Becoming a professional interpreter is not as simple as just being able to speak 2 languages. There are a number of areas that a professional interpreter will have need to have covered in order to be a successful interpreter.
The number and types of qualifications you need as a professional interpreter will be dependent on the nature of the work you would like to pursue. For example, if you wish to work for the government, you will need to have a degree in languages or a relevant associated field and also it will be an advantage to hold qualifications from Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), or a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI). It is always advisable to fully read up on the industry in which you intend to work as there may be specific phrases or terminology that will need to be included in the discussions you interpret.
Naturally a potential employer will look to determine the level of experience an interpreter has before committing to employing them. This can potential cause an issue in being able to gain that experience in the first place, however there are ways and means available to gain the necessary experience.
- Interpreter Internship – There are some agencies that offer these and it is often a good way to determine if being an interpreter is the right career for you.
- Teaching Abroad – Being a teaching assistant, in a university for example, will help build your interpreting skills and experience, particularly where there maybe differences in culture.
Different types of Interpreters
It is worth noting that there are different types of interpreters dealing with both the online and off line interpreting needs. These include:
- Whispering Interpreters – This is where an interpreter sits with their client and directly interprets the conversation by whispering in their ear.
- Phone/Video Interpreters – Often required in business situations where help is required for overseas presentations or conference calls.
- Consecutive Interpreters – This is when the speaker pauses to allow the interpreter to translate what has been said.
- Simultaneous Interpreters – Often used at business and press conferences, simultaneous can often sit in a sound proof booth and can translate the commentary in real time.
Interpreters Personal Qualities
Interpreting, by nature, is a very people orientated career. There are some personal qualities that an interpreter should have to forge a successful career, these include:
- Friendly and professional
- Excellent Listening skills
- Clear speaking – in both languages
- High levels of concentration for extended periods of time
- Understanding tone and body language
- Quick Thinker
As can be seen here, becoming an interpreter requires hard work and dedication, however the rewards can be excellent, which can include worldwide travel, fascinating subjects and meeting new people. Here at Romo Translations, we have some of the very best interpreters that are able to cover almost every language and able to travel to business meetings and conferences around the world. If you would like to discuss your interpreting needs, please give us a call on 0203 696 8680, we would welcome your call.