competency in skills and knowledge through assessment tests,
but are not required to complete a specific number of hours.
Interpreters and Translators
Work Process Content
On the Job Training
Interprets messages accurately and completely from source language into target language (for consecutive, simultaneous, or ASL interpretation)
- Clarifies point of view of interpreting (in first person, which is standard, or third person) to both parties before beginning interpretation (Core)
- Actively listens to messages to comprehend their entire meaning
- Renders precise interpretation in real time without omissions or additions (Core)
- Requests and incorporates clarification of speaker’s statements when necessary (Core)
- Provides idiomatic interpretation (modifying the literal meaning of the source message) to accurately convey meaning from source language to equivalent meaning in target language, taking into account relevant cultural variations (Core)
- Adopts vocabularies typically used in formal, consultative, and casual modes of communication, including colloquial slang, idiosyncratic slang, and regionalisms to accurately reflect speaker’s intention (Core)
- Preserves the tone and emotional level of the speaker, and manages the delivery, speed, and length of the speaker’s statement (projection, pace, and pausing) (Core)
- Uses memory skills including chunking, prediction, visualization, and notetaking where necessary (Core)
- Works in teams or pairs to coordinate transitions during longer periods of interpretation (Core)
- Operates headsets and other necessary technology (Core)
- Applies own cultural knowledge to render an accurate and meaningful interpretation of the original message (Core)
- Acknowledges the existence of power relations and dynamics between the parties involved and works toward full understanding between such parties (Core)
- Provides fully accurate interpretation in conflict or uncomfortable situations, addressing limitations when they arise (Core)
- Renders the source message in the same register as the speaker, with alterations only in rare instances of misunderstanding (Core)
Translates messages accurately and completely from source language into target language (for written translation)
- Provides accurate translations and summaries (as needed) of source language text, audio, and video material into target language with a clear awareness of audience specificities
- Applies a translation methodology to translate complex texts that contain difficult, idiomatic, highly technical, and/or colloquial writing within the translator’s specialized field (Core)
- Understands entire translation document before translating specific portions (Core)
- Identifies and accurately writes summaries of translations, as needed (Optional)
- Undertakes the necessary research to ensure accurate and meaningful translation of the original message (Core)
- Shows familiarity with word processors (e.g., Word) and machine translation tools, such as Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, Memsource, Trados, and Google Translate (Core)
- Checks own work either through verbally confirming comprehension or rereading translated work (Core)
- Reviews translations to ensure accuracy, completeness, correct grammar, and spelling (Core)
- Collaborates with editors in the final stages of translation review (Core)
- Maintains documentation of translation versions and editing progress when appropriate (Optional)
- Preserves narrative perspective of source documents (such as first person or third person points of view), or clarifies when translation has been paraphrased or modified in any way (Core)
- Follows routines and protocols to ensure quality control, prevent inaccuracies, and respond to translation objections (Core)
Demonstrates professional and ethical behavior when interpreting speech or translating text
- Follows ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information to maintain the privacy and professionalism of clients (Core)
- Understands personal biases in sensitive situations and applies these insights to ensure professional and impartial conduct (Core)
- Asks for and receives feedback and guidance from appropriate external sources regularly to improve performance (Core)
- Uses professional technology including web conferencing (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams) and other office software as required by employer or contractor (Core)
- Demonstrates familiarity with organizational policies and processes and industry-specific standards of practice (e.g., taking on client requests through the agency instead of independently) (Core)
- Remains calm and compassionate when dealing with conflict and crisis situations (Core)
- Communicates progress on longer tasks to clients (Optional)
- Identifies challenges and develops strategies for addressing them independently, with assistance from supervisors, as needed (Core)
- Manages unfamiliar terms and concepts in a manner that maintains transparency and supports effective communication for all parties (Core)
- Addresses ethical dilemmas using decision making skills and established codes of ethics to support optimal outcomes and maintain integrity (Core)
- Maintains impartiality by separating personal values, beliefs, and biases from those of all parties to respect their autonomy and self-determination (Core)
- Recognizes that individuals have different levels of acculturation and intracultural variation to avoid making assumptions that may misrepresent a speaker’s meaning (Core)
Build on subject matter knowledge and vocabulary, and engage in continuous learning
- Understands the latest terminology within a specific field (e.g., law, medical, political, etc.) in both the target and source language (Core)
- Builds some subject matter expertise on the topics being translated and interpreted to fully understand the context of the source language (Core)
- Consults with experts in their respective field for newest developments in vocabulary, slang, protocol, etc. (Core)
