Example Career: Interpreters and Translators
Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.
What Job Titles Interpreters and Translators Might Have
- Medical Interpreter
- Sign Language Interpreter
What Interpreters and Translators Do
- Follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.
- Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
- Listen to speakers' statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
- Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
- Read written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewrite material into specified languages.
- 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.
- Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
- Train and supervise other translators or interpreters.
- Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters.
- Compile information on content and context of information to be translated and on intended audience.
- Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
- Check original texts or confer with authors to ensure that translations retain the content, meaning, and feeling of the original material.
- Discuss translation requirements with clients and determine any fees to be charged for services provided.
- Adapt translations to students' cognitive and grade levels, collaborating with educational team members as necessary.
- Adapt software and accompanying technical documents to another language and culture.
What Interpreters and Translators Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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).
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Interpreters and Translators Should Be Interested In
- Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
What Interpreters and Translators Need to Learn
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- 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.