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getting started as an interpreter in the US
Thread poster: Italo & Beverly Sessegolo

Italo & Beverly Sessegolo  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 16, 2008

Hello,

My wife has terrific language knowledge but has not been taking advantage of it. Born in Paraguay, and raised in Paraguay, Brazil and the US, she speaks all three languages ( English, Portuguese and Spanish) as a native speaker. She taught English in Brazil for many years but since we moved to the US she has not been working in the field - got tired of teaching. I think she would make a terrific interpreter (not translator). I'd like to get some advice on how to get started. She has incomplete college education, and no interpretation or translation degrees. Other than medical and legal interpretation, what kind of work can she do? I've seen the ads of companies such as lingtastic.com - would this be a good place to start? Would you recomend earning an interpretation degree? I'd appreciate your knowledgeable input...

Italo


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 10:22
English to Russian
+ ...
In what state do you live? May 16, 2008

It is important, because the answer would vary greatly from state to state.

If you are in California, check this website: http://courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/courtinterpreters/becoming.htm. It tells you, step by step, how to become a court certified interpreter in California.

In the past, breaking into interpreting profession was relatively easy in California: you'd simply call the agencies and offer your services. Certification was not necessary. That's how I started nine year ago. However, workers comp reform has changed that, and it is now very difficult to start as an interpreter if you are not certified.

This is not meant to discourage your wife at all. To start with some volunteer job might be a good idea - just to see if she really like the profession and to acquire some experience. After that, if she really wants to do it, she should start studying for the certification exam.

If she can go to school, great, if not, there are wonderful self-study materials on the marked. Check http://www.acebo.com/ for starters.

Best luck to your wife!


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 10:22
English to Russian
+ ...
P.S. May 16, 2008

I've just checked your profile and realized you are in Pennsylvania. The market there is, of course, very different from the market in California. Hopefully, somebody from you state can answer your question.

Boa sorte!


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Italo & Beverly Sessegolo  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 17, 2008

Спасибо for the info Alexandra... I am "the wife". Having stayed at home raising children crippled me somewhat in the understanding of the job market. I have been searching for certification in colleges in the area, which I feel would be more productive than an online course, haven't found one yet. Muito obrigada...

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Check May 17, 2008

Check with local courts and hospitals as well as social service organizations. They are the ones that would have the greatest need if there is a Hispanic population in that area, and they are emerging all over the place.

There may or may not be any formal requirements to work in the area.


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