Interpreter job description

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An interpreter plays a key role in the service sector, and is vital for communication between parties where there is no common language.
In an increasingly global workplace, interpreters are becoming more and more invaluable as members of different cultures look for ways to interact with one another. Interpreters are required to translate text and speech from a source language into the target language as required by the recipient of the information.
The job holder may be required to work with news articles or personal correspondence and to perform simultaneous interpretation where they will speak with the source speaker to translate words on-the-spot with a high level of accuracy.
This role usually requires a bachelor’s degree in the target language and sometimes more than one language. It is often a requirement for the interpreter to have a great understanding of the nuances and structure of the languages they will be interpreting at an academic level.
The starting salary for an interpreter is around £17,000 per annum but it is possible to earn as much as £30,000 in this role with bonuses.


Interpreters are required to convert spoken words from one language into another language in situations where people do not speak the same language. There are three different interpretation types including public service, simultaneous, and consecutive. The first type is for conversations of two persons or a group of people without needing headsets or other devices. The second type is used in conferences (real time interpreting) and the third type is for cases when the speaker says one or two sentences and then the interpreter speaks (press conferences).

An Interpreter usually performs many of the following tasks:
• Translating instantly one language into another.
• Working at meetings.
• Adapting terms for local language.
• Using electronic devices conferences.
• Assisting people in conversations with other persons having different languages.


• Having good memory.
• Being able to work under pressure.
• Having excellent knowledge of native language.
• Being able to concentrate for long periods of time.
• Having knowledge of different fields.
• Being impartial and objective.
• Having interpersonal abilities.
• Being able to react quickly.
• Being reliable and trustworthy.
• Being analytical.


Several job placements for Interpreters usually do not have specific academic requirements. It is recommended to have a degree in translation or modern languages. Another path for this area is having a degree in science, economics, engineering, business, technology, or law and then having a postgraduate training in interpreting. Entry requirements for these courses are usually two A levels and five GCSE´s (A
*-C) including languages or equivalent subjects.

There are some cases where candidates need advanced degrees for application process. Examples of these cases are United Nations and the European Union that require professionals with a Masters degree recognised by the Directorate General for Interpretation.

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