Being an interpreter can be an extremely lucrative profession, but it does take some specific work to get into. To begin with, there’s a certain personality type that is going to be the best for this kind of job – you absolutely have to get along with all different types of people. Interpreters have to check their egos at the door more than most professions.
There’s also the matter of knowledge of culture, and a passion to be in lots of different types of situations. Add to that, you’ll do well to look up interpreters that are already in jobs you’d like to pursue, find out how much college it takes to become accredited, practice with friends and family whenever possible, use online resource, and be prepared to travel.
Look-up Interpreters in the Languages You’re Interested in
One good thing about learning how to be an interpreter is that you can look up successful professionals and see what position they are in. For example, if you’re interested in Chinese and Korean interpreting, you can research successful companies or individuals, and either contact them directly to interview them, or simply look into the professional bios to see what pathway they took. This is a great first step to establish your own personal timeline.
Find Out How Much College it Takes
Interpreting does require accreditation or college. The training can be intense as well, as it’s occasionally a high pressure job, especially depending on the kind of contracting you plan on doing later. Interpreting can be very important when it comes to thing like government communication, and that’s where you can get the big money, but it means you have to have excellent skills on your end of the bargain.
Practice with Friends and Family
A big part of getting into the interpreting industry is practice. So, while you’re learning, plan on using friends and family as sounding boards, quite literally, and not only will you become better at your craft, your family will learn to understand and support your efforts as well.
Use Online Resources
There are plenty of online interpreter resources for you to look through while you’re going through the college experience or searching for a job as well. YouTube is an excellent resource for up-to-date methods and practices, and those are free to browse as you learn.
Be Prepared to Travel
The final important factor regarding how to get into the interpreting industry is the fact that there is probably going to be a lot of travel involved, which means that you should keep your life organized in a way that allows you to quickly pursue any kind of opportunities that pop up.