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CERTIFIED INTERPRETER: It's More Than Just Learning The Vocabulary

About this video 

Mireille is a certified interpreter who works as an independent contractor. She talks about the different venues she works in from court rooms to prisons, shares her career path and goes into detail about the required skills to be an interpreter.

Degree: International Relations
Job Title: Certified Court Interpreter
Employer: Independent Contractor

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
Indoor, Office, Remote
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Public speaking ability, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, People skills
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='130'>My</span> <span m='340'>job</span> <span m='1000'>is</span> <span m='1620'>an</span> <span m='1840'>interpreter,</span> <span m='3260'>an</span> <span m='3420'>independent</span> <span m='3970'>contractor,</span> <span m='4760'>and</span> <span m='5170'>I'm a</span> <span m='5250'>court-certified</span> <span m='6240'>interpreter.</span> <span m='6890'>There</span> <span m='7270'>actually</span> <span m='7680'>isn't</span> <span m='8170'>a</span> <span m='8360'>typical</span> <span m='8830'>day</span> <span m='9380'>for</span> <span m='9580'>me</span> <span m='9810'>because</span> <span m='10260'>I</span> <span m='10470'>work</span> <span m='10800'>for</span> <span m='10930'>different</span> <span m='11340'>agencies,</span> <span m='12250'>different</span> <span m='12610'>counties,</span> <span m='13350'>different</span> <span m='13920'>courts,</span> <span m='15000'>and</span> <span m='15180'>also</span> <span m='15450'>for</span> <span m='15600'>different</span> <span m='15980'>prisons.</span> <span m='16700'>So</span> <span m='17100'>every</span> <span m='17480'>week,</span> <span m='18060'>I</span> <span m='18160'>can</span> <span m='18350'>be</span> <span m='18460'>hired</span> <span m='18840'>by</span> <span m='19060'>any</span> <span m='19340'>one</span> <span m='19540'>of</span> <span m='19610'>those</span> <span m='21350'>agencies</span> <span m='22080'>or</span> <span m='22220'>courts</span> <span m='22770'>or</span> <span m='22870'>prisons.</span> <span m='23750'>So</span> <span m='24150'>every</span> <span m='24430'>week</span> <span m='24660'>is</span> <span m='24820'>different,</span> <span m='25220'>and</span> <span m='25420'>every</span> <span m='25700'>day</span> <span m='26300'>is</span> <span m='26500'>different.</span> <span m='26950'>So</span> <span m='27210'>I</span> <span m='27340'>can</span> <span m='27560'>either</span> <span m='28420'>go</span> <span m='28690'>to</span> <span m='29120'>interpret</span> <span m='30050'>at a</span> <span m='30100'>prison</span> <span m='30820'>for</span> <span m='31195'>a</span> <span m='31570'>Board of Parole</span> <span m='32049'>hearing.</span> <span m='33000'>I</span> <span m='33090'>can go</span> <span m='33330'>interpret</span> <span m='33950'>at</span> <span m='34240'>medical</span> <span m='34950'>appointments</span> <span m='35640'>for</span> <span m='35740'>the</span> <span m='35870'>workman's</span> <span m='36310'>comp</span> <span m='36590'>system</span> <span m='37130'>or</span> <span m='37450'>go</span> <span m='37700'>to</span> <span m='38190'>depositions</span> <span m='38960'>in</span> <span m='39040'>the</span> <span m='39140'>workman's</span> <span m='39310'>comp</span> <span m='39730'>system</span> <span m='40640'>or</span> <span m='40970'>go</span> <span m='41420'>to</span> <span m='42380'>superior</span> <span m='42950'>court</span> <span m='44190'>in</span> <span m='44400'>a</span> <span m='44450'>number</span> <span m='44760'>of</span> <span m='44830'>different</span> <span m='45170'>counties.