Interpreters interpret and translate speech from one language into that of another. They must be fluent in the language they are interpreting to and from, and must be able to convey the meaning and feeling of material from one language to the other. They ensure clear communication between two parties that cannot otherwise fully communicate in a variety of settings.

Duties and tasks

  • Act as an intermediary in schools, courts, hospitals and other environments to convey the meaning and content of one individuals words into another language understood by the other party
  • Evaluate recorded spoken material or transcripts of them to understand what and how things were said and translate it into another language
  • Interpret and translate material in conferences, performances, etc. as they happen, quickly translating them into sign language or other languages
  • Must be fluent in written and spoken language of interpretation and be familiar with local dialects of that language in order to ensure proper translation
  • Provide accurate and precise interpretation in high-stake settings including court trials, police investigations, government matters, etc.; become certified in organisations to act as interpreter for them
  • Travel with clients if requested to act as interpreter in a foreign country or to conduct interviews and investigations
  • Work with clients to understand the circumstances of the situation and to accurately interpret spoken information

Skills required

  • Analytical Skills
  • Attention to Detail
  • Critical Thinking
  • Linguistic Proficiency
  • Strong Communication Skills

Working conditions

Interpreters typically work varied hours depending on the organisations or clients they work with. They may work specific hours daily at an organisation or come in only when requested to in order to work as interpreter for a meeting, court hearing or event. They typically travel locally in order to act as an interpreter at different settings.

Professional associations / Industry information

National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters

The Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT)

Related jobs and job titles

  • Auslan Interpreter
  • Court/Legal Interpreter
  • Language Interpreter
  • Linguist Interpreter
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Teacher (ESL)Translator

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