I want to become a successful interpreter. I am Arab and speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, and a bit Italian and French. I have some experience in translation and am planing to enhance it.
Now I have some questions:
-Which is better for interpretation market:having a good certificate in the field, like ATA's, for example, or having a master in interpretation from a good university? Would it be a good idea trying to have both so that they differentiate me or make me earn more sooner or later?
By the way, I am not restricted to the languages I know. I mean, I am open to learning another language or enhancing the ones I am not good in if that will allow me to earn a good certificate or master in an affordable place.
I'm waiting for your advice and/or suggestions.
Thank you. :) :)
asked 21 Nov '16, 09:55
You don't tell us which country you live in or where you would like to work. Europe and the US are two very different kettles of fish. I presume you live in the US already, as you mention the ATA certification. That actually exists only for translation; the qualification that allows you to be an active member of the ATA as an interpreter only is not a test, and certifies only that you have worked for a certain amount of time and have a certain amount of experience. It is useful to have even the ATA translation certificate in the US, though, as many private clients don't know the difference between an interpreter or a translator, or the difference between liaison, court or conference interpreting.
In the US, these 3 markets can be interchangeable. When I lived there, I worked on the private and government markets as a conference interpreter, as a court and legal interpreter for the DC and Federal District courts, and as a liaison interpreter. I was required to pass a test to work in the government and in court, but not for the private market, though my degree helped to differentiate me. In government, community and court markets, the pay is contractual; in other words, you cannot negotiate, you take it or leave it. In private market conference, liaison, etc., you may negotiate your own fees, and they can move from very low to very high, depending on the job and your abilities as a negotiator.
In Europe, the markets are much more separate. Community interpreting is one market, court interpreting another, private market liaison another, and private market conference yet another. It is much more rare for an interpreter to mix these markets up. They tend to stick to what they do best, and add translation or other work on the side if interpreting isn't paying the bills.
You should do your market research for where you want to live and see what languages are needed there. Remember that the skills are difficult to learn - not everyone can become an interpreter even when they know different languages. This becomes even more true as you aim for higher levels - so conference interpreting requires the most training and the highest abilities, liaison requires a bit less book knowledge but more protocol understanding, court requires a different skill set and vocabulary, etc. Since the skills are difficult to learn, you should concentrate on just one or two foreign languages. Moreover, the different markets require different language combinations, so the private market tends to want an interpreter working back and forth between their native and one foreign language, where international organizations will want you to be able to work out of two languages into your native language (and if you are a native Arabic speaker, then from Arabic into either English or French).
answered 23 Nov '16, 13:17
A university course teaches you a skill. A certificate recognizes that you have a skill.
Attending a university programme sounds like the most direct way to acquiring the skill set that will be tested in a certification process.
A full-time 1 or 2 year post-graduate MA in conference interpreting is the best way to get into conference interpreting. You can find schools in your region / with your languages here in the AIIC Schools Directory
(You might need to specify what type of interpreting you had in mind, where you want to work/live and how you define "successful" if you want more specific answers!)
answered 22 Nov '16, 03:55
If you are a Coptic Christian and looking to emigrate to a country with more freedoms, the USA has been particularly interested in welcoming Coptic Christians and filling them into various interpreter type jobs. Under Trump, I would expect this trend to be even more pronounced.
answered 01 Dec '16, 11:13
Adrian Lee D...