Translation:Five months later a basic program was initiated.
Nope. The "que" in that structure has to do with the fact that there's a new clause, with its own subject and verb. In English we often introduce a clause with a "that", but we're pretty permissive about allowing the "that" to vanish. "I hoped [that] she would arrive early." Spanish is much pickier about this -- the "que" in an equivalent spot is almost always obligatory. "Esperé que ella llegara temprano."
@Babella, I'm wondering why you used the imperfect subjunctive here, rather than just preterite? If I'm understanding the English phrase that you were translating, I would've put it in Spanish as, "Cinco meses después de[l momento en] que tú iniciaste un programa básico... algo ocurrió." Which is a phrase, not a complete sentence. "Five months after [the time that] you started a basic program... something happened."
The original Spanish prompt, on the other hand, is a complete sentence, using the reflexive particle for a passive construction. Reflexive as passive -- as a way to eliminate the actor -- is extremely common. "Se habla español aquí," does not mean, "Spanish speaks itself here." It means, "Spanish is spoken here. (By whoever happens to speak, which we're not going to tell you about right now.)"
(And then the third major use of the reflexive particle is completion. Comerse is "to eat up, to devour," that is, to eat such that there is no more eating to do. Similarly, si tu estás cayendo, you're falling, and there's a chance you may catch yourself. Si tú te has caído, you've already gone splat, because the se in caerse indicates completion.)
More to the point, the se makes it passive, which is a thing se does. Don't let the term "reflexive pronoun" mislead you. "Reflexive" verbs are sometimes true reflexives, but just as often the reflexive particle indicates a passive verb, or a completed verb. I offered more examples in a comment in a different part of this page.
You could say the same of later. Later implies after something. Inicio is on its own was initiated isn't it? So couldnt it in effect be by he, she etc. As someone has to initiate it. Yes we don't know who but we never do know. Isn't this really a matter of context or am I way off base here?
'Five months later a basic program was initiated' is the passive voice. Shouldn't such a translation use a past participle for such a translation: 'Cinco meses después un programa básico fue inicido'?
I feel like 'Five months later a basic program initiated' is the better english here
It depends on the context. You could be talking about, say, a failure in something six years ago, in June. 'Five months later, a programme was initiated'. You would say 'a programme will be initiated' if you are speaking about the present 'This is not working correctly, so a programme will be initiated to correct it'
Can I ask anyone out there. If I was to say. 5 years after a basic program was initiated. Meaning I'm talking about the present day been 5 years after the initiation. How would that be translated. As the sentence is translated as 'later' its suggesting I was talking about another passed event before thiis.