- Foreign Language Interpreter
Who is a Foreign Language Interpreter?
The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter often an unconscious, but still a truthful interpreter in the eye ~ Charlotte Bronte
A career as a foreign language translator and interpreter is a job role for language professionals who facilitate communication among people of different cultures who do not share the same common language. He or she interprets a foreign language to a native language or vice versa. A foreign language interpreter either interprets in verbal language or sign language of the original language. A foreign language interpreter has its specific goal and that is to make people feel or hear the interpretation as the original language, same in the case of sign language. Interpreters must be fluent in spoken and sign interpretations. Foreign language translators and interpreters are in the profession of building up immediate and accurate communication among people of different communities and cultures without a common language.
Foreign Language Interpreter in a Nutshell
A foreign language translator and interpreter is a skill-based career. A career as foreign language interpreter requires effective communication skills as well as knowledge of at least two languages. He or she must have a good vocabulary. He or she should be able to understand phrases, idioms of a foreign language and interpret it into the native language. If you are interested in career as a foreign language interpreter, then read the complete article to know details on scope, job market, salary, skills required, and how to become a foreign language interpreter.
Quick Facts for Foreign Language Interpreter
Male, Female, Others
A career as a Foreign Language Interpreter suits everyone regardless of what gender the individual belongs to. It is a skill-based career. Anyone can enter this profession after learning one or more foreign languages. The individual should be able to interpret from source language to target language.
Any special needs
Desk jobs are suitable for candidates with special needs in a career as foreign language translators and interpreters. One just needs to have good technical skills and computer skills. Candidates should have a good grasp of foreign language and should be able to interpret in the native or local language. The telephone and video connections have made the foreign language interpreter job easy. One can provide interpretation services to remote areas while sitting back at home.
Table of Contents for Foreign Language Interpreter
What is the role of Foreign Language Interpreter?
A foreign language as a career, interpreter requires to convert concepts to equivalent target language from the source language. A foreign language translator and interpreter also holds the responsibility of compiling technical terms and information into terminology databases, so that it can be further used for verbal interpretation and sign interpretation. Aspiring candidates of a career as a foreign language interpreter is required two obtain proficiency in more than one language. He or she can read, write and speak at least two different languages. A career as a foreign language translator and interpreter requires learning of accent and tone of the original language. A foreign language interpreter applies the knowledge of his or her own culture to make people or clients better understand the message immediately and accurately.
Foreign Language Interpreter understands and translators complex texts, live presentations, recorded conversations including articles into some other dialect, with great attention and provide appropriate context, sense, expression, and professional terminology.
These professionals work with other interpreters to accumulate valuable data, like definitions of words, into a standardized style guide for daily use during the process of transcription.
Foreign Language Interpreters must check, change and edit transcripts to resolve basic differences and ensure that the final version is representative of the original content. They use ethical guidelines to make sure that sensitive and confidential information would remain safe and secure.
They use IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) sometimes to generalise the languages for everyone, so that anyone from another language community also can understand the foreign language without even knowing the alphabet of that particular language of the content.
Types of a Foreign Language Interpreter
There are major three sub-disciplines of a career interpreter of a foreign language. We have mentioned below all the major career options that aspiring individuals of a career as a foreign language interpreter must know before opting it as a career.
Simultaneous Interpreters: These interpreters interpret simultaneously with the speaker. Simultaneous interpreters are aware of the subject on which the speaker is talking. They possess a high level of concentration to convey the complete and accurate message of the speaker. Simultaneous interpreters work in small teams as it may require interpreting for longer hours in a court or conference setting. A simultaneous interpreter is one of the major sub-disciplines of the career as a foreign language interpreter.
Consecutive Interpreters: A career as a foreign language interpreter includes a major sub-discipline of a consecutive interpreter. A consecutive interpreter in foreign language interpretation waits until the speaker finishes. Once the speaker finishes, they start interpreting the message. These interpreters have good memory and attention to detail. They have to remember each small detail from the message and make sure while interpreting it that it is complete and accurate.
