the next step towards becoming an interperter

guido

New Member
My journey so far has been long and arduous. I recently completed my AAS in ASL. While my program was not specifically an ITP, I did take a few courses on interpreting as well as intern with a local school's interpreting office. After completing my degree, I feel there's a small disconnect from where I am skill-wise and where I should be before feeling confident enough to interpret professionally. And I'm not quite sure what the next step I should take is. My schooling is at the bottom of my options due to financial and location constraints. I've inquired about local mentoring programs with very little success in getting replies from local agencies. Anyone been in a similar situation or have some helpful advice to offer?!!?
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
:wave: guido
sorry can't help you since not a student but there are couple of terps on here and people who are in ITP's, I think it may just take time for folks to see your post.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Become a member of your state RID chapter and start networking and attending their workshops.

If you can attend an ITP, you'll find out that they answer some of your questions.

Try to get some team assignments with experienced terps.

At the very least, ask if you can observe interpreters on assignments.
 

warpedpink

Member
If I were you, I'd do some volunteer interpreting or low-risk interpreting. The important thing is to get your name out there in the Deaf community and if they like you and your work, they'll throw more assignments your way. That's if you want to become a freelance interpreter. Another option would be to apply to interpreting agencies.
 
If I were you, I'd do some volunteer interpreting or low-risk interpreting.
Bad idea. There is really no such thing as "low-risk interpreting". First of all, accuracy is always important, no matter the setting. And secondly, anything could happen. For example, someone could become injured, and when the paramedics arrive, everybody will expect you to interpret.

I think the best idea (if schooling really isn't an option) would be contact area agencies and interpreters and see if you can set up some sort of internship or apprenticeship so that you can accompany and learn from a qualified interpreter.
 
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Etoile

New Member
The OP mentioned an AAS in ASL which means that while they taught ASL, they most likely didn't teach the cognitive process of interpretation, ethics, practicum, etc.

Interpreter education is starting to go online. I have heard of a few programs that offer it, and today at Gallaudet I saw a sign directing people to a workshop on the subject. As finances can be overcome a little more easily than location, you might look into that possibility.
 

guido

New Member
The OP mentioned an AAS in ASL which means that while they taught ASL, they most likely didn't teach the cognitive process of interpretation, ethics, practicum, etc.

Interpreter education is starting to go online. I have heard of a few programs that offer it, and today at Gallaudet I saw a sign directing people to a workshop on the subject. As finances can be overcome a little more easily than location, you might look into that possibility.
My program was not an ITP, but an emphasis was placed on interpreting, and my internship was done as part of my practicum. My internship was more or less a crash course in interpreting. I did learn about the CPC, and I was even allowed to do some "low-risk" interpreting. My problem is that I need some "fine-tuning" to my skills. I've begun contacting local interpreting agencies about interning and mentoring, but only one agency I've found has a mentoring program. I e-mailed them for more information about their program, but they haven't replied to my multiple e-mails.
 

missywinks

New Member
My program was not an ITP, but an emphasis was placed on interpreting, and my internship was done as part of my practicum. My internship was more or less a crash course in interpreting. I did learn about the CPC, and I was even allowed to do some "low-risk" interpreting. My problem is that I need some "fine-tuning" to my skills. I've begun contacting local interpreting agencies about interning and mentoring, but only one agency I've found has a mentoring program. I e-mailed them for more information about their program, but they haven't replied to my multiple e-mails.
I am a little confused but maybe that is because I am Canadian and we have a different system here. In Canada, one cannot interpret until he/she has completed the Interpreter Training Program. It is my feeling that if you are serious about interpreting, you would want to do your best. So why not go to a ITP?
 

guido

New Member
Here, its not required that you attend an ITP to interpret, but an ITP will certainly put me in the right direction. My main hesitation with attending an ITP is, aside from Gallaudet, there's ITPs that award associates degree. I don't feel its worth my time to go for another associates degree, especially after how hard I worked for the one I just got. I'm not ruling out attending an ITP, but distance and money are also hindering factors.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Don't turn your nose up at an associates degree. There are schools with excellent two-year interpreter training programs.
Correct.

