Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
What translation skill level do you need to sign up for the course?

You don't need to have any translation skill. Jon has taught numerous students in these courses who we monolinguals, were in charge of managing translators and had no interest in translating or were considering translation as a possible career and wanted an understanding of how they use technology in the job. Really anyone can sign up as long as they have an interest in the subject matter.

Why don't you offer everything online?

Certain concepts are simply not able to be grasped in-depth via an online format. The mantra of Professor Ritzdorf is to "make the complex simple and fun"...for some skills (particularly those requiring technical acumen) this goal can only be realized in a traditional classroom environment. (Many make a small vacation out of it!)

I only use a Mac. Can I attend the classes?

If you are an avid Mac user and do not have a PC, be advised that the large majority of translation technology software out there is still only available for Windows. That said, if you use Boot Camp on your Mac (which will allow you to boot your Mac with the Windows operating system) or if you are already a strong user of Parallels Desktop, you should be OK. 

What kind of computer/internet connection do I need for online classes?

You don't need a super-fast, completely up-to-date computer. However, we would recommend a system that isn't more than 3 years old. Since we will have on-line meetings with live demonstrations over your internet feed, it is more essential that your computer have a high-speed internet connection. If you have concerns about your computer or home setup, send an e-mail to tipp@miis.edu

Do I need to buy additional software or materials for the class?

All the tools and applications we are going to be using in the course are either a) preinstalled b) on a standard Windows operating system or c) can be downloaded for free off the web (some as time-limited trials). 

What computer skills do I need?

You must be a strong user of Microsoft Windows. At the minimum you need to already know:

  • How to create, rename and move files and folders
  • How to save a file to a particular location or folder and remember where you saved it
  • How to navigate your hard (C:\) drive
  • How to navigate folders in a directory/folder tree
  • How to download files off the internet.

You don't have to be a master of computing, but if you are not comfortable with basic computing skills, you will struggle. View basic computer skills for Windows,

Are your classes language-specific?

No.  All courses are taught without any bias towards a particular language. We have had students with language backgrounds from Arabic to Swahili with all languages in between. 

How much of a time commitment are your courses outside of class?

In order to really get the most out any course Jon Ritzdorf leads, you should plan to spend about 2-4 hours on homework per session.

Obviously, your actual time spent can vary depending on your current level of computer skill, familiarity with the subject and how far you personally want to take a particular assignment. For all classes, you should be committed to putting in the extra time needed to practice outside of class in order to get the most out of your learning investment.

How many students are allowed in the class?

The maximum number allowed for this course is 20. Note that classes can fill up quickly and you should register as soon as possible because space is limited. If in the unfortunate event that a class does not run due to low attendance, you will be granted a full refund of any deposit or registration fees. 

What if I need to drop out early, or I decide after the first class that I don't want to continue?

A refund schedule will be provided with the registration form. 

How are the "Onsite" and "Online" portions of the course conducted?

Onsite: Course will be in a computer lab on the campus of the Institute. Students must be able to attend the classes in Monterey as well as the online portions. The full-service computer lab with an instructor terminal, LCD overhead projector and all required software preloaded onto the machines will be provided, so students do not need to bring their laptops, but are welcome to do so.

Online: Course uses the same collaborative technology that most major companies and academic institutions use today for online meetings and “virtual” classrooms. You will meet the instructor and all your classmates in an online forum via this technology. Before each class you will be emailed attendance information which will enable audio and video feeds for class. Students can attend from anywhere in the world if they have ready access to a high-speed internet connection.