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Do you almost always need an interpreting related major or training to work as an interpreter?

I have graduated in Accounting (major) with concentrations in Finance and Analytical consulting, and also minors in History and Asian Studies in an US university. I am pretty confident in my English and Chinese is my first language.

I understand to be bilingual doesn't mean one is able to be a SI.

I am wondering how do i make a first step into this industry? or where can i get an accurate assessment of my SI skills?

Is to get certified the first step? I have heard different things about being certified, like how useful it really is.

Your help is much appreciated.

asked 24 Jul '15, 05:29

loveiris731's gravatar image

loveiris731
31224

edited 24 Jul '15, 05:58

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck ♦♦
3.9k193350


I am wondering how do i make a first step into this industry?

Most conference interpreters nowadays have passed an MA course in conference interpreting. If you don't have the qualifications, it's unlikely that you will make it into the market.

or where can i get an accurate assessment of my SI skills?

It's likely that they will be close to non existent. Speaking two languages is like having two perfectly functional hands: It doesn't mean one will know how to play the piano.

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answered 24 Jul '15, 06:26

G%C3%A1sp%C3%A1r's gravatar image

Gáspár ♦
6.6k141829

edited 24 Jul '15, 06:27

Hello Loveiris,

This is a valid question, especially since one of the best backgrounds for an interpreter is to have experience in the world and/or another degree rather than simply having come through school and university with language degrees. And your background is a good one, as finances and accounting come up with alarming regularity.

Your best bet is to enroll in an interpreting school. They will assess your ability to understand a message, analyze and make connections, and to speak your languages (including your native language, as that must be at an excellent level). Once you have been accepted, they will then teach you the skills needed to become a good conference interpreter.

If you would rather go through the "school of hard knocks," and not spend the time or money on a degree, since business or conference interpreting is not a regulated profession, any one can go out and say that they are an interpreter (unlike certified public accountants, for example). The hard thing is that you will not know what is expected of you or how to behave when there are problems. I would say that it takes about 10 years of experience to equal the polish that you should get in two years of interpreting school.

Court and legal interpreting are regulated in some countries or regions, and they require certification. No other interpreting requires any type of certification, though you would have to have a degree and be tested to be able to work for international organizations.

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answered 25 Jul '15, 13:21

JuliaP's gravatar image

JuliaP
2.9k249

edited 26 Jul '15, 13:02

"I have graduated in Interpretation (major) with concentrations in Simultaneous and Consecutive interpretation, and also minors in financial translation in a German university. I am pretty confident in financial and accounting skills (especially German taxation), which are the topics I normally translate.

I understand to be a financial translator and interpreter doesn't mean one is able to do financial and taxation consulting.

I am wondering how do I make a first step into this industry? Or where can I get an accurate assessment of my financial and accounting skills?

Is to get certified the first step? I have heard different things about being certified, like how useful it really is."

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answered 25 Jul '15, 11:38

Nacho's gravatar image

Nacho ♦
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question asked: 24 Jul '15, 05:29

question was seen: 2,099 times

last updated: 26 Jul '15, 13:02

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