- Takes an active role in their professional growth and seeks out opportunities to immerse self in the nondominant language formally or informally (Optional)
- Continually self-assesses interpretation and/or translation skills and keeps up with technology changes or developments and industry specific tools, working to improve where necessary (Core)
Understands and applies communication skills with clients and colleagues
- Demonstrates professional email and phone etiquette, including responding in a timely manner (Core)
- Uses positive and respectful verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with colleagues and clients (Core)
- Supports client intake as directed by the supervisor, including identification, assessment, and response to interpretation and/or translation needs of clients (Optional)
- Approaches sensitive situations with empathy in dealing with clients’ needs (Core)
Related Instruction Content
Introduction to Interpreting and Translating
• Explain the role of the interpreter and the various fields in which interpreters work. • Explain the challenges, opportunities, and requirements to work in the various interpreter specialty areas, such as medical interpreting, court and legal interpreting, community and social interpreting, conference interpreting, government interpreting, and music or theater interpreting. • Differentiate between interpreters and translators. • Describe the process by which interpreters provide simultaneous and consecutive interpreting services. • Explain the role of relay or intermediary interpreters. • Describe the role of translators, the types of documents they are typically asked to translate, and the organizations that request or require document translations. • Describe the process by which translations are certified and name the organizations or certifying bodies that provide this function. • Explain the importance of understanding cultural and contextual information when preparing translations and describe the process by which translators conduct research to identify this information. • Demonstrate the ability to participate in cross-organizational or interorganizational translation efforts.
Ethical Practice in Interpreting and Translating and a Client’s Right to Privacy
• List and explain the key federal and state laws, regulations, and executive orders that guarantee limited English proficient individuals’ access to a qualified interpreter. • List and explain the laws governing access to interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. • Develop a language access plan for an organization that receives federal funding. • Describe the obligation of interpreters and translators to avoid conflicts of interest, act with impartiality, and maintain confidentiality and provide a sample of strategies that can be used to meet these requirements. • Explain the limitations of practice that apply to the work of interpreters and translators and give examples of situations where interpreters and translators must be particularly cautious to not exceed their role. • Explain the need for interpreters and translators to appropriately communicate their credentials to potential clients and interlocuters. • Differentiate between bilingual advocates or representatives and qualified translators, especially in the case of legal proceedings and maintaining privilege. • Describe the importance of providing translations that accurately represent the information presented in the original language or document, and discuss the appropriate way for interpreters and translators to react when there are errors in the original communication (such as missing words, incorrect grammar, incorrect usage, incorrect information, or conflicting statements). • Explain the importance of certifying translations and provide examples of instances in which certifications are required. Discuss strategies translators can use to ensure fidelity of the translation.
Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpreting, Notetaking, and Translation
• Demonstrate proficiency in writing and speaking English and a foreign language or American Sign Language. • Demonstrate the ability to identify key messages in a delivered message and relay these messages in clear, understandable, concise, and accurate language. • Explain the difference between echoic memory, working memory, and long-term memory and how each of these types of memory is used to assist the interpreter. • Demonstrate the ability to accurately perform consecutive and simultaneous interpreting of increasingly long interactions or speeches of increasing difficulty. • Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate notetaking techniques to enhance the quality and accuracy of interpreting. • Demonstrate the ability to accurately translate and certify the accuracy of a translation performed by another individual. • Explain the different types of tools, including memory prompts (such as storytelling, visualization, identifying logical threads, etc.), that enable an interpreter to provide consecutive interpretation for increasing longer messages. • Demonstrate the ability to provide consecutive interpretation for speeches, discussions, or descriptions. • Describe the role of gesture, facial expression, and intonation in understanding and conveying information during interpreting sessions. • Describe effective strategies for working across companies or organizations to produce translations that are technically correct and leverage content or contextual expertise that may come from different members of a translation team.
• Explain and demonstrate structured notetaking for interpreting. • Demonstrate the ability to use symbols effectively to remember and convey information accurately. • Demonstrate the ability to use notes in the provision of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting. • Use notetaking to provide simultaneous and continuous interpretation of increasingly longer dialogues, speeches, movies, or conversations.