Sight translation interpreters: A career as a foreign language interpreter also provides an opportunity for sight interpretation is the interpretation of a written text that the translator receives, usually without any time to plan it. Sight interpreting allows the interpreter to have excellent language skills, strong memory, fast thinking, stress tolerance, and strong powers of focus and concentration. These interpreters facilitate the interpretation of written information into verbal language for instant understanding.
Also read: Career as Translator
What is the workplace/work environment of Foreign Language Interpreter like?
A career as a foreign language interpreter requires the interpretation of one language to another foreign language. Hence it allows the effective communication and transfer of ideas of people speaking different languages and belonging to different cultures. Language translators and Interpreters are required all over the world due to the impact of globalisation that allows connectivity among nations of the world through the sharing of knowledge, art, and literature between people of different cultures. The United Nations employs interpreters to establish effective communication among the representatives of different countries. It should be noted that a language interpreter is not writer, language translator writes and converts literary art from one language to another. A career as a foreign language interpreter does not require writing that much, it is a skill-based profession that involves interpretation of verbal or spoken and sign language of the source language. Interpreters facilitate their services either in simultaneous or consecutive interpreting.
Does Foreign Language Interpreter require travelling?
Traveling completely depends on the nature of the work of in the career as foreign language interpreter. An escort interpreter requires frequent travel to facilitate communication to abroad or foreign visitors. Conference and legal interpreters may also require frequent travel to reach out to the locations of scheduled conferences and proceedings.
Full Time, Part Time, Hourly Basis, On Call, Work From Home
Foreign language translators and interpreters works on regular shifts and that is from early morning to late evenings. Freelance or self-employed language interpreters do not have regular shifts. They work as per the deadlines and assignment requirements.
A career as a foreign language interpreter provides both type of employment permanent as well as on contractual terms. The duration of the contractual term is generally 6 to 12 months. There are also self-employed or freelance language interpreters who charge on per assignment.
A career as foreign language interpreter provides employment opportunities in conference centers, meeting rooms, courtrooms, detention facilities, schools, and hospitals. Those interpreters who are employed in legal settings or courtrooms may require to travel frequently. The escort interpreters also require frequent travel to facilitate communication to abroad or foreign tourists. A career as foreign language translator and interpreter provides numerous opportunities in the field of international affairs.
Presence in Geographical Area
Rural, Semi-urban, Urban
Foreign language translators and interpreters finds good opportunities in urban areas unlikely in rural areas. The cities with tourism spots, international organizations, multinational trade companies, sports hubs, and other flourishing industries provide lucrative job opportunities in foreign language interpretation with attractive salary packages.
There is hardly any time pressure for foreign language translator and interpreters. They are required to work as per their schedule which includes the responsibilities and translations assigned to them. The time pressure is almost negligible in the job except for traveling days when the supervisors cross-verify their work.
Typically, foreign language interpreters are required to work for 9 hours per day. They usually work in both indoor as well as outdoor settings. Indoor work involves going through the files and documents of various projects. However, during translation and traveling days, they might be required to work overtime because of traveling inconveniences.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 40 Hours
Work hours of language interpreters vary in the career as foreign language interpreter. It depends on the assignment, type of work and workplace. A language interpreter does language interpretation for conferences. He or she also provides language interpretation services to foreign tourists. A language interpreter is also employed in international call centers. Those language interpreters who work for full-time usually spends eight to nine hours doing language interpretation.
How to become a Foreign Language Interpreter?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Foreign Language Interpreter?
Business Sense: A self-employed or freelance language interpreter generates business for himself or herself without being permanently employed by a firm or organization. A foreign language translator and interpreter must be able to set adequate prices for the services he or she offers. An interpreter must know how to build up a client base and market the services. Business sense is one of the essential aspects for freelancers in the career as a foreign language interpreter.
