Holly Mikkelson

Associate Professor

Professor Mikkelson is a state and federally certified court interpreter, and is accredited by the American Translators Association. She has been a consultant to court interpreter regulatory and training entities such as the California Judicial Council and the National Center for State Courts, and has published extensively on court and community interpreting. She is a member of the American Translators Association, the National Association of Judiciary Translators and Interpreters, and the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. She has spoken at conferences and presented workshops throughout the country and all over the world.

Find more information about Professor Mikkelson at



Translation and interpretation of Spanish and English, court and medical interpreting


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

Recent Accomplishments

In 2011,  Mikkelson received the Alexander Gode Medal, the American Translators Association's top honor for contributions to the profession. She also co-authored the 2nd edition of the book Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy and Practice, published in 2012.


Gonzalez, Roseann D., Vasquez, Victoria F., and Mikkelson, Holly. Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy and Practice. 2nd ed. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2012.

Mikkelson, Holly. Introduction to Court Interpreting. In Translation Practices Explained. Vol. 1. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 2000.

Course List

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

TIAG 8604 - Practicum in Interpretation      

Facilitates the transition from the classroom to the first professional assignment by offering students a wide range of interpretation experiences. Advanced interpreting students become comfortable with working in settings in which different modes of interpretation are called for and where relay interpretation is the norm. Students provide simultaneous and consecutive interpretation at Monterey Institute public events and taped conferences, for Institute interdisciplinary courses, and as part of community outreach; they also work intensively together in multilingual practice groups during the semester. Reinforces the concept of reflective practice, requiring students to evaluate their own performance as well as that of their peers. Students are expected to complete an interpretation portfolio.

Fall 2012 - MIIS

More Information »

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 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

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 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

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 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

More Information »

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 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

More Information »

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 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

TISP 8643 - Court Interpreting Consec      

This course builds on the knowledge acquired in TISP 8633, Introduction to Court Interpreting. Students will practice interpreting interviews and witness testimony in both informal settings and formal court proceedings, using role-play scenarios and scripts. They will learn to apply the Code of Ethics that was introduced in TISP 8633 in the real world, and will become more familiar with courtroom protocol. They will also acquire the ability to control turn-taking, learn how to intervene in different situations, and hone their note-taking skills. Each week a new topic will be introduced to help the students learn the specialized terminology of criminal and civil court proceedings. Regional differences in Spanish usage will also be emphasized throughout the exercises. By the end of the semester, students will be able to accurately interpret statements up to 60 words in length and will be ready to take oral certification exams for court interpreters.

Spring 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS

More Information »

TISP 8649 - Consec/Simul Court Proceedings      

Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

Faculty Program Tags