 %
1996 542,314 1.4 %
1998 637,085 1,6 %
2000 923,879 2.3 %
2001 1,370,657 3.3 %
2002 1,977,947 4.7 %
2003 2,664,168 6.2 %
2004 3,034,326 7.0 %
2005 3,730,610 8.5 %
2006 4,144,166 9.3 %
2007 4,519,554 10.0 %
2008 5,268,762 11.4 %
2009 5,648,671 12.1 %
2010 5,747,734 12.2 %
2011 5,751,487 12.2 %
2012 5,736,258 12.1 %
2013 5,546,238 11.8 %
2014 5,023,487 10.7 %
2015 4,729,644 10.1 %
2016 4,618,581 9.9 %
2017 4,572,807 9.8 %
2018 4,562,962 9.8 %
2019 5,025,264 10.7 %
The main countries of origin of foreign populations in Spain are Morocco,
Romania, United Kingdom, Italy, Colombia, Germany, Ecuador, Bulgaria,
Venezuela, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Argentina and Russia. Ten of these fourteen
countries have ocial languages other than Spanish, which makes us reect on
the communication diculties immigrants might have and the consequent need
for translation and interpretation in public service provision.
Although public service interpreting and translation is under-professionalised
in Spain (Lázaro Gutiérrez 2014a), there has been an important evolution in
both the availability of resources and services, and the availability of training
programmes. It is worth mentioning that Spanish universities have been the main
driver for the establishment and consolidation of public service interpreting and
translation not only as an emergent profession and academic discipline but also as
a means to grant communication rights. At this point, it is necessary to mention
the COMUNICA Network, a group of universities which have joined eorts to act
as a permanent observatory on public service interpreting and translation.
COMUNICA was founded in 2005 by a group of researchers from Spanish
universities across the country. It aimed to study and analyse how linguistic
mediation (public service interpreting) was provided and to publicly report
on malpractice, which unfortunately is frequent in this domain. COMUNICA
rests on three fundamental pillars: training, professionalisation and research,
and it has published two cartographies of public service interpreting in Spain:
Valero Garcés and Raga Gimeno (2006) and Foulquié-Rubio, Vargas Urpi and
Fernández Pérez (2018).
The latter cartography oers a comparison of the current situation of PSIT
with that of 10 years ago. The main trends in the national territory are an increase
in the outsourcing of services (which has led to a corresponding deterioration in
the working conditions of both interpreters and translators), the proliferation of
telephone interpreting and the prevalence of volunteer and ad-hoc interpreters
and translators. Although the results might be pessimistic, it is worth mentioning
the rising amount of research and the increasing number of reports that denounce
the lack of professional interpreters and translators in public service provision.
On the other hand, training in PSIT is more varied and frequent than ever, not
only at the university level but ina range of formats. These will be discussed in
the following sections.
This chapter aims to present how public service interpreting and translation
training is conducted in Spain. As previously mentioned, this training occurs at
a range of levels and in a variety of guises which have been classied into seven
modalities: formal university training at undergraduate level; formal university
training at postgraduate level; other university training courses; training provided
by NGO and public institutions; training provided by private companies; training
of volunteer interpreters and new formats, such a Massive Open Online Courses
(MOOC). Each modality will be presented in its own section and illustrated with
one example. Far from being exhaustive, this piece of writing aims to provide
the reader with a general overview of PSIT training in Spain and with some
suggestions for training development.
3.1 Formal university training at the undergraduate level
Unlike in many European countries, in Spain, undergraduate programmes
take four years, which allows for a moderate degree of specialisation in particular
translation and interpretation domains. It is also common to nd double
programmes, which combine two degrees over ve years or the possibility to
study a major in a particular specialisation.
According to Sales Salvador (2008: 80), the adaptation of Spanish studies to
the Bologna scheme created an excellent opportunity to refocus on current social
challenges in order to properly train and prepare students to cater for the need
of professionals in new elds such as public service interpreting and translation.
