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INDIAN LANGUAGES INTERPRETER: You Are A Facilitator For Communication

About this video 

Robert is a multi-lingual interpreter of Indian languages. He talks about what a typical day looks like for him and shares how he got into the interpreting business. Robert's story is a great example of how using a skill you may take for granted can turn into an enjoyable career. He also provides excellent advice about how to deal with the challenges interpreters face working in the criminal justice system.

Job Title: Indian Languages Interpreter

Job Summary: Interpreters and Translators

Job Description

Interpreters and translators convert information from one language to another. Interpreters work in spoken or sign language, translators in written language.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

Although degree of study may vary, interpreters and translators generally need specialized training, available at colleges and universities nationwide and through training programs, conferences, and courses.

Certification Requirement
Recommended by the American Translators Association.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $90,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
40 to 50 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Irregular, Varies Widely
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Remote, Indoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, People skills, Public speaking ability

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='295'>Interpreter</span> <span m='1540'>of</span> <span m='2440'>Hindi,</span> <span m='2860'>Urdu,</span> <span m='3360'>Punjabi,</span> <span m='5140'>pidgin,</span> <span m='5720'>Gujarati,</span> <span m='6200'>and</span> <span m='6410'>Nepali,</span> <span m='6920'>six</span> <span m='7190'>languages.</span> <span m='8270'>And</span> <span m='8680'>seventh</span> <span m='9090'>is</span> <span m='9540'>English.</span> <span m='10190'>I'm a</span> <span m='11280'>freelance.</span> </p><p><span m='11970'>I have</span> <span m='12346'>contacts.</span> <span m='13100'>People</span> <span m='13870'>call</span> <span m='14140'>me.</span> <span m='14930'>And</span> <span m='15130'>that's</span> <span m='15350'>how</span> <span m='15560'>we</span> <span m='15690'>start</span> <span m='16040'>our</span> <span m='16730'>relationship.</span> <span m='18200'>Mostly</span> <span m='18660'>the</span> <span m='18920'>old</span> <span m='19320'>relations,</span> <span m='19710'>they</span> <span m='20100'>keep on</span> <span m='20520'>coming</span> <span m='20940'>back,</span> <span m='21310'>again</span> <span m='21620'>and</span> <span m='21740'>again.</span> <span m='22520'>But</span> <span m='22750'>new</span> <span m='22900'>one</span> <span m='23130'>also</span> <span m='23400'>come.</span> <span m='23640'>Then</span> <span m='23820'>also there</span> <span m='24460'>are</span> <span m='25590'>cold</span> <span m='25770'>coordinators,</span> <span m='26660'>they</span> <span m='26780'>call.</span> </p><p><span m='27660'>Oh,</span> <span m='28020'>that</span> <span m='28470'>is</span> <span m='28570'>a</span> <span m='28810'>story.</span> <span m='30030'>I</span> <span m='30220'>was</span> <span m='31600'>having</span> <span m='31940'>lunch</span> <span m='32350'>with</span> <span m='32509'>one</span> <span m='32680'>of</span> <span m='32729'>my</span> <span m='32880'>friends.</span> <span m='33870'>It is</span> <span m='34010'>in</span> <span m='34100'>'90s.</span> <span m='35760'>And</span> <span m='36170'>then</span> <span m='36260'>he</span> <span m='36480'>got</span> <span m='36670'>a</span> <span m='36720'>call</span> <span m='37090'>from</span> <span m='37400'>New</span> <span m='37620'>York</span> <span m='38200'>in</span> <span m='38370'>San</span> <span m='38620'>Francisco.</span> </p><p><span m='39810'>He</span> <span m='39960'>said,</span> <span m='40200'>somebody's</span> <span m='40660'>stuck</span> <span m='41060'>at</span> <span m='42190'>immigration.