</span> <span m='45790'>So</span> <span m='45920'>it</span> <span m='46080'>really</span> <span m='46300'>depends.</span> </p><p><span m='47280'>I</span> <span m='47480'>was</span> <span m='47720'>born</span> <span m='48410'>in</span> <span m='48490'>Mexico.</span> <span m='49020'>Spanish</span> <span m='49430'>was</span> <span m='49570'>my</span> <span m='49700'>first</span> <span m='50040'>language,</span> <span m='50500'>although</span> <span m='50750'>I've</span> <span m='50980'>lived</span> <span m='51340'>in</span> <span m='51440'>the</span> <span m='51560'>US</span> <span m='52070'>for</span> <span m='52390'>over</span> <span m='52560'>25</span> <span m='53090'>years.</span> <span m='54500'>So</span> <span m='54650'>I</span> <span m='54690'>think</span> <span m='55240'>English</span> <span m='55570'>is</span> <span m='55700'>a</span> <span m='55780'>little</span> <span m='55980'>more</span> <span m='56150'>dominant</span> <span m='56650'>now</span> <span m='56910'>at</span> <span m='57230'>this</span> <span m='57510'>point.</span> <span m='57810'>But I</span> <span m='58040'>was</span> <span m='58250'>always</span> <span m='58490'>interested</span> <span m='59410'>in</span> <span m='60900'>languages.</span> <span m='61540'>And</span> <span m='61930'>I</span> <span m='62010'>studied</span> <span m='62380'>international</span> <span m='63060'>relations.</span> <span m='64420'>So</span> <span m='64730'>I was</span> <span m='65280'>sort</span> <span m='65519'>of</span> <span m='65620'>interested</span> <span m='66170'>in</span> <span m='66430'>those</span> <span m='66740'>things.</span> <span m='67650'>And</span> <span m='67790'>then</span> <span m='67930'>I</span> <span m='67980'>had</span> <span m='68150'>been</span> <span m='68300'>working</span> <span m='68680'>for a</span> <span m='68870'>nonprofit</span> <span m='69700'>for</span> <span m='70140'>a</span> <span m='70220'>long</span> <span m='70480'>time.</span> </p><p><span m='71130'>And</span> <span m='71280'>I</span> <span m='71350'>decided</span> <span m='71665'>that</span> <span m='71980'>I</span> <span m='72260'>wanted</span> <span m='72700'>to</span> <span m='73020'>actually</span> <span m='74080'>pursue</span> <span m='74470'>interpreting.</span> <span m='75480'>So</span> <span m='75620'>I</span> <span m='75670'>started</span> <span m='76010'>taking</span> <span m='76350'>classes.</span> <span m='77580'>I</span> <span m='77670'>took</span> <span m='77920'>a</span> <span m='77990'>certificate</span> <span m='78580'>program</span> <span m='79560'>in</span> <span m='79990'>San</span> <span m='80230'>Francisco.</span> <span m='80900'>And</span> <span m='81170'>then</span> <span m='81520'>I</span> <span m='81920'>took</span> <span m='82330'>the</span> <span m='82580'>court</span> <span m='85080'>exam,</span> <span m='85450'>the</span> <span m='85540'>state</span> <span m='85820'>court</span> <span m='86050'>exam.</span> <span m='86560'>And</span> <span m='87240'>I</span> <span m='87330'>didn't</span> <span m='87620'>pass</span> <span m='87860'>it</span> <span m='87950'>on</span> <span m='88040'>the</span> <span m='88120'>first</span> <span m='88400'>time.</span> <span m='88630'>I</span> <span m='88710'>passed</span> <span m='89090'>it</span> <span m='89310'>on</span> <span m='89630'>the</span> <span m='89820'>second</span> <span m='90480'>try.