Strong Focus: Focus is the ability to think that enables people to start work without negative thinking, and afterward sustain their focus and commitment until the project is finished. In the midst of challenges and struggles, concentration helps people are paying attention and generate the commitment and strength required to achieve an objective. A foreign language interpreter must be able to concentrate on multiple things at the same time. He or she must be aware of his or her surroundings and walking by. An interpreter should listen to the communication of the nearby people.
Cultural Sensitivity: A career as foreign language interpreter requires professionals to be aware of cultural values within the language and understand the expectations of the people. A foreign language interpreter daily job routine involves working with people of varying culture. Hence, cultural sensitivity is crucial for the role. It implies more about the company than just being respectful of each other. Workplace cultural sensitivity enables employees to boost efficiency, reduce cultural gaps and become actively involved in the professional workplace. Such knowledge helps the workers to better serve one another and also their clients.
Dexterity: It is an important aspect of a career as a foreign language interpreter. A sign language interpreter must be quick while coordinating finger movements to interpret the language. Dexterity is the real secret in the business for creating an efficient and dynamic workforce that is integral to the success of technology projects. It enables organizations to adapt to the advancements in technology, altering expectations of customers, changes that occur in the business sector.
Interpersonal management: These are the most beneficial and essential skills of a language interpretation career. An interpreter must be able to get along with their employer or those who take the services and help him or her to retain more clients. The efficiency to communicate with other people by listening and interaction is termed interpersonal ability. Having interpersonal skills is beneficial for employees, as it allows them to communicate with people and also enhances the personality of an individual.
Listening: A language interpreter must be a good listener to interpret the message he or she hears correctly. Listening abilities help one to understand and make sense of what anyone else is trying to say. Effective listening end up making everything more efficient and effective for the labourers. The willingness to listen actively helps the staff to better grasp their duties. They get to learn what their management expects from them.
Reading skills: A language interpreter must be able to effectively read the language, he or she has to interpret. A career as a foreign language interpreter requires learning new terms, phrases of the language through reading to better interpret it. Empowering the readings for workforce development in the workplace. Reading is linked to better vocabulary, a common understanding of the environment and logical capacity to understand. Research shows that opening a book will lower anxiety, improve intellectual capacity and enhance communication skills.
Speaking skills: A language interpreter must be able to speak the languages, he or she has to interpret. The most efficient form of communication is by speaking. Speaking ability is, therefore, an essential need in the process of communication. Providing the functional skills and knowledge required for participants to represent themselves effectively in a spectrum of speaking contexts, with confidence and intensity. Speaking confidently and positively will capture an audience's attention, enabling the speaker with the unique chance to express the idea.
Writing skills: A career as foreign language translator and interpreter demands proficiency in writing skills. It provides new possibilities and helps you develop your career and function towards fulfilling objectives. Also, effective communication skills allow you to clarify oneself, enable you to become louder and much more descriptive and enable you to create a unique identity.
Also read - Career as linguist
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Foreign Language Interpreter?
We have mentioned below several foreign language certification courses that aspiring individuals can opt to become proficient in communicating in that specific foreign language.
|Proficiency Course in French ||Certificate in Arabic Language (CAL) |
|Proficiency Course in Russian ||Certificate in Russian Language (CRUL)|
|Proficiency Course in Spanish |
Internships are great way to learn the practical work and have complete grasp on how to become a foreign language interpreter. One can find enormous internship opportunities through recruitment websites such as indeed.com, Glassdoor, and other online recruitment platforms. The recruiters look for candidates having superior communication and good interpersonal skills. One can find internships in public and private agencies, healthcare services, and legal firms. The mostly internships provided by organizations are with a duration of 6 months to 12 months. The healthcare companies train interns to develop professional interpretation for all parties. The interns are trained to serve as the communication bridge to ensure complete and accurate communication. The United Nations also offers opportunities for interns. One needs to apply through the United Nations career portal and meet the requirements.
Career Path Progression for Foreign Language Interpreter
There are various types of language interpreters and translators. A career as a foreign language interpreter provides opportunities in various type of setting depending on the interpreters' job role. We have mentioned below various roles that you can opt-in for the career as a foreign language interpreter.
