Professional Interpreter

This course will enable you to develop the skills necessary to use your knowledge of languages to help other people communicate. You'll start by gaining a clear understanding of what interpreting is; the different interpreting techniques, settings, and delivery modes; and the differences between a career in public services interpreting and other language-related fields. You will also receive a thorough grounding in the principles of ethics and professional conduct as they apply to the...

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6 Months / 40 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

George Mason University

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Course code: GES230

What you will learn

  • Become an effective communicator
  • Master listening skills
  • Learn how to transfer information in multicultural situations
  • Develop interpreting-specific skills such as short-term memory retention, shadowing, note-taking, sight-translation, consecutive interpreting, and more

How you will benefit

  • Complete the course and be listed for free in an employer-searchable directory
  • Make a difference in the lives of people in need of communication/translation services
  • Spend time in rewarding multicultural situations
  • Gain the confidence and skills needed to kick off your career as a public services interpreter

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 40 course hours
  1. Home (Introduction)
  2. Learning Styles Assessment Exercise
  3. Module 1: Basic Concepts of Language Interpreting
    1. Basic Concepts: What is language interpreting? What is language translation?
    2. Contrasting the interpretation and translation tasks
    3. Translation and adaptation: Localization and transcreation
    4. What does it take to become a professional interpreter?
    5. Certificate vs. Certification vs. Professional Licensure
    6. Where do interpreters work?
    7. Message delivery: The techniques
    8. Consecutive interpreting video demonstration
    9. Sight translation video demonstration
    10. Review Questions
    11. On-Site interpreting
    12. Remote and Telephonic Interpretation
    13. Telephonic interpreting, continued
    14. Video remote interpreting and video relay interpreting
    15. Sight translation
    16. Vocabulary Game
    17. Review Questions
    18. The Evolution of Interpreting in the Community
    19. The Evolution of Interpreting in the Community: Steps Toward Professional Recognition
    20. The Evolution of Interpreting in the Community: Professional Associations
    21. Public Services Interpreting Drivers
    22. Standards Guiding the Interpreting Profession
    23. Associations: Why are they important?
    24. Module 1 Self-assessment
    25. Resources
    26. Module Feedback
  4. Module 2: Interpreting Skills and Techniques
    1. Preparing yourself for this module
    2. Active listening
    3. Active listening: Suspending yourself
    4. Emotions and Culture
    5. Level of Interest and Objectivity
    6. Capacity to Concentrate
    7. Who you are influences greatly the way you listen and communicate
    8. Listening Exercises: Introduction
    9. Shadowing: Introduction
    10. Short-Term Memory Retention: Visual
    11. Short-Term Memory Retention: Auditory
    12. Note-Taking
    13. Sight Translation: Introduction
    14. Putting It All Together: Interpreting
    15. Module Vocabulary Game
    16. Module 2 Self-Assessment
    17. Resources
    18. Module Feedback
  5. Module 3: Ethics and standards: Expected professional behavior
    1. What are Professional Standards?
    2. The Interpreter's Professional Profile
    3. Accuracy
    4. Acting Ethically and Honestly
    5. Confidentiality
    6. Competence
    7. Neutrality
    8. Reliability
    9. Respect for the Profession
    10. Role Preservation
    11. Scenarios and Exercises
    12. Resources
    13. Module 3 Self-Assessment
    14. Module Feedback
  6. Module 4: The Business of Interpreting
    1. Basic public services interpreting market concepts
    2. The Supply
    3. The Demand
    4. Working as a freelance interpreter
    5. Interview video
    6. Working as a Full-time Interpreter
    7. Interview video
    8. Building a Resume
    9. Formatting a resume
    10. Resume Sample
    11. Writing a Cover Letter
    12. Joining professional associations
    13. Joining online professional directories
    14. Continued Education
    15. Resources
    16. Module Feedback

Rocío Txabarriaga, MA is vice president of Content Development and co-founder of the Virginia Institute of Interpreting. She is responsible for course planning, development, validation, and maintenance. Ms. Txabarriaga has over 20 years of experience in language services and international business management ranging from independent consulting to senior executive positions, and business ownership. Her extensive experience spans operations, ISO-quality processes, interpreter recruiting and training, qualitative and quantitative research and analysis, as well as in-depth involvement with several language technology platforms. Ms. Txabarriaga has several degrees, including a master's degree from Monterey Institute of International Studies, has earned many certificates, and speaks five languages fluently. Ms. Txabarriaga is also a NASBITE-Certified Global Business Professional and an accomplished writer and public speaker.

Prerequisites:

Must have a high school education (or equivalent) and be bilingual.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
  • Headphones or speakers.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or newer.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Linux may also be used.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Office or LibreOffice (not included in enrollment).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

You will not be certified, but you will have a Certificate of Completion. This means that you can begin working as a professional interpreter, but you cannot say that you are certified. You can say that you are a "trained" interpreter. (The situation is similar to someone who has a degree in accounting: The person could work as a bookkeeper, but is not an accountant until passing the CPA exam.) This course gives you the foundation for future specialized coursework in medical and judicial interpreting (certification exams exist in these disciplines in some countries). The difference is, this course will enable you to become a general interpreter just as soon as you complete it.

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.

English plus any other language.

Immediately after you finish the course, you can begin accepting interpreting assignments. The average hourly rate for new interpreters is $20 per hour. Simply follow the instructions in the career module of the Professional Interpreter course and you will be on your way to accepting interpreting assignments right away.

Yes. As part of your course, you will be required to take a spoken language fluency assessment in both your "A" Language (native language) and your "B" Language (second language). These tests are included in your tuition cost and are conducted over the phone. Certified testers will have a conversation with you in your languages, designed to assess your level of fluency on a 1-5 scale. You must have a fluency level of at least 3 in that scale in both languages to pass. If you do not obtain a level 3 fluency qualification in both languages, you will not pass the course. In order to be an interpreter, you must have full verbal fluency in two (or more) languages. The final fluency assessment is offered in 88 languages. If your language is not offered, this program is still recommended as you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a functioning interpreter.