</span> <span m='43240'>And</span> <span m='43450'>they</span> <span m='44030'>are</span> <span m='44610'>not</span> <span m='44920'>going</span> <span m='45110'>to</span> <span m='45260'>release</span> <span m='45600'>him</span> <span m='45940'>unless</span> <span m='46340'>they</span> <span m='46470'>want</span> <span m='46830'>somebody</span> <span m='47370'>to</span> <span m='47570'>help</span> <span m='47830'>him</span> <span m='48150'>for</span> <span m='48290'>Punjabi</span> <span m='48900'>interpreting.</span> <span m='49828'>And</span> <span m='50246'>he</span> <span m='50664'>said,</span> <span m='51500'>Robert,</span> <span m='51710'>will</span> <span m='51810'>you</span> <span m='51970'>be</span> <span m='52680'>interested</span> <span m='53370'>in</span> <span m='53560'>doing</span> <span m='53900'>it?</span> </p><p><span m='54720'>I</span> <span m='54870'>said,</span> <span m='55070'>it's</span> <span m='55350'>a</span> <span m='55430'>sort</span> <span m='55710'>of</span> <span m='55820'>help.</span> <span m='56110'>I'm</span> <span m='56630'>going</span> <span m='56890'>there.</span> <span m='57930'>Let me</span> <span m='58040'>go</span> <span m='58270'>there.</span> <span m='58510'>And</span> <span m='58995'>let</span> <span m='59480'>me</span> <span m='59610'>help</span> <span m='59830'>him</span> <span m='60030'>out.</span> <span m='60345'>Because</span> <span m='60660'>he's</span> <span m='60930'>stuck</span> <span m='61250'>at</span> <span m='61360'>immigration.</span> </p><p><span m='62390'>That</span> <span m='62650'>was</span> <span m='62840'>the</span> <span m='62940'>start</span> <span m='63350'>of</span> <span m='63480'>it.</span> <span m='63910'>And</span> <span m='64870'>in</span> <span m='65069'>that,</span> <span m='65430'>what</span> <span m='65830'>I</span> <span m='66250'>feel</span> <span m='67180'>is</span> <span m='67380'>my</span> <span m='67590'>good</span> <span m='68030'>gesture</span> <span m='68450'>of</span> <span m='68560'>helping</span> <span m='69210'>people.</span> <span m='69600'>That</span> <span m='69770'>is</span> <span m='69870'>how</span> <span m='70090'>I</span> <span m='70180'>got</span> <span m='70430'>introduced.</span> </p><p><span m='71920'>And I went.</span> <span m='72590'>And</span> <span m='72770'>I</span> <span m='72860'>did</span> <span m='73360'>it.</span> <span m='73797'>And</span> <span m='75110'>I</span> <span m='75230'>met</span> <span m='75510'>the</span> <span m='75630'>attorney</span> <span m='76040'>there</span> <span m='76330'>who was</span> <span m='76620'>helping</span> <span m='76960'>him</span> <span m='77190'>also.</span> </p><p><span m='78010'>He</span> <span m='78180'>said,</span> <span m='78610'>are you</span> <span m='78840'>available</span> <span m='79480'>in</span> <span m='79700'>immigration</span> <span m='80075'>court</span> <span m='80600'>sometimes?</span> <span m='81850'>I</span> <span m='82080'>was</span> <span m='82480'>new to</span> <span m='82930'>this</span> <span m='83130'>country.</span> <span m='84150'>I</span> <span m='84280'>was</span> <span m='84430'>not</span> <span m='84670'>busy.</span> <span m='84980'>I was</span> <span m='85270'>not</span> <span m='85460'>doing</span> <span m='85690'>much.</span> </p><p><span m='87060'>I said,</span> <span m='87310'>let</span> <span m='87450'>me</span> <span m='87590'>start</span> <span m='88010'>doing</span> <span m='88310'>it.</span> <span m='88970'>Then</span> <span m='89285'>this</span> <span m='89600'>thing</span> <span m='89810'>started</span> <span m='90590'>one</span> <span m='90880'>by</span> <span m='91230'>one.</span> <span m='91420'>It was</span> <span m='91840'>[INAUDIBLE].</span> <span m='92230'>He</span> <span m='92350'>did</span> <span m='92460'>trial</span> <span m='92880'>method.</span> </p><p><span m='94070'>Once</span> <span m='94330'>I</span> <span m='94460'>wasn't</span> <span m='94720'>Oakland,</span> <span m='95410'>near</span> <span m='95700'>the</span> <span m='95830'>courthouse</span> <span m='96380'>and</span> <span m='96590'>post</span> <span m='96830'>office.</span> <span m='97470'>And</span> <span m='97930'>in post</span> <span m='98330'>office</span> <span m='98360'>building</span> <span m='98700'>they</span> <span m='98880'>had</span> <span m='99260'>interpreter</span> <span m='99540'>coordinator</span> <span m='100170'>office.