</span> <span m='91410'>And then</span> <span m='91690'>that's</span> <span m='91910'>when</span> <span m='92040'>I</span> <span m='92100'>started</span> <span m='92570'>to</span> <span m='93600'>work</span> <span m='93850'>in</span> <span m='93960'>the</span> <span m='94060'>courts</span> <span m='95494'>and in</span> <span m='95966'>workman's</span> <span m='96438'>comp</span> <span m='97860'>and</span> <span m='98070'>in</span> <span m='98380'>the</span> <span m='98480'>prison</span> <span m='99820'>system.</span> </p><p><span m='100410'>When</span> <span m='100590'>I</span> <span m='100700'>started,</span> <span m='101550'>at</span> <span m='101730'>first,</span> <span m='102320'>and</span> <span m='102440'>I would</span> <span m='102890'>hear</span> <span m='103060'>other</span> <span m='103240'>people</span> <span m='103550'>say</span> <span m='103760'>this</span> <span m='103970'>because</span> <span m='104160'>you</span> <span m='104260'>think,</span> <span m='104700'>oh,</span> <span m='104850'>I'm</span> <span m='104950'>bilingual.</span> <span m='106250'>I just</span> <span m='106360'>need</span> <span m='106680'>to learn</span> <span m='109320'>the</span> <span m='109400'>vocabulary,</span> <span m='110340'>like</span> <span m='110530'>the</span> <span m='110630'>legalese</span> <span m='111280'>in</span> <span m='111430'>English.</span> <span m='111790'>In my</span> <span m='111890'>case,</span> <span m='112710'>Spanish</span> <span m='113180'>as</span> <span m='113350'>well.</span> <span m='113650'>But</span> <span m='113870'>you</span> <span m='114020'>also</span> <span m='114270'>have</span> <span m='114480'>to</span> <span m='115970'>learn</span> <span m='117060'>the</span> <span m='117180'>different</span> <span m='117520'>modes</span> <span m='117900'>of</span> <span m='118060'>interpreting.</span> <span m='118960'>There's</span> <span m='119450'>consecutive,</span> <span m='120550'>and</span> <span m='120710'>there's</span> <span m='121260'>certain</span> <span m='121690'>skills</span> <span m='122090'>that</span> <span m='122230'>you</span> <span m='122310'>need</span> <span m='122470'>to</span> <span m='122570'>develop</span> <span m='122990'>for that.</span> <span m='123360'>There's</span> <span m='123470'>simultaneous.</span> <span m='126000'>You</span> <span m='126080'>need</span> <span m='126330'>another</span> <span m='126670'>set</span> <span m='126820'>of</span> <span m='126890'>skills</span> <span m='127320'>to</span> <span m='127530'>do</span> <span m='127660'>that.</span> <span m='127950'>And</span> <span m='128120'>there's</span> <span m='128229'>also</span> <span m='128550'>sight</span> <span m='128830'>translation.</span> <span m='129630'>So you also</span> <span m='129975'>need</span> <span m='130320'>to</span> <span m='131370'>develop</span> <span m='131690'>the</span> <span m='131770'>skills</span> <span m='132580'>to</span> <span m='132770'>do</span> <span m='132910'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='133300'>It's</span> <span m='133520'>more</span> <span m='133690'>than</span> <span m='133810'>just</span> <span m='134030'>learning</span> <span m='134280'>the</span> <span m='134350'>vocabulary.</span> <span m='135480'>It's</span> <span m='135710'>like</span> <span m='135760'>a</span> <span m='136120'>constant</span> <span m='136550'>process</span> <span m='137770'>of</span> <span m='137950'>learning.</span> <span m='138810'>And</span> <span m='139300'>even</span> <span m='139850'>though</span> <span m='140140'>you're</span> <span m='140630'>certified,</span> <span m='141330'>I</span> <span m='141370'>mean</span> <span m='141600'>I'm</span> <span m='141720'>still</span> <span m='142050'>not</span> <span m='142280'>going</span> <span m='142390'>to</span> <span m='142480'>know</span> <span m='142870'>every</span> <span m='143150'>single</span> <span m='143460'>word</span> <span m='143830'>and</span> <span m='144180'>how</span> <span m='144610'>to</span> <span m='145630'>interpret</span> <span m='146260'>every</span> <span m='146690'>single</span> <span m='146800'>word</span> <span m='147400'>there</span> <span m='147750'>is.