The job of an Interpreter involves converting a speaker’s messages to another language. There are several kinds of interpreters – one who interprets what a person says as he/she says it (simultaneous interpreter), one who waits until the speaker finishes before interpreting the message (consecutive interpreter), one who interprets every few sentence while the speaker pauses (liaison interpreter) and one who convert spoken statements into sign language or vice versa (sign language interpreter).
Education/Experience Requirements A successful candidate must possess a high school diploma and course work on at least one foreign language, such as German, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic and Russian, among others. Those who have spent at least a year in another country have more advantage in this field. Other organizations, such as the United Nations, require interpreters to be proficient in at least three languages.
Skills Excellent public speaking and communication skills, analytical skills and time management skills. He/she must be also extremely detail-oriented, observant and accurate. Interpreters must also possess good memory, social perceptiveness, logic and reasoning.
Specific work elements Facilitating effective communication between clients in conferences, formal meetings, product launches, court proceedings, arbitration hearings, medical appointments, community events or even via telephone, web communication tools and other methods when the interpreter is not in the same room as the speakers. The interpreter’s job involves assimilating words quickly, analyzing sentences, writing notes, preparing paperwork and organizing workload, among others.