Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Holly Mikkelson


I love what I do: interpreting, translating, and teaching, in no particular order. I’m a state and federally certified court interpreter, and I’m also certified by the American Translators Association. I continue to be an active professional interpreter and translator. Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed sharing with my students the knowledge and expertise acquired over my four decades in the profession. That said, I continue to learn from them, as teaching is definitely a two-way street. I’m constantly striving to improve my pedagogical approaches and to keep up with the latest developments in the practice of translating and interpreting.

I’m a member of the American Translators Association, the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, and the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. I’ve spoken at conferences and presented workshops throughout the country and all over the world. I’ve served as a consultant to court interpreter regulatory and training entities such as the California Judicial Council and the National Center for State Courts, and I’ve published extensively on court and community interpreting. I’m best known by court interpreters for my interpreter training manuals (published by Acebo), which have been used by teachers and autodidacts all over the world and have helped countless students prepare to enter the profession.


Translation and interpretation of Spanish and English, court, medical and community interpreting, legal translation


MA, Intercultural Communication and Certificate in Translation and Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies; BA, Sociology, Mills College


Outstanding Alumna of the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, 2005

Alexander Gode Medal, American Translators Association, 2011

President’s Award, California Healthcare Interpreting Association, 2015

Distinguished Alumni, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, 2016


Gonzalez, R.D., Vasquez, V.F. and Mikkelson, H. Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, policy and practice. 2nd ed. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2012.

Baigorri, J. From Paris to Nuremberg: The birth of conference interpreting (translated by Holly Mikkelson and Barry Slaughter Olsen). Amsterdam, New York: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014.

Crezee, I. Mikkelson, H. and Monzon-Storey, L. Introduction to Healthcare for Spanish-speaking Interpreters and Translators. Amsterdam, New York: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015.

Mikkelson, H. and Jourdenais, R. (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Interpreting. London and New York: Routledge, 2015.

Mikkelson, H. Introduction to Court Interpreting. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2016. 

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

TISP 8511 - Intro Written Trans to English      

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 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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TISP 8521 - Intrm Translation into English      

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 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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TISP 8551 / TIAG 9551 - CommunityInterp as Profession      

Community Interpreting as a Profession

This online course provides an overview of the profession of community interpreting. Students will learn about the different sectors where interpreters provide services in the community, the legal requirements for guaranteeing language access in public services, the skills and aptitudes interpreters must have to perform this important work, the ethical standards they abide by in their daily practice, and the role of the interpreter as a linguistic mediator between provider and client.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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TISP 8631 - Adv Translation I into English      

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 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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TISP 8633 - Intro to Court Interpreting      

Familiarizes students with the techniques and terminology of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, and the practical considerations particular to judicial and quasi-judicial settings. Attention is given to the registers of speech encountered in typical legal proceedings, including street slang, police jargon, legal terms, and technical testimony. Students learn courtroom protocol, witness control techniques, and review the practical implications of the court interpreter code of ethics. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Fall 2017 - MIIS

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TISP 8641 - Advanced Trans II to English      

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 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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TISP 8649 - Consec/Simul Court Proceedings      

Spring 2018 - MIIS

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TISP 8661 - Advancd Community Interpreting      

Advanced Community Interpreting

Week One: Instructions (prescriptions, pre-op, discharge, etc.), simple consent forms, reports

Week Two: Court forms, reports (police, probation, forensic), instructions, affidavits, complaints, personal documents

Week Three: Consecutive interpreting of interviews, counseling sessions, parent-teacher meetings, simultaneous interpreting of public meetings, consultations, disciplinary hearings

Summer 2016 - MIIS

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TISP 8662 - AdvancdCommunityInterpretingII      

Advanced Community Interpreting II

Week One: Dialog interpreting of medical encounters, simultaneous interpreting of meetings, consultations, instructional sessions

Week Two: Consecutive interpreting of interviews and testimony, simultaneous interpreting of arraignments, motions, trial proceedings and testimony

Week Three: Mock Exams

Summer 2016 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS

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