Community Interpreters: Community interpreters work within a community or group environment. They provide their interpretation services in community events, parent-teacher conferences, business and public meetings, gatherings of social and government agencies.
Conference Interpreters: As the name suggests conference interpreters provide their services in conferences where people from different cultures gather to understand each other or have business communication. Experienced interpreters having an ability to interpret more than two languages into their native language are preferred by employers. In the United Nations, interpreters who can interpret French and Spanish into English are required.
Health Interpreters: Health interpreters or medical interpreters provide their services in healthcare settings. They make communication of patients with doctors, nurses, technicians, and other medical staff easy. They provide language interpretation services which include common medical terms in both languages. Health interpreters translate regulatory information, research material, pharmaceutical and informational brochures, website information and patient consent documents. Health interpreters also provide interpretations to remote areas through phone or video.
Liaison or escort Interpreter: Such interpreters assist abroad visitors or foreign visitors as they interpret in both languages. They provide their services in both formal and informal settings. They make sure the visitors have effective communication while they stay. Liaison or escort interpreters require frequent travel to deliver their services.
Legal or judicial Interpreter: Legal or judicial interpreters provide their services in courts and judicial settings. They stay present at the hearing, arrangements, trials, and depositions to make effective communication for people who have limited understanding of the proceeding’s language. Legal interpreters have a strong grasp of legal terminology. Legal interpreters may also read the documents aloud in the court or provide instant interpretation.
Sign language Interpreter: Sign language interpreters provide ease of communication between people who are deaf or having hard hearing and to those who can hear. Sign language interpreters learn a language and its signs interpretations to communicate with people with hearing loss or deaf. Some people with hard of hearing can lip-read instead of sign language. So, interpreters also learn to speak silently and carefully so that it could be easily understood.
Trilingual Interpreters: Trilingual interpreters can communicate in 3 languages such as native language, foreign language, and ASL or sign language. We can say that a trilingual interpreter becomes a medium of communication between a native language speaker, foreign language speaker, and an ASL user.
What is the job outlook for Foreign Language Interpreter?
It is expected as per the market view, there’ll be around 19 percent growth in the number of jobs for a foreign language interpreter. The employment completely depends on the increasing globalization and connectivity among countries. The French, German, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese interpreters’ demand is likely to rise at its peak. The Asian language interpreters will get better opportunities with the growing strong demand for Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hindi interpreters. We can say that there is a huge scope for language translators and interpreters. The military and national security services will also provide good opportunities for language interpreters. The Spanish language interpreters are demanded most in the United States as there is an expected increase in the number of Spanish speakers. While Chinese and Japanese language interpreters are highly paid in India. There’ll be plentiful opportunities for interpreters specializing in healthcare, law and other areas.
Frequently Asked Questions for Foreign Language Interpreter
Que. Which industries provide employment opportunities for a foreign language interpreter?Ans.
A foreign language interpreter finds good opportunities in BPO companies, tourism and hospitality industry, airports, public and private agencies, embassies, healthcare facilities, academic institutions, and international trade organisations.
Que. Which foreign language interpreters are most in-demand?Ans.
Spanish, German and French language interpreters are in higher demand.
Que. Which foreign language provides a higher salary in the market?Ans.
The Japanese language interpreters bag the highest package of salaries. The average salary of Japanese language interpreter in India is Rs.490,995 per annum, according to payscale.
Que. Which foreign language has the least competition in India?Ans.
The Mandarin or Chinese language has the least competition with an enormous increase in the number of jobs.
Que. What are the top foreign language universities in India?Ans.
There are numerous colleges in India which offer foreign language degree and diploma courses. We have mentioned below top universities for foreign language courses.
Top Foreign Language Universities
Que. How to become a foreign language interpreter?Ans.
Candidates are required acquire proficiency in a foreign language as well as cultural knowledge of origin country of that foreign language in order to become a foreign language interpreter. They must know at least two languages for interpretation. English is considered crucial for this profession, native language and any other foreign language such as French, German and Spanish is required.
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