From 2005, we have witnessed the appearance of a variety of university courses
specialised in dierent domains of translation, such as audio-visual translation,
literary translation or localisation (Valero-Garcés and Pena 2008: 1). The
provision and content of specialised courses in interpretation have not been
standardised, and PSIT hold sa prominent position.
In 2018, Camacho Sánchez (published in 2019) conducted a study on the
presence of intercultural mediation and public service interpreting and translation
in Spanish undergraduate programmes. To do so, she used the tool QEDU (standing
for Qué estudiar y dónde en la universidad, meaning “what to study and where at
university level”) developed by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and
Sport. Camacho Sánchez established that 27 undergraduate programmes and 12
double undergraduate programmes related to translation and interpretation were
available in Spain. She then examined the curricula of all these programmes
in search of courses that could be related to intercultural mediation and public
service interpreting and translation. To verify that relationship, she also checked
the courses’ study guides. She found 11 courses and two majors specialising in
public service interpreting and translation:
Table 2.
PSIT courses at the undergraduate level in Spain
BA in
Translation and
Business and Public Service Interpretation B-A,
A-B (English)
University of Murcia
[Universidad de
Consecutive and Bilateral Interpreting B1 [En]-A
in Social and Institutional Domains
University of Madrid
Complutense de
Simultaneous Interpretation and Sight Translation
B1 [En]-A in Social and Institutional Domains
Intercultural Mediation and Interpretation A1
(Spanish) – B (English) / B (English) – A1
(Spanish) in Public Service Domains
Jaume I University
[Universidad Jaume I]
Introduction to Public Service Interpretation
B/C-A English
University of Granada
[Universidad de
Major in Social and Institutional Translation:
– Legal and Financial Translation A-A (Castilian-
Catalan/Catalan-Castilian) and Legal and
Financial Translation B-A (English-Castilian)
– Social Mediation for Translators and
– Introduction to National and International
Institutions for Translators and Interpreters
– Techniques to Prepare for Bilateral
Interpretation B-A-B
– Specialised Reverse Translation
– Oral Expression A for Interpreters
– Oral Expression B for Interpreters
University of
[Universitat Autònoma
de Barcelona]
Major in Interpretation:
– Techniques to Prepare for Bilateral
Interpretation B-A-B
– Practice with Bilateral Interpretation A-B-A
– Oral Expression A for Interpreters
– Oral Expression B for Interpreters
– Social Mediation for Translators and
– Introduction to National and International for
Translators and Interpreters
– Specialised Reverse Translation
– Language for Specic Purposes (A) for
Translators and Interpreters
– Language for Specic Purposes (B) for
Translators and Interpreters
Social Interpretation (English) University
of Valladolid
[Universidad de
Social Geography
Intercultural Mediation and Social Assistance Pompeu Fabra
[Universidad Pompeu
Community Translation and Interpreting
UniversityAlphonso X
The Wise
[Universidad Alfonso
X el Sabio]
BA in
Translation and
Public Administration and Institutional Relations
Saint George
[Universidad San
Public Service Interpreting
Because of space constraints, only the Public Service Interpreting course
of the BA in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Saint George
University [Universidad San Jorge] will be briey mentioned. It is a 6 ECTS
non-compulsory course oered to 4th-year students in the second semester,
which implies that students following this course are about to nish their degree
and already possess general and specialised knowledge about both translation
and interpretation.
Its study guide states that the course’s primary aim is to present the role and
functions of public service interpreters, as well and the norms and principles
that guide their performance. Students study how public services work focusing
in particular on healthcare and legal domains. They acquire basic specialised
terminology and learn to act as a linguistic bridge between public service
providers and users. Bilateral liaison interpreting and consecutive interpreting
are taught together with sight translation in English and Spanish. An in-depth
linguistic and extralinguistic knowledge of both English and Spanish is required
and students are recommended to have previously completed the Interpretation
Techniques course.The course follows an innovative approach that includes
a wide variety of activities: theoretical lessons, debates, presentations by students,
role-plays, problem-solving activities, screening of lms and documentaries,
conferences, talks, visits, and individual sessions.
