Foreign Language Interpreter

Ricardo Beil Period 1

What is an Interpreter?

A Interpreter translates oral conversations between people speaking different languages. It is important that a person pursuing this career knows both Spanish as well as other common languages. An interpreter must also be swift and accurate when translating.

Interpreting VS. Translating

Many people confuse translating and interpreting. An interpreter translates speech from one language into another language. A translator translates text from one language to another. Being an interpreter requires speed while dealing with live conversations, as translators can take their time to ensure accuracy.


Most interpreters working for the public do not travel. Many government officials and wealthy individuals however have personal interpreters that travel with them. An example of this is shown below, with President Obama, his interpreter, and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Dangers and Job Advantages

There are not many dangers involved with interpreting but in some cases they are required to work in dangerous locations. Interpreting foreign languages has many advantages. A variety of work activities are possible, as you can interpret over the phone or using internet technologies (You can do it from your home). Interpreting is a job that is needed in the world today so there is good job security once you have found a job.


  • Proficient in Multiple Languages
  • High School Diploma
  • Certification in Interpreting, Ex: American Translators Association (Recommended)
  • Bachelor's/Master's Degree in the Art of Translation (Not Required)

Possible Education Options

  • University of Maryland (Department of Communication)
  • UMass Translation Center

Entry Salary

  • $43,000 Per Year
  • $21 Per Hour

A Community Spanish Interpreter