What is Business and Community Interpreting?
3 Major Perks of being a Community Interpreter
1) Competitive salary:
In 2012, the median wage for interpreters was $45,430, or about $22 an hour. Depending on the setting and their level of expertise, many interpreters receive more.
2) Positive job outlook:
From 2012-2022, employment for translators and interpreters is projected to grow 46%--much faster than most fields-- due to globalization and the influx of immigrants in the US. Community interpreting can be applied broadly to a range of jobs and opportunities, so the sky’s the limit (although who knows what the future holds? There may be some intergalactic interpreting opportunities above and beyond!).
3) Helping people:
Community interpreters often find themselves in situations in which they are translating for the most disadvantaged populations in our society. As an interpreter, you get the pleasure of seeing how your work impacts people on a daily basis. Your salary may be represented by a concrete number of dollars, but building that linguistic and cultural bridge between two different people? Priceless.
Wait, what exactly is business and community interpreting?
Sure, you’ve heard about medical and legal interpreters-- pretty self-explanatory. The average person would be hard-pressed to define what interpreting in a community and business context means, however. Think about all the settings in which interpreters would be useful but don’t necessarily fall under the more specialized medical and legal umbrellas—housing, business, finance, schools, government agencies, and social work are only a few examples of where such training would be applicable.
Community interpreters, like medical and legal interpreters, are responsible for navigating regional dialects as well as social and cultural differences. As Margareta Bowen illustrates in her AIIC post on community interpreting, “The clients are worried, afraid, and sometimes illiterate. They find themselves in strange surroundings. Add to these difficulties the fact that the professionals -- the doctors, nurses, police officers, social workers etc. -- are usually in a hurry… In a nutshell, community interpreters need people skills as well as language and cultural knowledge -- and interpreting know-how.”
A Day in the Life of a Community Interpreter
The Cairo Community Interpreters Project has provided numerous interpreting anecdotes, all of which illustrate the indispensable interpretation of cultural and linguistic nuances. One such story deals with the sensitive nature of interpreting for refugees:
“I’ve been working as an immigration officer for many years now, and I know out of experience how difficult it is to interview child refugees, especially those who have arrived unaccompanied by their family. The distinction between dream and reality constantly blurs, but then is it not the same for adults when it comes to memories? Particularly when it’s painful to remember.
Adult refugees – often – end up believing what they have been telling everybody as to a certain situation. We all – to a certain extent - do this. How many of us are really “truthful” when they are asked about their financial situation or to submit their CV. Anyway, this group of children came along for an interview one day, and…well, the interpreter was “just” sixteen year old. At first, I was quite skeptical. I always thought that having experience in life is a sort of prerequisite if you want to work as an interpreter. On the other hand, experience in life often lead people to being judgmental and (in the case of interpreters) speak on behalf of the asylum seeker.
“My” teen interpreter made me think a lot. The way she translated for a group of children (average age: 6) was just great. She’d been recommended to me by the AUC interpreters’ trainers, who advised me on turning the interview into a group conversation, if I wanted the interpreter to perform at her best. She was a child when translating my questions to the children, and an adult when telling me about their answer. Throughout the whole session she was very good at picking out (and making me aware of) nuances in terms of the kind of language the kids used and its meaning. She always smiled, even when the conversation got “difficult” – well, some of these kids lost their parents, others saw their parents being killed. She constantly asked me if I would want to re-formulate my questions, and made sure that my interviewees understood what I meant.
I’m not sure I have solved the paradox of reality vs. dreams in memory, but I certainly went through this interview with the strong feeling that communication had been enabled, and I could – through this very professional interpreter – reach into those children’s world and attempt an understanding of their experience. I am grateful to the AUC for training individuals who make my professional life more interesting, enjoyable, and…professional!”
Why take our Business and Community Interpreting Certificate course?
1) You will acquire advanced interpreting skills which you can apply in a professional capacity.
2) Our Business and Community Interpreting Certificate course provides intensive instruction in subjects such as business, immigration, DTA and DMA case studies, interpreting for the Department of Children and Families, interpreting for DUA recipients, court hearings, housing, and finance.
3) You will learn about business and community interpreter roles and ethics in Business & Community interpreting field.
4) Hands-on practice: You’ll get the opportunity to receive language coaching and act out role-plays in smaller, interactive groups divided by target language.
5) Qualified, certified instructors: Our interactive coaching sessions are offered by professional interpreters who are native speakers of each target language.
If you have any questions about our program, terms and prices please contact:
Customer Service at (617) 277-1990.
Language Connections LLC
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105
Boston, MA 02135