Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Beatriz Cortabarría

Beatriz Cortabarria holds a BA from State University of New York, an MBA from Averett University, and an MA in Translation and Intercultural Studies from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She works in the department of Spanish Languages and Literatures at Sweet Briar, a university for women in Amherst, Virginia where she teaches language and culture. She is also Visiting Faculty at the University of Virginia's Medical School where she teaches medical Spanish to graduate students. In addition to her academic responsibilities she continues to work as a translator for a variety of clients, including US publishing companies.

Non-standard Spanish discourse in the United States and translation norm behavior: A study of hospital and court interpreters

Supervisor: Anthony Pym

Research summary

The massive convergence of Spanish speakers from Mexico, Central and South America and Spain in the United States, each with its unique culture and dialectal variety, compounded by the cultural and linguistic influences of the host country, is forging a new variety of Spanish that is unique to the United States. This community is no longer in contact with their ancestral language and culture and their perception of old attitudes and social and language norms is adapting to a new reality and way of life. The Hispanic community in the United States is in a state of transition and translators and interpreters are often needed to mediate, especially in the areas of civic life, such as health care and legal courts, where this community takes active part. This study will examine the role that medical and court translators and interpreters play in this transition and how they confront and negotiate old norms while adapting to emerging ones.


2015. "The role of translators and interpreters in hybrid English–Spanish contexts in the USA." Language and Intercultural Communication 15-3: 407-423.

Thesis defended January 12, 2016 

Evaluation committee: 

Manuela Motta Falter (Université de Genève) 

María Jesús Blasco Mayor (Universitat Jaume I)

María del Mar Sánchez Ramos (Universidad Alcalá de Henares)

Thesis here