Associate Professor; Program Head, German Translation and Interpretation
Professor Hofmann-Miller originally studied political economics with the goal of working as a statistician. One day, however, she met a professor from Oxford University who introduced her to the intricacies of the English language. Since deciding to add an M.A. in translation and interpretation to her economics degree, she “has not regretted it one day. I knew then that statistics is not my future, and that I wanted to be a translator and interpreter.” After graduation, she worked for the U.S. State Department and the German Parliament, “travelled and learned a lot.” She has interpreted for numerous high-profile individuals and has served as an official interpreter at the Olympics since 1996.
In 1994, her alma mater, the Monterey Institute, asked her to teach a course. She began as an adjunct professor and has been German Language Coordinator since 2010. “I love teaching young people and learning from them,” she says. “We have excellent students, and it is a pleasure to follow them after they graduate and to see where their wonderful careers take them.”
Professor Hofmann-Miller teaches:
- Introduction to Translation English>German
- Introduction to Interpretation English>German
- Translation Practicum
- Advanced Translation English>German
- Advanced Interpretation English>German
Courses offered in the past two years.
- Current term ●
- Upcoming term(s) ○
This course is designed to make students
1) self-critical of their individual translation processes,
2) aware of the contributions of new technologies to the actual act of translating, and
3) aware of the problems of project translating in coordinated groups. These aims can be met without reference to specific language pairs.
The aim of the course is not to tell students how to translate (there are many other courses for that). The aim is to provide students with tools that they can use to make their own discoveries.
Assessment will be on the basis of attendance and participation in weekly experiment sessions.
Spring 2020 - MIIS, Fall 2020 - MIIS, Spring 2021 - MIIS, Fall 2021 - MIIS
Introduction to Interpretation into German
Introduces students to conference interpretation in general and consecutive interpretation in particular. Lays a foundation for the development of professional skills in consecutive interpretation, emphasizing the ability to understand and analyze a message in the source language (SL) and convey it in the target language (TL) in a straightforward and clear manner. Develops students’ ability to identify, analyze, and paraphrase the meaning in the SL and establish logical relations between its components. Emphasis is placed on active listening and concentration skills, memory, the ability to abstract information for subsequent recall, and basic elements of note-taking. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret extemporaneous passages that are on topics familiar to them and are between three and five minutes in length.
In language-specific sessions and joint sessions with other language programs, students are introduced to the skill of consecutive interpreting in both theory and practice. They practice listening to and repeating the content of passages of increasing length and difficulty. Students hone their public-speaking skills by developing and delivering speeches. Content is interpreted on topics from daily life, current events and the media, and general areas of personal interest to students.
Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Fall 2020 - MIIS, Fall 2021 - MIIS
Introduction to Translation into German
Introduces students to the basic theory and practice of translation, both written and sight. Students will learn to apply text analysis, text typology, and contrastive analysis of their working languages to identify, analyze, and resolve translation problems while independently developing an efficient and rational approach to the process of translation. The appropriate application of electronic translation tools will also be introduced. Fundamental translation theory will be emphasized at the beginning of the course and will be conveyed in the form of assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, and independent research. In addition, course assignments will include practice and graded exercises in sight and written translation, utilizing authentic texts drawn from an extensive variety of text categories that include, but are not limited to, current events, general political economy, general legal documents, and scientific and technical topics for general audiences. As the term progresses, student time and effort will increasingly be spent on the preparation and evaluation of written translation assignments. Students will be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam, to be assigned at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Fall 2020 - MIIS, Fall 2021 - MIIS
This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring interpretation knowledge and skills up to the professional level. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year interpretation courses to produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting. Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on business, economics, science, technology, and other topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the language combination in question. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. In consecutive interpretation, students prepare by researching topics before each session, with emphasis on sequential logic in notetaking and accurate terminology in delivery. Students continue to hone their skills by diagnosing and correcting problems at all stages from listening through delivery, while progressing to increasingly difficult and challenging material. In simultaneous interpretation, the techniques learned in the previous semester are consolidated, which enables students to polish their delivery and language register. Focuses on nuance of meaning, accuracy of interpretation, research and preparation for conferences, and glossary development. Special attention is given to maintaining concentration while under significant psychological stress. Students learn to recognize SL discourse patterns and render them effectively in TL. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret difficult passages that are derived from professional settings. In consecutive, students are able to interpret passages up to several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous interpretation, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Fall 2021 - MIIS
Builds on the theoretical and practical foundation laid in Introduction to Translation and introduces the translation of specialized subject matter. Depending upon the language program in which they are enrolled, students will be expected to acquire and demonstrate basic proficiency in the sight and written translation of either commercial and economic texts, legal texts, or scientific and technical texts. The amount of emphasis accorded to a particular topic will depend on the specific professional requirements of each language program. Course assignments will include readings, research, presentations, practice and graded exercises in sight translation, and practice and graded written translation assignments, including exercises in speed translation. Students will also be expected to take at least one midterm and one final exam. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are largely at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Translation or equivalent background.
Spring 2020 - MIIS, Spring 2021 - MIIS
Intermediate Interpretation – Consecutive and Simultaneous
Builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Introduction to Interpretation. Consists of both language-specific and joint sessions with other language programs.
In consecutive, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and further develops note-taking techniques. Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation. Students also expand their active vocabulary to include the terms and idioms that frequently occur in extemporaneous speeches. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are delivered extemporaneously, are of moderate difficulty, and are derived from professional settings. These passages vary from one to several paragraphs in length depending upon language combination, direction, and source content.
In simultaneous, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode in the booth. Begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are between eight and ten minutes in length.
Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with some emphasis placed on business and economics. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Course prerequisites: Introduction to Interpretation or the equivalent
Spring 2020 - MIIS, Spring 2021 - MIIS
This course is the counterpart to Advanced Translation I. Students are expected to translate texts of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of operational challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional translation settings, such as working in teams or coping with multiple technologies. Emphasis is on particular text categories and subject-matter knowledge that are pertinent to current market demand for the specific language combination and direction in which the course is being taught. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record, but will include projects that simulate, as closely as possible, the professional translation environment, as well as at least one midterm and one final exam.
Prerequisite: Advanced Translation I or similar background.
Spring 2020 - MIIS, Spring 2021 - MIIS
Advanced Translation I into German
This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring translation knowledge and skills up to the level that would be required of someone working in a professional translation environment. Students will be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year translation courses to produce translations that meet high standards for content, form, and presentation. A great deal of attention is given to subject matter knowledge and research, precision in text analysis and writing, and the appropriate application of translation technology. Some programs emphasize scientific and technical topics in this course, but others give considerable attention to commercial, economic, legal, and political texts, many of which have a technical component. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record. Students will, however, be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam.
Prerequisite: 2nd-year student in good standing or equivalent background.
Fall 2020 - MIIS
Areas of Interest
I have been doing research regarding the influence of the English language on the German language and how it influences our field of translation and interpretation. In the field of interpretation, I am interested in neurolinguistics aspects of simultaneous interpretation. In addition to my teaching load, I am an active translator and interpreter. I specialize in technical translations, and one of my first assignments years ago was the localization of Microsoft Windows 3.2, before the word “localization” existed. I translate and interpret in the IT field, as well as in the legal and medical fields.
- MA in Translation and Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies
- BA in Economics, Universität Regensburg
Professor Hofmann-Miller has been teaching at the Institute since 1994