What does an Interpreter do?
Interpreters convert material from one or many languages to another, usually their native language. They may specialize in various fields including literature, science, or medicine and ensure the translated versions stay close with the original text. Interpreters convert concepts in source languages to equivalent concepts in the target language and compile information and technical terms into glossaries and terminology databases used in their translations.
Interpreters speak, read, and write fluently in at least two languages, one of which is usually English, and relay the style and tone of the original language. Interpreters convert information from one spoken language into another, intending to have people hear the interpretation as if it were the original language. They must read the original language fluently to translate it into a new language. Interpreters need a bachelor's degree in communication and fluency in two languages.
- Provide full level interpretation services for patients, families, associates and staff.
- Mentor junior interpreters during pre-arranged training sessions with focus on helping them to becoming linguistically and culturally responsive.
- Assist small groups when needed (spelling, reading math, etc.).
- Provide interpreting services in consecutive interpretation and sight translations.
- Bachelor's Degree in education or American Sign Language.
- Solid language skills, including mastery of English and foreign languages and/or American Sign Language.
- Requires good manual dexterity.
Average Base Pay
Interpreter Career Path
Learn how to become an Interpreter, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
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Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of interpreters
In a typical day, interpreters translate spoken words from one language to another while preserving as much of the original meaning as possible and remaining unbiased. An interpreter may specialize in a field like medicine or law. Interpreters work in settings like courtrooms, offices, and schools.
Yes, interpreting is a great career for strong communicators who are fluent in several languages. The profession requires creativity, concentration, and an understanding of the cultural norms entwined in the spoken languages. One of the best parts of working as an interpreter is the potential opportunity to travel for work.
There are some difficult aspects to being an interpreter. They need to switch between spoken languages while remaining unbiased and nonreactive to the content of the conversation. Listening and interpreting require concentration and a good memory. Becoming an interpreter means shouldering the responsibility for accurately portraying what each party is saying, which requires focus.