The Business of Interpreting, Translation, and Preparing for Assignments
• Demonstrate the ability to communicate with potential clients about your skills, areas of interpreter and translator competency, and billing practices. • Demonstrate the ability to conduct research on the client, assignment, and location to determine if there will be any unique requirements or challenges, such as challenging work environments, clients with developmental or speech and language disabilities, tensions between speakers that could make interpreting difficult or translation certification requirements that could be challenging to meet or require the recruitment of additional expertise. • Identify any equipment that will be needed to perform interpreter or translation services and either provide accurate information to clients about what is needed or demonstrate the ability to obtain the necessary equipment to bring to the assignment. • Demonstrate the ability to create and submit an invoice for payment based on the requirements of the agency, client, or individual interpreter’s contract requirements. • Discuss effective strategies for tracking time on task, creating work logs, and creating a sample invoice for jobs that require tracking of hours. • Demonstrate the ability to create a contract or work agreement that appropriately describes the interpreter or translator services to be provided, the time and location of the assignment, any specific requirements for the hosting person or organization, cancellation or rescheduling policies, and billing policies. • Develop a set of symbols in preparation for an upcoming interpreter assignment. • Explain and demonstrate how to assemble, review, and tag preparatory documents to aid in performing interpreter or translation services. • Review background documents or information about an assignment to ensure that the interpreter has the appropriate credentials, does not have a conflict of interest, and can accept the assignment.
Interpreting in Difficult Situations
• Explain the appropriate steps to take in the event that an interlocuter is speaking too fast or in the event that the interpreter cannot hear or understand an interlocuter. • Demonstrate the effective use of tactics to manage a combative, agitated, or hostile interlocuter. • Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts of human psychology and ways to identify interlocuters who are fearful, in stress, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, developmentally disabled, or in crisis. • Demonstrate strong ethical practice in situations where an interlocuter is revealing highly personal medical, legal, financial, or personal information. • Demonstrate the ability to perform interpreting services in instances where interlocuters are not physically present with the interpreter. • Explain the steps an interpreter would take if after an assignment begins, the interpreter realizes that he or she is not qualified for the subject matter being communicated, or if there is a conflict of interest in providing services for a particular interlocuter or client. • Demonstrate the ability to provide accurate interpreter services in the event of technology or other equipment failure during the course of interpreting. • Describe effective strategies for translating “high stakes” documents, such as educational transcripts, legal documents, culturally significant documents, and documents with national security implications. • Discuss conditions under which a translator or interpreter may be required by law to notify authorities about information included in an oral or written translation. • Demonstrate strategies for translating or interpreting documents or conversations when jokes, inuendo, cultural references, colloquialisms, slang, or insults are included or when content deemed appropriate in one culture could be offensive to recipients of the interpreting or translating services.
Use of Technology for Interpreting and Translating
• Define, provide examples, and explain the advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate use of computer-aided interpreter technologies. • Demonstrate the ability to provide interpreting services using remote interpreting technologies, such as telephones, computer-based videoconference equipment, and conferenced-based videoconferencing equipment, including when the interlocuters are located in the same room but the interpreter is not or the interpreter is in the room with one interlocuter but not the other. • Discuss the advantages and limitations of machine interpreting and its potential impact on the occupational of interpreting. • Explain how translators conduct research to develop the background and contextual knowledge needed to produce an accurate translation. • Demonstrate the ability to productively engage in group editing, including through the use of editing software. • Explain how translators utilize online, cloud-based, and other electronic tools to conduct research, produce translations, work as part of a group to create and review documents, and consider the translations of others when embarking on challenging or unique translations. • Explain the purpose, advantages, and disadvantages of various computer-assisted translation tools, and demonstrate proficiency in using these tools (or a subset of these tools, based on an employer’s preferences). These tools include, but are not limited to, Linguee, SDL Trados Studio MemoQ, Fluence Now, ProZ, The Free Dictionary, SmartCAT, Wordfast Pro, Zanata, Translators Cafe, Interactive Terminology for Europe (IATE), Microsoft Language Portal, OmegaT, Website Word County Memsource, etc.
Specialty training: court and legal interpreting, social service and community interpreting, medical interpreting, educational interpreting, music and theater interpreting, interpreting for business, interpreting for government agencies, and conference interpreting
• Demonstrate the ability to explain instances where words may not translate correctly between English and a foreign language because of differences in vocabulary, dialect, slang, or cultural sensitivities. • Explain protocols and expectations for professional conduct in the environment(s) in which the interpreter or translator is expected to work (or the types of documents he or she will be expected to translate). • Demonstrate proficiency in interpreting spoken conversations or speeches of increasing length and complexity or of translation documents of increasing length and complexity.