A language interpreter is a person who provides an oral translation between speakers who speak different languages. The steps to become an interpreter depends on what you would like to specialize in – medical, legal, community, education, mental health, etc. But do know that to be a professional interpreter one must have training; knowing another language simply isn’t enough. For legal interpretation certification, you need to reach out to local courts or the Supreme Court of your state to find the steps and requirements and from there determine where to find training (Nebraska Courts, Iowa Courts). There is also the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) . Usually there is an orientation that must be completed. For medical, there are numerous training events online or in-person through CCHI, IMIA, Bridging the Gap to name a few. Online training and in-person training is also available for legal, medical, community, social services, and mental health on TransInterpreting or Linguist Education Online. In some communities one can take classes at a local community college or university. And of course we encourage individuals to attend our annual conference to learn more about becoming an interpreter and network with those working in the industry.
There are also steps to become a Sign Language Interpreter. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. is a great resource to find training and certification steps.