Interpreter job description

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Interpreters are responsible for facilitating the cross-cultural communication by converting one language into another. They must understand the subject matter of each conversation in order to convert that information into other languages. These professionals deal with spoken words and express them clearly in the required combination of languages. Interpretation has two modes that are consecutive and simultaneous. The first mode requires that the interpreter takes notes and communicates the ideas of the speakers once they have finished their sentences. Simultaneous interpretation requires that the interpreter translates the ideas almost at the same time the speaker talks.

Interpreters usually perform many of the following tasks:
• Taking notes.
• Creating glossaries.
• Answering questions about terminology.
• Communicating ideas into another language.
• Studying different subjects before conferences.


• Being proactive and self-motivated.
• Having high attention to details.
• Being able to get concentrated for long periods of time.
• Having excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Being able to communicate ideas effectively to an audience.
• Having time management skills.
• Being an active listener.
• Having reading comprehension skills.
• Being accurate.
• Having good memory.


Applicants for Interpreter jobs are required to be fluent in at least two languages and have a Bachelor´s Degree as minimum requirements. Students at High School are encouraged to take courses about foreign languages, English comprehension and writing, and basic computer subjects. A recommendation for persons who want to work on this industry is spending time abroad to have direct contact with foreign languages and cultures and obtain suitable knowledge and skills for future jobs. Most employers in this sector demand professionals having three to five years of relevant work experience or a Degree in Translation Studies. The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and the American Translators Association provides certification in 24 language combinations.

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