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What are the challenges of an interpreter career?

Moses Idris

An interpreter career has great benefits but it does come with a lot of challenges.

An interpreter is someone who changes verbal information from one language to another. A translator is someone who changes written words to a different language. There is a great need for interpreters and translators in newcomer communities. These jobs are very important, but an interpreter career has various challenges.

Here are a few of them:

Being on time

One of the things most valued in American culture is time. It is important to get things done in an efficient manner. It’s important for interpreters to make time count because they work with so many professionals. This means getting to appointments on time, and staying focused while you are on the job. 

Dealing with word variations

Language differs from one industry to another. So, the interpreter must be able to keep up with the language being used and its specific meanings as it relates to an industry, such as healthcare or technology. If you interpret the information in the wrong way, it can cause a lot of issues, so interpreters must be careful and adept with words. 

Coping with clients in difficulty

In an interpreter career, you will work with clients who have different problems and personalities. As an interpreter, you must be great at people skills. Since you are working with many people who are dealing with many problems, some clients will be rude. You must learn to shake off any negativity coming your way and remember you are a part of the professional team taking care of the client’s needs. 

Having cultural awareness

Refugees and immigrants bring part of their culture to America. Sometimes this results in cultural views that clash with one another. Being in an interpreting career means you are trying to close the gap between the two cultures, so you must do you best to help both parties understand each other. For example, in my culture, preventive care such as pelvic exams are not known. As an interpreter, I was careful and had to be accurate in explaining why such examinations are needed. 

Being prepared

There are not enough resources to train and prepare people for an interpreting career. Interpreters usually get better with experience on the job. It can be hard when you take the first appointments, but you must hold on if you want to improve and succeed in this profession. Remember you are making a living by helping people in your community. On top of that, you are working with different professionals and clients in different fields while improving your communication skills.

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