A Spanish interpreter/translator is tasked with converting information from Spanish to another language or vice-versa. This is done to resolve communication barriers between individuals when one speaks Spanish and the other speaks another language, usually English, and this position is often found in schools, the medical field, the justice system, and religious presentations.
Good interpersonal and customer service skills are important in this position in order to work well with others. Depending on the field in which the interpreter/translator works, some specialized professional knowledge may be necessary. For those who work in hospitals, for example, it is important to be familiar with variety of medical terms in both languages. Interpreters are also able to help one party to better understand the other party's culture and heritage.
When conducting the interpretation and translation on a smaller scale, it is important to monitor the understanding of both parties and relay the level of understanding to the opposite party, and they may occasionally need to break down words and concepts into more understandable terms. It is also important to understand the major differences between interpreters and translators: interpreters focus primarily on translating speech and dialogue between multiple parties, typically in-person, while translators focus primarily on written materials.
This job may be part-time or full-time and interpreters and translators can work for a business as well as self-employment and may work on an on-call, per-job basis. For those in the health care field, certification as a qualified health care interpreter may be required, and the interpreter's Spanish vocabulary should be updated and expanded constantly. There are also general translating certifications which can be obtained, such as through the American Translators Association.
Spanish Interpreter/Translator Tasks
Observe teams and identify communication issues, and communicate them to the appropriate leadership.
Translate documents from one language to another, including multilingual note-taking and proofreading of others' documents.
Participate in face-to-face and virtual meetings to relay information, translate, and clarify communications.
Compile and define key terminology for organization goals.