We very commonly hear, “a translator and an accredited interpreter are the same”. Never pay heed to this misconception because it is wrong to define the same roles and responsibilities for both.
An interpreter’s role is significantly different from a translator. Yes, not many are aware of it because even in the movies they use it as identical. A translator creates a document by translating the original language word by word, whereas an interpreter tries to make several speakers understand each other in the midst of a conversation.
So that’s the huge basic difference between both, and if you love this role and wanna fine-tune your skills as an accredited interpreter, read on!
1. Learn the Language REALLY WELL!
Yes, the rule of thumb is to master the language until you attain a professional or native level proficiency. To be honest, learning grammar ISN’T THE ONLY thing because you know while speaking the language, native speakers have their very own endearing slang and colloquial usages so you have to be abreast with the language and there is no compromise in it at all.
Not being able to convey the actual meaning of what the communicator intended, may lead to grave issues in the future. This may stand as a major roadblock in your career if you want to see yourself conquering heights as a good accredited interpreter.
Make efforts to speak with native speakers through various apps or even try watching several movies available on OTT platforms. These constant efforts from your side to be a fluent speaker can pay you really well in the long run.
2. Decide Which Interpreter You Want To Be
Confused? Well, we have sorted it out for you! You are not confined to one category if you have decided to be an interpreter. Multiple professions require a very efficient accredited interpreter. Read further to know about the different interpreters in the market.
(a) Medical interpreters – In the field of medicine, they need medical interpreters to literally comprehend the medical language, and explain what is being conveyed. Like we all know, medical terminologies are easily understood only by medical professionals, so if you are really interested to be in this field you need to make sure that you take extra efforts to stand out and learn a lot about medical privacy laws and so on.
(b) Legal interpreters – Just like medical documents even courts use specific terminologies in their legal documents. A common man finds it really hard to fathom. Therefore, while venturing into buying a property/land or if somebody receives a court notice, the legal interpreters need to get to the bottom of the document and explain what is said.
(c) Diplomatic interpreter – The term itself gives away the meaning! When diplomats from various countries assemble for a world-famous gathering or an official visit, not everyone understands the foreign language. So the only way to make sense of the entire communication is with the help of diplomatic interpreters.
(d) Simultaneous interpreter or consecutive interpreter – Several fields require you to translate immediately after listening to the speaker. This is called a simultaneous interpreter. Some require you to interpret what’s being said just after several minutes of hearing and this is called a consecutive interpreter.
A major example to quote is the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions that we watch every year with immense interest. We thoroughly listen to the interpreters on the dais without a flutter, grasping it word by word. The interpreters are amazing and interpret whatever the speaker says without the slightest mistake. So now you know what a consecutive interpreter or a simultaneous interpreter is!
3. Get Credible Certifications
Image Courtesy @Lewis Keegan on UnsplashIf you want to be a reliable interpreter you need to get certifications from several world-class institutes. Having a certificate isn’t mandatory but if you have one in your kitty then it is definitely an add-on to your illustrious career as an accredited interpreter.
For being a medical interpreter the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters offers several courses and tests to be a great accredited interpreter. For court interpreters, in the US, they have the National Centre for State Courts. Similarly, if you want to find an institute in your respective field, kindly Google for the institutes, and you are sure to find one.
4. Enroll in universities for professional degrees
If you are a geek and nerd, then certificate courses from reputed institutes may not be your thing. You would like to dive in deep to learn the language more intricately. If that’s the scenario, may nothing stop you from enrolling in some good universities that teach you the foreign language knee-deep!
Having a Bachelors’ degree or Masters’ in the same can enhance your confidence as an interpreter. Needless to say that it is definitely gonna be a fine feather on your cap as an accredited interpreter.
5. Allot Some Time Every Day to Communicate With the Natives
Hmm, we know you are bewildered by this! But in the digital world isn’t it possible to find some time to communicate with native speakers to understand the language even more? There are a plethora of websites that help you in connecting with the speakers. You can even speak to several phone interpreters who are more than willing to communicate with you every day.
Every day there is a new word or slang that erupts out of nowhere in this digital world. So to be so accustomed to the evolving trends you need to really work hard if you need to make it considerably big in this industry. So a little every day can help you reach heights.
If you are finding it hard to speak to a phone interpreter on a daily basis, be a member of any professional association of interpreters. By being a part of it, there will be no dearth in communicating with anyone for the respective language you are trying to be a pro at.
6. Try Writing a Diary or a Passage in the Language
You do not have to frown when you hear writing. When you are learning a language, trying to utilize it the right way is really IMPORTANT! So when you endeavor into writing, especially in a language you aren’t that comfortable with, it helps you in learning new words and broaden your ideas while communicating.
This is a good way to master the language because in the future when you try to interpret the language you will be fortunate enough to use synonyms of a word. This will ultimately pave the way to more powerful and reliable interpretations.
We hope these 6 ideas will help you stay focused on your great journey towards being an accredited interpreter. Don’t be disheartened if you are finding it hard to interpret several languages the way you aspire to be. As the saying goes “there are no shortcuts in being successful”. Follow these 6 steps every day and you are sure to have a flourishing career as an accredited interpreter.