</span> <span m='148020'>And</span> <span m='148170'>that's</span> <span m='148410'>OK.</span> <span m='148770'>I</span> <span m='148790'>mean,</span> <span m='149020'>in</span> <span m='149040'>real life,</span> <span m='149510'>you</span> <span m='149630'>can</span> <span m='149900'>stop</span> <span m='150190'>and</span> <span m='150310'>ask.</span> <span m='151210'>And</span> <span m='151350'>then</span> <span m='151450'>you</span> <span m='151550'>just</span> <span m='151740'>always</span> <span m='151910'>have</span> <span m='152040'>to keep</span> <span m='155440'>learning</span> <span m='155890'>and</span> <span m='156020'>working</span> <span m='156410'>on</span> <span m='156560'>it.</span> </p><p><span m='157000'>I</span> <span m='157190'>think</span> <span m='157440'>it's</span> <span m='157670'>a</span> <span m='157830'>wonderful</span> <span m='158400'>career.</span> <span m='159410'>For</span> <span m='159650'>me</span> <span m='159780'>especially</span> <span m='160240'>as</span> <span m='160360'>an</span> <span m='160460'>independent</span> <span m='160940'>contractor</span> <span m='161470'>because</span> <span m='161810'>I feel</span> <span m='161930'>like I</span> <span m='162160'>have</span> <span m='162410'>a</span> <span m='162480'>lot</span> <span m='162670'>of</span> <span m='162730'>freedom</span> <span m='163820'>and</span> <span m='163860'>I</span> <span m='163910'>have</span> <span m='164100'>a</span> <span m='164140'>lot</span> <span m='164310'>of</span> <span m='165380'>control</span> <span m='165990'>over</span> <span m='166260'>my</span> <span m='166760'>schedule</span> <span m='167370'>and</span> <span m='167670'>my</span> <span m='167800'>time</span> <span m='168180'>and</span> <span m='168490'>my</span> <span m='168640'>life</span> <span m='169270'>really.</span> <span m='169960'>Although</span> <span m='170300'>it is</span> <span m='170460'>a</span> <span m='170520'>little--</span> <span m='171250'>I</span> <span m='171340'>mean,</span> <span m='171500'>it's</span> <span m='171650'>different</span> <span m='171920'>because</span> <span m='172170'>I have</span> <span m='172300'>to</span> <span m='172390'>pay</span> <span m='172570'>taxes</span> <span m='172970'>on</span> <span m='173420'>my own</span> <span m='174090'>since I'm</span> <span m='174380'>an independent</span> <span m='174665'>contractor.</span> <span m='174950'>I have</span> <span m='175120'>to pay</span> <span m='175200'>for my</span> <span m='175460'>own</span> <span m='175740'>health</span> <span m='175950'>insurance,</span> <span m='177320'>things</span> <span m='177620'>like</span> <span m='177780'>that.</span> <span m='178100'>But</span> <span m='178230'>I</span> <span m='178410'>really</span> <span m='178670'>like</span> <span m='178930'>it,</span> <span m='179290'>and so</span> <span m='179430'>I</span> <span m='179520'>would</span> <span m='179680'>recommend</span> <span m='180075'>it</span> <span m='180470'>to</span> <span m='180660'>other</span> <span m='180820'>people</span> <span m='181180'>if</span> <span m='181300'>they're</span> <span m='181430'>interested</span> <span m='181950'>in it.</span> </p>","file":{"id":294043,"video_id":"2708329755001","name":"844-Mireille-CourtInterpreter","duration":182254,"thumbnail_url":null}});