Interpreters and Translators

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Also known as:  American Sign Language Interpreter, Court Interpreter, Deaf Interpreter, Diplomatic Interpreter, Language Translator, Translator

ABOUT INTERPRETER OR TRANSLATOR CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
If you are fluent in more than one language, you might qualify to join an elite workforce. Interpreters and translators are needed for work in business, government, the military, the media, social services, the judicial system, in travel and tourism - anywhere cultures intersect. Simply speaking a s ...
econd language is not sufficient, however.

Employers in these various fields look first for people with college degrees as foreign language majors. One use for which the need for these professionals is growing rapidly is the interpretation of medical and legal information in hospitals and legal settings, especially in the inner cities with large immigrant populations.

The opportunities can be exciting, with jobs that take you to top-level meetings and exotic destinations. Or you could work at home, translating operating manuals. The need for precision is paramount, as you are the link between those who wish to convey information and those who need to understand it.

A sensitivity to how cultural differences affect communication can help you get the message across and avoid embarrassing glitches for you and your employer.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.
Follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Foreign Language Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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