3.2 Formal university training at postgraduate level
At postgraduate level, the availability of programmes varies quite frequently
because it depends on the number of recruited students. In Spain, master
programmes only take one year (a 4+1 scheme) and are very specialised and
demanding. The following table presents the master’s degrees that include
training in public service interpreting and translation:
Table 3.
MAs which include training in PSIT
MA in Translation and Intercultural
Autonomous University of Barcelona
[Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona]
MA in Intercultural Communication,
Interpreting and Translation in Public
University of Alcalá
[Universidad de Alcalá]
MA in Institutional Translation University of Alicante
[Universidad de Alicante]
MA in Professional Translation University of Granada
[Universidad de Granada]
MA in Professional Translation and
Intercultural Mediation
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
[Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria]
MA in Translation and Intercultural
University of Salamanca
[Universidad de Salamanca]
MA in Translation and Interculturality University of Seville
[Universidad de Sevilla]
MA in Professional and Institutional
University of Valladolid
[Universidad de Valladolid]
MA in Legal and Court Translation and
King Juan Carlos University
[Universidad Rey Juan Carlos]
MA in Translation and Interpretation
Jaume I University
[Universidad Jaume I]
MA in Medical and Healthcare
Jaume I University [Universidad Jaume I]
MA in International Communication,
Translation and Interpretation
Pablo de Olavide University
[Universidad Pablo de Olavide]
The only programme which is fully specialised in PSIT is the MA in
Intercultural Communication, Interpreting and Translation in Public Services
at the University of Alcalá. It has been oered since 2006 and belongs to the
EU EMT (European Master’s in Translation) project. It contains ve modules:
1) Intercultural communication, 2) Healthcare interpreting and translation,
3) Legal interpreting and translation, 3) Internships, 5) Master’s dissertation. In
total, there are ten individual courses:
Table 4.
European MA in Intercultural Communication, Interpreting and Translation in
Public Services
MODULE Intercultural communication
Courses Intercultural communication
Institutional communication in public services
Techniques and resources for public service interpreting and translation
MODULE Healthcare interpreting and translation
Courses Specialised translation: healthcare domain
Healthcare interpreting
MODULE Legal interpreting and translation
Courses Specialised translation: administrative domain
Specialised translation: legal domain
Legal interpreting
MODULE Internships
Course Internships
MODULE Master’s dissertation
Course Master’s dissertation
Each year approximately 120 students register for the MA and can follow
one of its itineraries: Arabic-Spanish, Chinese-Spanish, English-Spanish,
French-Spanish, or Russian-Spanish. The programme takes one year, starting in
October and nishing in June. In October, the students complete the Intercultural
Communication module online. On site sessions start in November with the
Healthcare interpreting and translation module, which lasts until the end of
December. The Legal Interpreting and translation module follows until the
beginning of March. Onsite sessions are intensive and students spend 16 hours
a week in class. When they nish, students complete their internships and their
master’s dissertations (Lázaro Gutiérrez 2014b).
3.3 Other university training courses
In addition to the ocial undergraduate and postgraduate programmes,
Spanish universities oer other training activities related to PSIT which can
take the shape of seminars, short courses, long-life training courses, or even
postgraduate expert or master programmes. One of the oldest and most important
courses is the postgraduate Specialisation Programme in Community Interpreting
and Translation, oered by the University of La Laguna from the year 2005.
Students can choose to follow the Specialisation Programme in Community
Interpreting and Translation in Spanish plus one or two additional languages.
Bilateral, remote and whisper interpreting are emphasised as well as translation,
with the main aim of training future public service interpreters and translators.
The programme is structured in two thematic modules: legal and administrative,
which covers the police, migration, administration, legal and court domains;
and health and social, which coversthe education, social welfare, healthcare and
asylum domains. Each of these modules consists of the following courses:
Language for specic purposes, in order to enhance knowledge and command
of legal, administrative, social and healthcare language.
Interpretation techniques applied to public services, where consecutive, liai-
son, whisper and telephone interpreting are covered, as well as sight translation.
Direct and reverse translation of legal, administrative, social and healthcare
Institutional frameworks and contexts of intercultural communication, which
consistsof seminars and theoretical lessons about public institutions and
cultural realities related to public service interpreting.
