Status message

COVID-19 Updates: CCAPS and the University

Translation and Interpreting Training and Services

Program in Translation and Interpreting Student Photo


  • Service options | Workshops, interpreter screening and more

We work with a range of organizations and businesses to provide contract training related to translation and interpreting. Training can be tailored to meet your requirements and, in many cases, offered either on the Twin Cities campus or at your site. For further information, or to schedule a training or service, please contact us at 612-625-0591.


Regular Short Workshops

We partner with a number of local organizations to offer training and short workshops. These sessions are offered three times a year and focus on the following topics:

  • Essential terms and concepts
  • The role of the interpreter
  • Assignment preparation and interpreter protocols
  • The difference between interpreting, cross-cultural mediation, and advocacy
  • Ethical principles for interpreters
  • Role-playing and sight translation practice
  • Transcription and self-assessment
  • Skills-building exercises
  • Tips for glossary building

For more information, including upcoming dates and prices, contact the Program in Translation & Interpreting office.

Tailored Workshops

Consulting services and tailored workshops are offered on the following topics:

  • The interpreter’s role, protocols, and ethical principles for interpreters (normally taught in English for a mixed group of languages)
  • Skills training for interpreters with trainers available in a wide variety of languages
  • Organizing and/or contracting for translation services
  • Specific issues faced by those providing services in a linguistically diverse environment (e.g. cross-cultural communication, establishing interpreter services, bilingual client materials).

Length and Location

Workshops vary in length from one to two hours to a few days, to a 40-plus-hour course over several months. Workshops are conducted on the University campus or on-site at your location. Previously, our instructors have offered orientations of up to three days in various locations around Minnesota.

How to Work Effectively With Interpreters Toolkit

This toolkit was designed to respond to a statewide need for a short training module for health care providers who communicate with their Limited English Proficiency patients through an interpreter. The Program in Translation and Interpreting is one of several partners who produced these materials under the auspices of the Interpreting Stakeholder Group, a committee of the Upper Midwest Translators and Interpreters Association.

This project pooled local expertise and existing materials to create a best-practices toolkit. The materials are freely available to all at www.umtia.org, but you should expect to compensate the time of the facilitator(s).

Interpreter Screenings

Are you hiring interpreters for your organization or assessing the performance of interpreters who work for you? If so, we can assist you by assessing their interpreting skills.

The Process

Selected candidates will come to the University campus to interpret in a role-play situation organized by our staff. The videotape of the performance is then evaluated by both a bilingual and a monolingual evaluator using our standard rubric, which rates a range of skills including:

  • Language skills
  • Knowledge of the interpreter’s role
  • Process management

Evaluation Report

You will receive a written evaluation of each candidate, including an explanation of their strengths and weaknesses and overall score. Since we are not a certifying organization, we cannot set a passing score. An evaluation is designed to inform your decision-making process.

Clients Served

We primarily work with local organizations. However, we are able to work with clients outside the local area provided they have the capacity to administer the recording/taping of the screening using our guidelines and can send us the digital recording or tapes for evaluation.


Scheduling will depend on your candidate’s availability. An appointment can normally be scheduled within a week of the request. We generally require up to a week from the time of evaluation to produce the report; however, more common languages can often be completed in less time.


For Arabic, Bosnian, Cambodian, Chinese, French, Hmong, Korean, Lao, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese interpreters:

  • One interpreter $250
  • Two interpreters (concurrent screenings, same language pair) $400
  • Three interpreters (concurrent screenings, same language pair) $500
  • Four+ interpreters (concurrent screenings, same language pair) $100 (add’l per candidate)
  • Cancellation on the day of screening or no-show $75

Screenings in Other Languages

We welcome requests for screenings in other languages in addition to those listed above. The cost will be slightly higher because we will have to prepare new materials and find a suitably qualified role-play participant and evaluator.

Curriculum Development

We have experience in writing curriculum materials (both monolingual and bilingual) for interpreter training programs. If you are looking for materials to either initiate training or augment an existing program, please contact us to discuss your project.

Contact Scott Homler, the program director at homle003@umn.edu for more information.


Translation and Interpreting Services

The Program in Translation and Interpreting may be able to provide translation and interpreting services or referrals. Contact Scott Homler, the program director at homle003@umn.edu.

Publications for Purchase


The original purpose of these manuals was to provide instructors with a framework for teaching courses at the University of Minnesota. These subsequent editions have a considerably larger scope, and each contains enough material to offer a 40-50 hour interpreting course or supplement existing courses. Student workbooks to accompany these publications will soon be available for purchase.

Order Form

Introduction to Interpreting is an introduction to the practical and theoretical aspects of community interpreting. Students will become knowledgeable about important interpreting issues including interpreting as a profession, the role of the interpreter, ethics and decision-making, interpreting models, processing and information management skills, and professional standards. At the University of Minnesota this course is taught in English, with some bilingual activities. Students in the class typically speak a number of different languages.

Consecutive Interpreting is a practical course aimed at developing proficiency in community interpreting. It introduces several settings in which community interpreters commonly work and the protocols that apply to each one including health care, education, social services, immigration, and the courts. Students learn about the kinds of communication that occur in each setting as well as some of the relevant terminology. They work on 'real-life' dialogues and sight translation documents that are typical of each setting in small language-specific groups. This is designed as a bilingual course, which requires the training institution to group students into language-specific sections. An explanation of this 'multilingual model' structure is provided in the manual. These materials were not created with a particular language pair (Spanish/English, Somali/English, etc.) in mind. Instead the manual includes English/English 'masters' which can be adapted for any language group. Bilingual versions of some of the material will be made available for purchase to complement this manual. These include role plays and assessments, and currently exist in French, Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Previous and Current Clients

  • New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tuberculosis Control
  • Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Ramsey County Human Services
  • City University of New York
  • Allina Hospitals and Clinics
  • University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview
  • Hennepin County Courts
  • Saint Paul Public Schools 
  • ARCH Language Network
  • BARC
  • MAMI
  • Minnesota Judicial Branch
  • Minnesota Department of Education
  • Gillette's Children Hospital