How Can I Earn a Spanish Interpreter Certification?
As one who speaks both English and Spanish, earning Spanish interpreter certification will show that you have achieved certain standards for communicating across languages. Whether helping a Spanish-speaking witness testify in court or a patient needing medical treatment, certification improves your opportunities for employment and freelancing assignments. Read on to learn about some of the certifications available. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Spanish Interpreter Certification Options
As an interpreter, your job would be to facilitate verbal communication through the translation of the spoken word from one language to another in medical facilities, school systems, conference settings and the courts. No universal certification is required, but a number of voluntary options are available for Spanish interpreters who wants to show a certain level of competency. Besides general certification, setting-specific certification is also available for court and medical Spanish interpreters. By federal law, courts are required to provide interpretation of proceedings if one party can't or won't communicate in English. Medical facilities use interpreters to improve patient care.
Spanish Interpreter Certification
You can earn certification in either translation from Spanish into English or from English into Spanish from the American Translators Association (ATA); Spanish is one of 17 foreign languages available. To take the exam, you must be a member of ATA and be able to show proof of an education and experience in the field. You must also acknowledge an understanding of ATA's code and ethics. With passage of the exam, you become an ATA-Certified Translator (CT).
As a court interpreter proficient in Spanish, you must have knowledge of the American legal system. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) offers the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE) that evaluates both written and oral interpretation skills.
Most states also have certification programs; while some states, such as Virginia, allow certification to be voluntary, others, like California, require Spanish interpreters to be certified. Certification typically requires you to pass written and oral examinations as mandated and proctored by the state. Passing the exam attests to a minimum level of Spanish proficiency, knowledge of court terminology and awareness of ethical and professional conduct standards.
As a medical interpreter, you must have a solid understanding of the medical field, as well as Spanish fluency. State certification is offered in states such as Washington, which offers the Language Testing and Certification (LTC) program.
National certification is available through the National Board of Medical Interpreters. If you have one year of experience as a medical interpreter, you may take the certification exam. If you have less than a year of work experience, but are at least 18 years of age and have earned a high school diploma or GED, you can complete a 40-hour medical interpreter educational program, chosen from a list provided by the International Medical Interpreters Association, to qualify for the exam (www.imiaweb.org).
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