Interpreting practice, which is aimed at developing competencies and skills
necessary to confront real interpretation assignments in a variety of environ-
ments and communicative contexts related to public service interpreting.
3.4 Training provided by NGO and public institutions
Public institutions need interpreters and translators to communicate with their
allophone users. Conversely, it is NGOs that provide public service interpreters
and translators. Although none of these organisations are ocial training bodies,
both develop programmes which reach a high number of students in a wide range
of languages.
One of the most prominent programmes of this kind in the central area of Spain
has been developed by Salud Entre Culturas (Health Amongst Cultures, SEC).
The initial steps of this programme date back tothe late 1990s, when a group of
doctors from the Unit of Tropical Diseases at the University Hospital Ramón y
Cajal in Madrid, dealt with the communicative diculties they had to confront
daily by hiring language professionals in order to bridge the communication
gap between healthcare sta and patients. This group of professionals came
from a range of dierent elds: health, psychology, interpretation, intercultural
mediation and management. In 2006, they became an association (Asociación
para el Estudio de las Enfermedades Infecciosas / Association for the Study of
Infectious Diseases, AEEI). It included Salud Entre Culturas, whose principal
aim is the provision of public service interpreting and translation and intercultural
mediation in healthcare settings.
In addition to their interpretation and mediation services in Arabic (classical
and dialectal), Armenian, Bambara, Bangladeshi, Baule, Bulgarian, Chinese,
Dioula, English, Farsi, French, Portuguese, Pular, Romanian, Russian, Susu and
Wolof, they also develop health promotion and social integration campaigns
addressed to foreign and migrant populations. Their training activities represent
a signicant part of their workload and include patient training about prevention
and health promotion, healthcare sta training in interculturality, intercultural
communication and intercultural medicine, and interpreter and mediator training.
It is specically the interpreter and mediator training that we are going to
address in this chapter. Since 2008, Salud Entre Culturashas oered a cost-free
programme centred on intercultural mediation in social and healthcare domains.
It is taught in Spanish and takes 225 hours. As Álvaro Aranda (2015) states, it is
addressed to students from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds who
have a C1 level of Spanish and do not have previous training in interpretation.
The programme is structured into three modules:
Healthcare education. This module covers key aspects of diseases (e.g. TB
and AIDS) and general healthcare aspects such as hygiene or sexual and
reproductive health.
Social and healthcare mediation. This module is related to legal and
institutional aspects, (such as the dynamics of the Spanish healthcare system,
and the rights and duties of migrant patients) and refers to health, culture
and communicative models of cultures originating from the most common
countries of immigration to Spain (e.g. Africa or Eastern Europe).
Intercultural mediation. This module covers healthcare interpreting and
translation skills, intercultural mediation techniques and cultural aspects
related to health, gender and religion, amongst others.
Lessons tackle both theoretical aspects, reinforced by specialised readings
about, for example, common diseases or documentation techniques. There are
also practical sessions, in which real cases are presented in the form of role-plays.
Emphasis is focused on note-taking techniques, memory exercises, cultural
aspects and ethics.
In addition to the teachers who are part of the Salud Entre Culturas sta,
experts in medicine, translation and interpretation and intercultural mediation
are also hired as members of the training team. They evaluate students through
a theoretical exam and their performance in practical sessions. After in-class
training, students complete 20 hours of supervised internships which are graded
according to dierent levels of diculty to cater for the irregular acquisition of
knowledge on the part of the students. In cases where the students have only
been able to achieve a basic level of performance, they are only allowed to mirror
professional interpreters. However, if the students have acquired a high level,
they can act as interpreters in their own right. Once training has been completed,
students receive a certicate and some of them are hired by Salud Entre Culturas
to work as interpreters and are invited to complementary training sessions.
3.5 Training provided by private companies
As mentioned above, public service interpreting and translation services in
Spain are usually outsourced. This means that private companies are in charge of
providing the service and, in many cases, provide training for their translators and
interpreters. This is particularly relevant in the case of telephone interpreters, as
training provided by higher education institutions is still scarce in this particular
domain. In Spain, there are three leading companies providing telephone
interpreting services as their primary activity: Dualia, Interpret Solutions and
Migralingua. All of them oer both initial training for prospective interpreters
and also life-long training for their employees. Migralingua’s training programme
will serve as an example of training provided by private companies.
