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How to Become a Certified Interpreter

Become a Certified Interpreter

Interpreters are professionals who provide language services in a variety of settings. Whether it's for medical, legal, educational, or business purposes, interpreters help bridge the gap between two different languages by translating one language into another.

Between a variety of fields and a tapestry of clients, the industry of certified interpreter services are diverse, lively, and never the same! If you're looking to join a field that helps others, improves the lives of individuals, and offers a myriad of opportunity, then this career path might be perfect for you. However, if you’re considering becoming an interpreter, then you'll need to become certified. Here's what you need to know about the process.

Steps to Certification

The first step in becoming a certified interpreter is to identify which certifying body you wish to work with. There are several organizations that offer certification for interpreters, including the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI), the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), and the American Translators Association (ATA). Each organization has its own set of requirements and standards for certification, so it's important to research your options before committing to any particular program.

Once you have chosen a certifying body and submitted your application, you will be required to take and pass an examination that tests your knowledge of interpreting techniques and terminology, as well as your fluency in both languages being interpreted. Depending on which organization you choose, the exam may consist of multiple choice questions or practical exercises that require written interpretation of audio recordings. It’s important to study thoroughly in order to do well on these exams.

In addition to passing a written exam, most certifying organizations also require applicants to submit proof of their education or experience as an interpreter. This can include transcripts from university-level courses in translation or interpreting, certificates from community programs, or letters from previous employers verifying employment history as an interpreter. These documents should be accurately translated into English (or whatever language is specified) if they are not already written in that language.

Certified Interpreters Open New Doors

Becoming a certified interpreter can open a world of new opportunities and experiences. Certified interpreters have the chance to work in a wide variety of settings, interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and develop their language skills. This work can be rewarding personally as well as professionally, since certified interpreters play an important role in promoting understanding between different people.

Certification gives interpreters the preparation they need to effectively bridge the language gap, enabling them to provide quality service that helps break down barriers of misunderstanding. Furthermore, certified interpreters gain access to jobs and other benefits at various levels that are not available to non-certified individuals. All in all, becoming certified provides many advantages both inside and outside the interpreting profession - making it an excellent career choice for those with the talent and commitment to make a difference in this rapidly growing field.

The Difference You Can Make as a Certified Interpreter

Certified interpreters play an indispensable role in bridging the communication gap between people from diverse linguistic backgrounds, effectively transforming the world we live in. These highly skilled professionals possess an exceptional grasp of languages and cultures, enabling effective communication and mutual understanding in various settings, such as legal proceedings, medical consultations, and international conferences.

By facilitating comprehension and fostering empathy among different communities, certified interpreters not only help eliminate language barriers, but also promote inclusivity and cultural sensitivity. In an increasingly globalized world, their contribution extends beyond mere translation; they serve as cultural ambassadors, breaking down stereotypes and prejudices, thus fostering a more compassionate, tolerant, and interconnected world.


Becoming certified as an interpreter can open up a world of opportunity for those who are fluent in multiple languages. It’s important to understand the requirements set forth by each certifying body before beginning the application process so that you can be sure that all necessary documentation is gathered and submitted properly. With dedication, hard work, and a passion for communication across cultures, anyone can become a certified interpreter!

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