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How can I be an interpreter?

The field of foreign languages can be both a fulfilling and lucrative avenue to get into. Interpreters and translators are quite in demand in various industries like Tourism, Social Work, Law, etc. If you’re thinking about getting into the field, here are some fundamental steps that will guide you in becoming an interpreter.

What is an interpreter?

Interpreters are essentially professionals who translate spoken or written words from one language/dialect to another. Court interpreters, in particular, help make communication in the courtroom possible. Apart from being proficient in the languages involved, he or she must also be familiar with legal jargon. There are other types of interpreters in various industries like medicine and business.

Build your credentials.

If you happen to be already fluent in two languages, it is highly possible for you to land a job in interpreting and translation. However, knowing how to speak two languages is often not enough to land you a job. Most companies and institutions require qualifications and certifications.

Ideally, you must have a Bachelor’s Degree to work at a government office or other major companies. Your major doesn’t necessarily have to be in Foreign Languages, although this will be a boost in your credentials.

Moreover, you must also undergo official interpreter/translator training. This will teach you the proper techniques and strategies you will need as an interpreter.

Gain experience.

Experience is one of the best ways to improve as an interpreter. This can also give you a boost in your credentials. You can start by taking small and part-time jobs to get hands-on experience. If you have the means to, you can take an internship while in training. Moreover, this will give you a feel of what specific field you want to get into.

Get accredited.

Once you’ve built your credentials and get all the proper training, it is time to get accredited. This will show everyone that you are both competent and credible in your field. Moreover, this will possibly open more doors for you. Once you become accredited, you will be listed in the regulating body’s directory of interpreters, giving you more visibility.

Getting into the field of translation is not an easy path. It is not as easy as learning more than one language. However, once you learn the craft, it is easily one of the most unique and fulfilling jobs you can get.

Taiyo Maik
the authorTaiyo Maik