Migralingua’s main activities are (sworn) translation, language teaching and,
especially interpretation in all its modalities (conference, liaison, court, public
service and over the phone). As a telephone interpreting provider, Migralingua’s
approach is very innovative in that they oer a mobile app called Voze, which
allows both service providers and end-users fast access to telephone interpreting
services. Although telephone interpreters do not work exclusively in public
service domains, such work does constitute the most common scenarios.
Migralingua’s initial training programme for telephone interpretation takes
12 hours and is oered for free through blended-learning methodologies.
Approximately 10 – 12 students follow the programme, mainly women in their
late twenties having Spanish as their mother tongue. C1 is required for all their
working languages, and previous experience and training in translation and
interpretation are desirable.
Standard theoretical contents are presented in Spanish and practical
exercises (real case analysis and role-plays) are conducted in the students’
other language. The initial programme is mainly aimed at the consolidation of
previous knowledge as it is focused on the acquisition of basic skills. The main
emphasis is put on consecutive and bilateral interpretation skills, note-taking,
communication management, documentation skills, and ethics. After training,
interpreters receive a certicate and some of them are hired by the company
(Álvaro Aranda 2015).
3.6 Training volunteer interpreters
In public service settings, it is still common to nd volunteer interpreters and
translators. This has to do with the scarce provision of free interpreting services
by public authorities and with the low incomes of some of the end-users, which
make it dicult for them to hire their interpreters. Volunteers are usually sent to
the dierent public services by NGOs and their training and professional back-
grounds are very diverse: i.e. from recent graduates in translation and interpreta-
tion who want to acquire professional expertise to migrants speaking minority
languages who do not have any training at all in interpretation or translation.
In 2015, the University of Alcalá launched a 50-hour training programme
in collaboration with the Regional Healthcare Service of Castilla-La Mancha
(SESCAM) to train a total number of 12 volunteer interpreters who were recruited
by the NGO Guada Acoge. Lessons were taught onsite by three university teachers
and one member of SESCAM sta. Theoretical contents were presented through
a ipped learning methodology using readings and audio-visual materials on
a virtual platform; these were complemented by lectures, debates and discussions
in class. Practice in class was organised by means of role-plays and students had
to complete their training with an internship period at the local hospital.
The programme was specialised in healthcare interpreting and translation and
the main topics developed in class included bilateral interpretation (e.g. voice
modulation, note-taking, memory exercises, communication management), inter-
cultural mediation (dierent perceptions about health and illness, stereotypes, non-
verbal language), and institutional aspects (healthcare system, organisation of the
interpretation and mediation service). After training, students receive a certicate.
3.7 New formats: the rst MOOC on PSIT
Recently, a number of new training formats, such as the Massive Open Online
Courses, have emerged. These have a dissemination aim and usually oer short
introductory training courses for people wishing to discover a new eld of
knowledge or even new career opportunities. In 2016, the University of Alcalá
launched the rst MOOC on PSIT, with the title Get Your Start in Public Service
Interpreting and Translation! It was rst developed in Spanish and now, after
a process of transcreation, it is also available in English and Chinese on the
e-learning platform Open Education.
Get Your Start in Public Service Interpreting and Translation! is an
introductory course addressed to a broad general public. Its main aims are: to
provide basic knowledge about PSIT for people who do not have any training
in interpreting or translation to encourage them to pursue further and more
complete training; to introduce a specialised eld of interpreting and translation to
interpreters and translators working or specialised in other elds; to disseminate
PSIT as an emergent profession; to make their main characteristics known to the
general public and prospective users, and to raise awareness about the need for
professional public service interpreters and translators.