</span> <span m='101310'>And</span> <span m='101560'>as</span> <span m='101730'>I</span> <span m='101830'>entered</span> <span m='102210'>to</span> <span m='102590'>do</span> <span m='102920'>some</span> <span m='103260'>business</span> <span m='103750'>in</span> <span m='103870'>the</span> <span m='103960'>post</span> <span m='104320'>office,</span> <span m='104580'>USPS,</span> <span m='106130'>I</span> <span m='106280'>saw</span> <span m='106580'>the</span> <span m='106710'>sign,</span> <span m='107620'>interpreter's</span> <span m='107940'>office.</span> </p><p><span m='109340'>And</span> <span m='109620'>I</span> <span m='109730'>had</span> <span m='109910'>done</span> <span m='110120'>two</span> <span m='110480'>assignments</span> <span m='111030'>in</span> <span m='111100'>immigration.</span> <span m='111820'>I</span> <span m='112110'>entered</span> <span m='112480'>that</span> <span m='112640'>office.</span> <span m='113460'>And</span> <span m='113710'>the</span> <span m='113820'>lady</span> <span m='114140'>was</span> <span m='114310'>there.</span> <span m='114750'>She</span> <span m='115470'>received</span> <span m='115820'>me</span> <span m='115940'>very</span> <span m='116170'>well,</span> <span m='116480'>got</span> <span m='116730'>up,</span> <span m='118300'>hugged,</span> <span m='118750'>and</span> <span m='119020'>said</span> <span m='119410'>what</span> <span m='119700'>can</span> <span m='119850'>I</span> <span m='119930'>do?</span> </p><p><span m='120430'>I</span> <span m='120590'>said,</span> <span m='120860'>I</span> <span m='121030'>don't</span> <span m='121250'>know.</span> <span m='121410'>What</span> <span m='121610'>is</span> <span m='121720'>this</span> <span m='122070'>offices</span> <span m='122440'>for</span> <span m='122590'>interpreters?</span> <span m='123330'>He</span> <span m='123480'>said,</span> <span m='124030'>you</span> <span m='124220'>have</span> <span m='124530'>to get</span> <span m='126030'>certified.</span> <span m='126770'>So</span> <span m='126930'>you</span> <span m='127310'>have to</span> <span m='127690'>take</span> <span m='127930'>exam.</span> </p><p><span m='129220'>Then</span> <span m='129669'>I</span> <span m='130039'>learned</span> <span m='130470'>where</span> <span m='130669'>is</span> <span m='130780'>the</span> <span m='131050'>exam</span> <span m='131320'>being</span> <span m='131590'>taken.</span> <span m='132410'>So</span> <span m='132670'>I</span> <span m='132900'>appeared</span> <span m='133290'>in</span> <span m='133410'>the</span> <span m='133560'>exam.</span> <span m='134690'>Passed,</span> <span m='135770'>and</span> <span m='135930'>became</span> <span m='136750'>registered</span> <span m='137135'>interpreter.</span> </p><p><span m='138240'>Then</span> <span m='138840'>I</span> <span m='139090'>went</span> <span m='139410'>to</span> <span m='139760'>tell</span> <span m='139890'>her</span> <span m='140230'>I am</span> <span m='140430'>now</span> <span m='140690'>registered.</span> <span m='141180'>She said,</span> <span m='141590'>start</span> <span m='141870'>working</span> <span m='142180'>in</span> <span m='142230'>the</span> <span m='142320'>court.</span> <span m='143210'>I just</span> <span m='143560'>became</span> <span m='143910'>a</span> <span m='143950'>career.</span> <span m='144850'>This</span> <span m='145100'>started</span> <span m='145530'>in</span> <span m='145600'>1995.</span> </p><p><span m='147270'>First of</span> <span m='147450'>all</span> <span m='147740'>the</span> <span m='147820'>person</span> <span m='148200'>should</span> <span m='148420'>be</span> <span m='148710'>open</span> <span m='149130'>minded,</span> <span m='150000'>helping.</span> <span m='151000'>That</span> <span m='151280'>is</span> <span m='151470'>very</span> <span m='152570'>important</span> <span m='153200'>attitude.</span> <span m='154680'>And</span> <span m='156600'>getting</span> <span m='156950'>tired</span> <span m='157300'>is</span> <span m='157490'>not</span> <span m='157750'>the</span> <span m='157840'>word</span> <span m='158100'>in</span> <span m='158380'>my</span> <span m='158560'>dictionary.