As an interpreter, you'll convert spoken or language statements from one language to another. You'll need to listen to, understand and memorise content in the original source language and then reproduce it in the target language.
You will work as an interpreter in the following settings:
- Criminal justice proceedings, known as public service interpreting (PSI), including police and probation service interviews, court hearings, solicitor interviews, arbitration hearings and immigration tribunals
- Community-based events and assignments within the education, health and social services sectors.
As an interpreter, you will need to:
- assimilate speakers' words quickly, including jargon and acronyms
- use microphones and headsets
- organise workload and liaise with internal departments, agencies and employers
- work to a professional code of ethics covering confidentiality and impartiality.
- have an excellent command of English and the other language(s) into which you may interpret
- flexibility to deal calmly with unexpected and difficult situations
As a freelance interpreter, your working hours will be flexible. Business, routine medical and court-related assignments tend to take place during office hours but evening and weekend work is not uncommon, especially for police interviews and emergency medical care.
You can become an interpreter if you're a graduate and have a high level of language knowledge. Degrees and qualifications which help to demonstrate this include:
- Modern and rare languages degree
- A postgraduate diploma or Masters in interpreting techniques
- AIT (formerly IAA) - Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Immigration Appellate Authority)).
- Basic Interpreting Qualification
- Community Interpreting Level 2
- Community Interpreting Level 3
- Community Interpreting Level 4
- DPI (formerly Metropolitan Police Test) Unit Pass - (Diploma in Police Interpreting)
- DPSI (Health) Partial - (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting)
- DPSI (Law) Unit Pass - (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting)
- DPSI (Local Govt.) Partial - (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting)
- IND (Home Office) - (Immigration Nationality Directorate)
- UK Border Agency Certificate
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