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How Do I Choose the Best Interpreter Training?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Choosing the best interpreter training depends both on your goals and location. Interpreters must be trained according to the standards of the areas where they work, and many different programs in an area can often satisfy legal or professional requirements for employment. It is also important to choose training that is targeted specifically to the type of interpretation you would like to perform. There are many programs that focus on specific languages as well. Several different organizations rank interpretation training programs, and looking at the qualifications of people who are employed in a job similar to your desired career can be helpful when choosing training.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an interpreter training program is whether the program will be sufficient for employment as an interpreter. The purpose of interpreter training is almost always to get a job, so a good training program will not only cover all relevant skills, but also any tests that might need to be taken. Where special licenses are required, training programs sometimes incorporate test-taking skills. Some of the best training programs provide assistance to graduates who are looking for jobs.

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Practice is essential during interpreter training, as practice is the only way to build interpretation skills. It is also important to think about the degree level that will be achieved, as different degrees are paths to different types of employment. Finding a program that adequately meets your career goals is usually the best way to choose a program, as a degree in interpretation is often a representation of skill.

Translation and interpretation programs are often specific to a language, and sometimes a program will cover only one or two languages. Admission into these programs typically requires demonstrated fluency in both languages in which interpretation will occur, but additional language skills are often gained during interpretation training. Relevant cultural customs involved in interpretation are often specific to certain languages, so choosing a targeted program is important.

Some programs are considered definitively the best in certain areas, but these programs are not always the best for all students. For example, an established nurse does not need prestigious Spanish interpretation courses in order to fulfill his or her job duties. In some cases, limited interpretation courses can be sufficient for an individual's needs. This is particularly true when interpretation is only a portion of a job rather than a career in itself.

Specialized interpreter training can be useful for people who intend to translate in specific areas. Common programs cover medical, legal, or academic interpretation. Although it is important to have a strong grasp of the language as a whole, these programs cover problems and phrases specific to certain fields.

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