So you are wondering how to become an interpreter?
Well, if you are able to speak two languages fluently, you’ve already got the first and most important qualification to conduct interpreter jobs.
Depending on the job and where you live, the requirement for qualifications of an interpreter varies.
The best way to find out these requirements is to contact your local translators’ and interpreters’ association.
Or talk to a professional interpreter in your area.
As a general rule, some college education is often enough to get a good start with freelance work, but a degree in translation or language related field is definitely a plus for your interpreting career.
Real life experience will also give you a big advantage especially when you have lived in countries where the languages are spoken.
Although interpreters mostly deal with spoken languages, you do need to show solid reading and writing ability. After all, you will be asked to translate official documents on site from time to time.
If you want to work as a conference interpreter, court interpreter or sign language interpreter, you will have to take some intensive training designed for such purpose and pass a challenge test in order to get licensed.
These jobs often involve simultaneous translation work. It takes time for anyone to become competent in these professional roles.
So be prepared to invest your time and money. And lots of hard work too.
Mastering the technique is only part of the question of how to become an interpreter. In fact, anyone bilingual can be a self-claimed interpreter.
But what we are talking about here is how to become a successful and well paid interpreter.
Now that’s the difference!
Permanent jobs for interpreters are mostly from government or large organizations, although in this case most jobs do require that you handle work other than translation or interpretation. But these jobs are rare!
More and more interpreters work as freelancers these days as companies and all levels of government are outsourcing these jobs to independent contractors.
Unfortunately jobs don’t automatically pour in just because you’ve finished your training or education. You have to get them!
So the question of how to become an interpreter really becomes
“how do I find quality interpreting jobs and get paid as such?”
This involves every aspect of operating a successful business – branding, marketing, pricing, product creation and customer care.
And not to mention, you have to make constant self-examination and adjustment in your practice.
If you want to work for the government or a large corporation, try to find someone among your friends or family or anyone they know who already works there.
Ask them to introduce you to the right person or department in that company.
You see, a good job often attracts tons of qualified applicants through the normal channels. When you have someone get you into the door, you already have an edge.
If you are a freelancer, let everyone know what you are doing. Encourage them to give you referrals.
Take every assignment you get seriously. In fact, you only get once to make the first impression to your clients. Show them what you’ve got and impress them.
Keep yourself updated with the latest industry trend or knowledge.
Market yourself whenever and wherever you can!
So when it comes to how to become an interpreter, qualifications get you into the door, but your mindset and your willingness to learn and improve will determine how successful you are.
You can also grab a copy of my ebook and cash in on this business new opportunity with your language talent and skills