Profession interpreter

Interpreters translate or interpret from one spoken or signed language into another and study the origin, development and structure of languages.

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Personality Type

  • Investigative / Conventional
  • Artistic / Social

Related professions language and humanities

  • Historian
  • Linguist
  • Translator


  • Grammar

    The set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.

  • Interpreting modes

    The various ways of translating a language orally, such as simultaneous, consecutive, relay, whispered or liaison.

  • Spelling

    The rules concerning the way words are spelled.


  • Translate spoken language consecutively

    Translate what a speaker says when the speakers pauses after two or more sentences, accurately and completely and based upon your notes. The speaker will wait until the interpreter finishes before proceeding.

  • Preserve meaning of original speech

    Translate speech without adding, changing or omitting anything. Make sure the original message is conveyed and do not express your own feelings or opinions. Work to keep the intended meaning.

  • Update language skills

    Research or practice language skills to stay current with language changes in order to best translate or interpret.

  • Observe confidentiality

    Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.

  • Work analytically

    Analyse information flows to reconstruct messages quickly and precisely. Navigate a language to explain the same sense or feeling in situations where there is no definite word or literal translation.

  • Perform bilateral interpretation

    Understand and interpret oral statements in both directions of a language pair, while maintaining the speaker’s communicative intent.

  • Follow an ethical code of conduct for translation activities

    Carry out translation activities according to accepted principles of right and wrong. This includes fairness, transparency, and impartiality. Do not use judgement or allow personal opinions to affect the quality of the translation or interpretation.

  • Manage a good diction

    Speak clearly and precisely so that others understand exactly what is being said. Pronounce words accurately so as not to make mistakes or unintentionally say something incorrect.

  • Translate language concepts

    Translate one language into another language. Match words and expressions with their corresponding brothers in other languages, while making sure that the message and nuances of the original text are preserved.

  • Interpret spoken language between two parties

    Convert one spoken language to another in order to ensure the communication between two parties who do not speak a common language.

  • Speak different languages

    Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.

  • Memorise large amounts of information

    Retain large amounts of information and take notes for accurate interpretation.

  • Master language rules

    Master the techniques and practices of the languages to be translated. This includes both your own native language, as well as foreign languages. Be familiar with applicable standards and rules and identify the proper expressions and words to use.

  • Follow interpreting quality standards

    Follow the agreed upon standards to ensure that the requirements for interpreters are met and to guarantee unity. This may include such standards as the European standard EN 15038 for translation.

  • Translate spoken language simultaneously

    Translate what a speaker says accurately and completely at the same rate of speech without any lag time.

  • Develop a translation strategy

    Perform research to better understand the subject material and formulate the right questions to get the information needed.

  • Perceive the context

    Use situations and contexts to more fully grasp the meaning of what is said. Understanding the people involved and the situation, such as mood and setting, will allow for a more accurate interpretation because the interpreter will therefore be acquainted with the position of the speaker.

Optional knowledge and skills

consult information sources body language write scientific papers perform sight translation court interpreting write research proposals interpret languages in live broadcasting shows provide interpreting services in tours unseen translation create subtitles medical terminology preserve original text liaise with government officials chuchotage interpreting perform sworn interpretations semantics show intercultural awareness phonetics scientific research methodology translate texts provide advocacy interpreting services communicate with target community type texts from audio sources linguistics technical terminology develop technical glossaries interpret languages in conferences tape transcription answer incoming calls operate audio equipment conduct scholarly research use consulting techniques communicate by telephone

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