The distribution of contents is as follows:
Module 1: Bilingualism and PSIT (2 weeks)
1.1. Bilingualism, translation and interpretation
1.2. PSIT as a profession and as a discipline
1.3. Professionalisation of PSIT
Module 2: Intercultural communication and mediation (3 weeks)
2.1. Interlingual and intercultural communication
2.2. Intercultural mediation
2.3. Codes of ethics and psychological impact
Module 3: PSIT: tools and resources (5 weeks)
3.1. PST
3.2. PSI
3.3. Tools and resources
Each section presents the same internal structure. It starts with a theoretical
video about the essential concepts of the module. Next, the students complete a set
of activities and a self-evaluation test, and exchange opinions and reections in the
debate forum of the module (Vitalaru, Valero Garcés and Lázaro Gutiérrez 2018)
Public service interpreting and translation is still not fully professionalised.
One of the key elements for professionalisation is the existence of formal
training. However, training for PSIT is currently provided in a wide range of
formats in Spain, from MA programmes to short training courses delivered by
public institutions and companies. In this chapter, some details of those training
programmes have been presented. However, this is by no means an exhaustive
list of the total number of courses oered in Spain. PSIT training programmes
are diverse and changing and we will foreseeably witness the emergence of new
approaches and formats in due course.
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This paper describes the theoretical bases of a framework designed to analyze legal translators as a professional group. The different waves of the sociology of professions are discussed and essential notions are explained and then applied to certified legal translators in Spain based on the results of a survey among professional certified legal translators conducted by the author in the framework of her doctoral thesis.
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Resumen: Las labores de mediación lingüística e intercultural que se desarrollan en los servicios públicos españoles son por lo general improvisadas y en numerosas ocasiones se recurre a personas que no han recibido una formación especializada para ejercer como mediadores, traductores o intérpretes. Actualmente se imparten en España más de una veintena de títulos oficiales de grado en materia de traducción e interpretación. Por consiguiente, lo más idóneo sería aprovechar esta amplia oferta formativa con miras a proporcionar unos servicios de mediación lingüística e intercultural de calidad en la Administración pública española. En este breve artículo se analizan los planes de estudio de cada una de estas titulaciones oficiales y se recopilan diferentes asignaturas de especialización en mediación intercultural, traducción e interpretación en los servicios públicos con el fin de proporcionar una visión general de las propuestas formativas que ofrecen las instituciones de educación superior actualmente. El objetivo es presentar una visión actualizada y general de las competencias específicas que se contemplan en los planes de estudio de estas titulaciones y que se pretende que los estudiantes desarrollen tras cursar las asignaturas seleccionadas en la combinación lingüística inglés-español. Abstract: Linguistic and intercultural mediation activities performed in the public services of Spain are usually ad hoc and carried out by people who have not received specialised training to work as mediators, translators or interpreters. More than twenty BA degrees in translation and interpreting are currently taught in Spain. Therefore, it would be desirable for the Spanish public Administration to take advantage of such a broad training offer in order to provide quality linguistic and intercultural mediation services. In this short paper, the syllabi of each of these official courses are examined to compile different specialisation modules in public service intercultural mediation, translation and interpreting in order to provide an overview of the training proposals currently offered by higher education institutions. The aim is to provide an updated overview of the specific competences mentioned in the syllabi of these courses and that students are supposed to develop after completing the selected modules in the language combination English-Spanish.
The paper analyses and explains the appeal of the concepts of profession and professionalism and the increased use of these concepts in different occupational groups, work contexts and social systems. The paper begins with a brief preliminary section on defining the field where it is suggested that a shift of focus is required from a preoccupation with defining `profession' to analysis of the appeal to `professionalism' as a motivator for and facilitator of occupational change. Then the paper examines two past, alternative and contrasting, sociological interpretations of professionalism (as normative value system and as ideology of occupational powers). In the third section the paper argues that, in the 1990s, a third interpretation has developed which includes both normative and ideological elements. Sociologists have returned to the concept of professionalism in attempts to understand occupational and organizational change and the prominence of knowledge work in different social systems and global economies. The fourth section returns to the question of the appeal of the concept of professionalism in promoting and facilitating occupational change, and considers how the balance between the normative and ideological elements of professionalism is played out differently in occupational groups in very different employment situations.