What Do Interpreters and Translators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Interpreters and Translators interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another. They also follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.

Other tasks include:

  • Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
  • Listen to speakers’ statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
  • Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
  • Read written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewrite material into specified languages.
  • Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.
  • Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.

We asked Interpreters and Translators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

72%

How meaningful is this job

76%


72% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 76% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Interpreters and Translators translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible. They follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.

  • Listen to speakers’ statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
  • Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
  • Discuss translation requirements with clients and determine any fees to be charged for services provided.
  • Compile information on content and context of information to be translated and on intended audience.
  • Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.

We asked some Interpreters and Translators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 48% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 47% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 51% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 49% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 6% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 50% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Interpreters and Translators also compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material. They may also check original texts or confer with authors to ensure that translations retain the content, meaning, and feeling of the original material.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Interpreters and Translators Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters. They might also Adapt software and accompanying technical documents to another language and culture.

In addition, they Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Proofread, edit, and revise translated materials.

To some Interpreters and Translators, it is also their responsibility to Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.


Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as an Interpreter and Translator, you can expect to work less than 40 hours per week.

Do Interpreters and Translators work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
71%


Never
24%


Do Interpreters and Translators work outdoors?

Never
58%


Once a year
39%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Artists and The Helpers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Interpreters and Translators

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Related to Interpreters and Translators Job Description

Interpreters and Translators job description, what do Interpreters and Translators do, typical day for Interpreters and Translators, what is it like to work as an Interpreter and Translator, how many hours do Interpreters and Translators work, day to day work of an Interpreter and Translator

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/media-and-communication/interpreters-and-translators.htm
http://www.discoverinterpreting.com/
http://www.atanet.org/
http://aiic.net/


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