Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Working as a Translator or Interpreter

Interpreters – assist speakers of two different languages to understand each

other using speech.

Translators - work with written material to enable readers of one language to

understand text written in another.

How do I become an interpreter?

In order to become an interpreter you will need a professional qualification such as the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) or a degree with an interpreting element in a specific language. You will also need experience of interpreting. Unfortunately, at present, no local colleges offer the DPSI course

You will need to have complete fluency in your first language and you would be expected to have near complete fluency in your second language. A clear speaking voice is essential as well as the ability to be easily understood by the speakers of both languages.

How do I become a translator?

In order to become a translator you will need a professional qualification such as a university degree with a translation component or a professional qualification such as the Diploma in Translation.

Why do I need qualifications if I already speak the language?

Professional qualifications show that you have achieved the correct level of understanding of both languages and of the professional standards and protocols for interpreting or translation. Employers will need to know that you have reached these quality standards. This will reduce the risk of legal action arising due to errors in interpreting or translation.

Whom should I contact for more information?


The Institute of Linguists

48 Southwark Street


SE1 1UN .

Tel: 0207 940 3100

Website: www.iol.org.uk

Audio Audio English (Size: 2.04 Mb Type: mp3 )

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