Interpreter / Translator
How to Become an Interpreter or Translator
Interpreter Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of an Interpreter / Translator
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Interpreter / Translator Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Because of the field of interpreters and translators is broad, becoming one of this elite group can either be simple or challenging depending on the scope of work. One may choose to work within a bilingual school system or choose to interpret for the deaf. Many colleges and universities employ interpreters and translators whether or not this is their primary function. Probably the most well-known use of interpreters and translators involves politicians and high profile business people.
Becoming an Interpreter / Translator can be difficult if the ultimate job position is at a high level. As with most jobs, it is likely that anyone new to the industry will begin at entry level. Many businesses or organizations will require three to five years experience in the field before the interpreter or translator will even be considered for anything beyond a low level position.
In order to become an interpreter or a translator, one must be able to speak at least two languages. It is imperative that the interpreter or translator not only understand the words that are written or being spoken, but one must also understand the context and meaning behind the words.
There is no standard certification procedure for interpreters/translators. The American Translators Association offers the most extensive training programs and is an excellent resource for anyone considering work in this field. The National Association of the Deaf is an excellent source for those wishing to learn to begin a career as a sign language interpreter.
Because the field is so broad, there are many different areas which require many different skills. For example, an interpreter must have solid communication skills, as well as public speaking experience. The ability to develop interpersonal relationships and rapport with people on all levels is also important. The Interpreter / Translator must always be aware of the needs of each party and be conscious that the interpretation or translation is clearly received and understood.
When it comes to translators, this often refers to a person that works with written documents. These may concern a number of topics and can be targeted toward diverse audiences. For example, legal documents and scientific articles may be two of the items that will need to be deciphered by the translator. Unlike an interpreter, the translator does not need the same level of public speaking experience. However this position requires much stronger writing skills, and the ability to interpret concepts from one language to another. This can be extremely difficult, particularly when words in one language have a completely different meaning in another. Also unlike interpreters, a translator's work tends to be more one-sided. While an interpreter is required to receive and provide information in two languages, a translator most likely gleans information from one language and translates into another, illuminating the back and forth. A translator may also be required to learn the vernacular of any particular industry, such as medical terminology.
New York Metropolitan area
Specialty: Arabic to English
New York Metropolitan area
Specialty: Russian to English
American Translators Association (ATA)
225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 590
Alexandria, VA 22314
Translators and Interpreters Guild (TTIG)
8611 Second Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
National Association of the Deaf
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819
301-587-1789 TTY, 301-587-1788 Voice
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