</span> </p><p><span m='160400'>Because</span> <span m='161280'>you</span> <span m='161370'>know</span> <span m='161480'>what,</span> <span m='161660'>we</span> <span m='161790'>were</span> <span m='161920'>talking</span> <span m='162290'>in</span> <span m='162380'>so</span> <span m='162570'>many</span> <span m='162820'>other</span> <span m='163060'>conferences</span> <span m='163670'>here--</span> <span m='164220'>you</span> <span m='164420'>get</span> <span m='164580'>burnt</span> <span m='164960'>out.</span> <span m='165650'>You</span> <span m='165830'>get</span> <span m='165970'>emotional.</span> <span m='166530'>No,</span> <span m='167190'>no,</span> <span m='167550'>no,</span> <span m='167690'>no.</span> </p><p><span m='168420'>You</span> <span m='168800'>just</span> <span m='169200'>take</span> <span m='169480'>yourself</span> <span m='169970'>to</span> <span m='170070'>be</span> <span m='170290'>an</span> <span m='170510'>actor.</span> <span m='174050'>That's</span> <span m='174450'>it.</span> <span m='174860'>An</span> <span m='175110'>actor</span> <span m='175600'>is</span> <span m='175870'>a</span> <span m='176360'>different</span> <span m='176810'>person.</span> <span m='177900'>You</span> <span m='178210'>become</span> <span m='178600'>that</span> <span m='178830'>person.</span> <span m='179370'>And</span> <span m='179560'>when</span> <span m='179690'>you're</span> <span m='179970'>out</span> <span m='180270'>of</span> <span m='180430'>it,</span> <span m='180960'>you</span> <span m='181140'>are</span> <span m='181220'>no</span> <span m='181380'>more</span> <span m='181845'>actor.</span> </p><p><span m='182310'>So</span> <span m='182560'>that</span> <span m='182980'>means</span> <span m='183300'>you</span> <span m='183590'>disassociate.</span> <span m='185250'>So</span> <span m='185500'>you</span> <span m='185670'>don't</span> <span m='185920'>inherit</span> <span m='186530'>the</span> <span m='187850'>bad</span> <span m='188400'>effects</span> <span m='188830'>of</span> <span m='189180'>that</span> <span m='189490'>situation</span> <span m='189965'>with</span> <span m='190440'>you</span> <span m='191090'>if</span> <span m='191240'>you</span> <span m='191470'>are</span> <span m='191600'>only</span> <span m='191980'>actor.</span> <span m='192990'>But</span> <span m='193180'>if</span> <span m='193280'>you</span> <span m='193380'>become</span> <span m='193830'>involved,</span> <span m='194570'>than</span> <span m='194710'>you</span> <span m='194840'>can not</span> <span m='195120'>sleep</span> <span m='195430'>in</span> <span m='195530'>the</span> <span m='195620'>night.</span> </p><p><span m='195885'>You</span> <span m='196150'>say, oh</span> <span m='196590'>my</span> <span m='196750'>goodness.</span> <span m='197260'>He</span> <span m='197420'>did</span> <span m='197660'>that.</span> <span m='198000'>That</span> <span m='198190'>was</span> <span m='198370'>not</span> <span m='198660'>done.</span> <span m='199120'>He</span> <span m='199320'>was</span> <span m='199410'>at</span> <span m='199530'>fault.</span> <span m='199980'>The</span> <span m='200030'>other</span> <span m='200130'>person</span> <span m='200480'>was</span> <span m='200560'>at</span> <span m='200660'>fault.</span> </p><p><span m='201000'>No,</span> <span m='201120'>no,</span> <span m='201240'>no.</span> <span m='202320'>You are</span> <span m='202480'>not</span> <span m='202650'>fault-finder.</span> <span m='203810'>You</span> <span m='203930'>are</span> <span m='204130'>just</span> <span m='204600'>a</span> <span m='204875'>transparent</span> <span m='206100'>conduit.</span> </p><p><span m='207280'>That</span> <span m='207710'>is</span> <span m='207990'>the</span> <span m='208270'>term</span> <span m='208540'>given</span> <span m='208840'>to the</span> <span m='209176'>interpreters.</span> <span m='210310'>Whatever</span> <span m='210670'>comes</span> <span m='211340'>here</span> <span m='211820'>goes</span> <span m='212220'>from--</span> <span m='214130'>we</span> <span m='214240'>speak,</span> <span m='214620'>the</span> <span m='214860'>other</span> <span m='214950'>person</span> <span m='215320'>listens,</span> <span m='216010'>conduit.</span> </p>","file":{"id":306583,"video_id":"2804941715001","name":"1370-Robert-p-IndianLanguagesInterpreter","duration":217316,"thumbnail_url":null}});