So You Want to Be an Interpreter, What Does That Entail:
Working as a professional interpreter can be a very rewarding job, you’re giving a voice to people who are unable to express themselves due to a language barrier. Limited English proficient (LEP) and deaf individuals heavily rely on interpreters for medical matters, legal issues and insurance claims amongst a variety of other important and sometimes life changing scenarios. Spanish language interpreter, Mari Paz Russell sees herself as a “tunnel of communication” between judges and Spanish-speaking clients in courtroom settings. “As an interpreter you have to make a split-second decision on what words you’re going to use because you really have the client’s life on your tongue.” Being able to help people understand a situation or information being provided to them is an interpreter’s main goal, it’s their job to ensure that voice is heard accurately and void of any mistakes. This is a rather large responsibility, therefore a significant amount of prepping and polishing of skills is required to ensure an interpreter is capable to complete the job. In order to effectively do that, interpreters have to be rigorously trained, educated and experienced in the field.
Interpreters must have a tight grasp on both languages they speak, associated cultures and influences in order to provide a clear and concise interpretation of the information exchanged. Most interpreters have some sort of linguistic background or education that led them down the path of becoming an interpreter. In addition to language fluency and cultural competency requirements, interpreters need many years of experience and continuous lifelong learning to remain current in the field. Interpreters must be familiar with advanced terminology and language nuances. They must also be fully acquainted with the local influences of the country from which the language they speak derives. It takes years for an interpreter to master the languages they speak, this complete awareness and mastery gives them the ability to facilitate communication under any circumstance and regarding any topic.
Early Training and Education Needed to Become an Interpreter:
During their education, interpreters learn how to pick up on body language and facial expressions that significantly help in gathering information needed to produce an accurate interpretation. Prospect interpreters develop and learn language skills, listening and recall, ethical behavior and practices, cultural knowledge and subject matter knowledge to prepare them for working in the field. Interpreters learn to be great public speakers, often having to interpret in front of large audiences, they must also learn to compartmentalize feelings, emotions and opinions. Interpreters develop a strong code of ethics, they are required to act faithfully, independently, impartially and confidentiality while providing interpretation services.
High school students interested in becoming professional interpreters, should take courses that relate to the language they are learning as well as English writing and comprehension courses. It’s a great idea to visit a country where the language you’re learning is primarily spoken. Complete immersion is the best way to learn a language. Being put in a situation where there is no other option but speaking the language will aid you in becoming fluent faster. After high school, individuals interested in becoming interpreters have a variety of educational options. People often obtain a bachelor’s degree in a language or an associated field, a degree is not always required, however, employers prefer an applicant with a bachelor’s degree and some formal training in interpreting. Interpreter training can require extensive hours in the field as well as interning in the area of your interest. Certain colleges and universities offer formal training programs or specialized degrees for students wanting to become an interpreter.
There is no license required to work as a professional interpreter but there are a number of certifications available that once obtained will open more opportunities for you to advance your career. Some forms of interpretation such as medical or legal interpretation may require you to be certified depending on the state you’re working in. Once educated, trained and at a working level, there are many aspects of interpretation one can choose to focus on. Some choose to specialize in specific fields such as medial, legal, educational, governmental and some choose to become a subject matter expert that is used for technical interpretation assignments.
Part 2 Publishing on Tuesday September 11th, 2018:
Part 2 discusses working in the language service industry and the reasons in which professionally trained and qualified interpreters are a vital component to modern day society. Interpreters play an invaluable role within our communities, read part 2 in order to find out the ways in which they better the lives of the individuals they interpret for.
Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled interpreters and translators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified interpreters and translators. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at www.nilservices.com.