Just keep in mind though, that a bachelor's degree (in any major) will be required before taking the NIC test after June 2012.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Here, its not required that you attend an ITP to interpret, but an ITP will certainly put me in the right direction. My main hesitation with attending an ITP is, aside from Gallaudet, there's ITPs that award associates degree. I don't feel its worth my time to go for another associates degree, especially after how hard I worked for the one I just got. I'm not ruling out attending an ITP, but distance and money are also hindering factors.
The thing is it's NOT about the piece of paper (ie the degree) that you get - it's the SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE you get in the programs... that you happen to get an AD at the end of it is "interesting" but not the main "point" of taking an ITP.

As a Hoh/Deaf person myself, here's my honest opinion on the matter:

If you SERIOUSLY want to become an interpreter, then you need to make it "worth your time" to take the appropriate courses and programs that will give you not only the proper skills you need, but also (perhaps more importantly) it also gives you "street cred" in the Deaf and interpreting communities. The "It's just not worth my time to go for this degree" regardless of how you mean it, comes across as if you are saying "I don't want to take the time to do this properly, I just want to be an interpreter" while at the same time you're also saying that you don't feel you have the SKILLS and comfort level to DO interpreting --- which is exactly what the ITP programs are designed to do for you! (and put you in contact with a number of very important people, groups, and agencies along the way as well).

The bottom line - if ASL/English interpreting is really what you want to do - then you need to reframe how you see the ITP ... instead of focusing on the paper at the end, focus on the process and education it provides for you ... both of which WILL help form you into a better, more skilled, more confident and more RESPECTED ASL/English interpreter!

If you you still working towards a Bach. Degree in order to meet the 2012 standards, consider looking into something that will include a number of pychology or linguistis courses as part of the Degree as both would be very valuable while working towards (and once you become) an interpreter.

Education and knowledge are NEVER a waste ... especially if you are looking to work in a field in which you are attempting to become part of a different cultural, social and linguistic group.

The more time you spend learning, practicing and becoming involved in the Hoh/Deaf and ASL communities in a "supported manner" (ie as a student being guided by instructors/teachers/profs etc who are highly skilled and respecited in the ASl/Deaf community/communities)

Hope that helps!
 

Smithtr

G.G.H.T
Premium Member
it is very pretty strong interpeter is very proper skills quality ASL/English strict
I think so lots of personal observed please proper on ASL/ ESL professional

but lousy on lazy sign language dismissed!

I am guess I am very pretty assurance lots of complication aware it identify interpreter!
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
I strongly recommend you complete the ITP. If nothing else, it will help you get your foot in the door with an interpreting agency and mentoring opportunities. Since you already have a two-year degree, just transfer those credits towards an ITP degree.

Your bachelor's degree doesn't have to be an interpreting degree. I already had a bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to interpreting before I completed my ITP associate's degree. I simply transferred the credits I needed for the basic requirements, then took the ITP specific courses to get the associate's degree in interpreting.

The more general education and knowledge you have, the better for practicing the profession of interpreting.
 

guido

New Member
You all put up a compelling case. I just e-mailed CCBC's ITP director to make contact. I'll see where things end up, but after thinking it over, I'm much more open to the idea of returning to school. I'm also looking at Towson Universities Deaf Studies program. I know it will not put me in the direction of interpreting, it is something else to consider.

Thanks all for pounding the idea over my head.
 

northernsydney

New Member
I personally feel that certification could be useful when just starting out because having that on your resume could give you some clout. However, the biggest factor in getting and keeping work is the quality of work you do, the way you treat your clients, and your overall professionalism. Translation accreditation or certification only takes into account your ability to translate between two languages; it doesn't test your ability to run a successful business. That's if you want to become a freelance interpreter. Another option would be to apply to interpreting agencies.
 
I personally feel that certification could be useful when just starting out because having that on your resume could give you some clout.
It would, but it's rare for an interpreter to have the chops to pass the certification exam when starting out. An option is to take at least the written portion which then allows you, assuming you pass, to put "Certification Candidate" on your resume which lets employers know that you're serious about improving your skills and becoming fully certified (if you pass the written exam then you have up to 5-years to pass the performance exam).
 
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