Who are they?

According to the Princeton Review website: “There are two main types of translators: textual translators, who work with written documents, and simultaneous translators, or interpreters, who listen and translate a voice as it is being spoken. The former may work on a variety of documents, including legal, business-related, journalistic, or “literary” texts, and is generally paid by the word. The latter are normally paid either by the hour or as full-time staff in such settings as the United Nations, international business, or perhaps within the legal system as a court translator.”

How do I get there?

  • “be fluent in English and in one of the official languages of the United Nations; French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, or Chinese.” (other languages are also acceptable – this info is for best opportunities)
  • Have “a language degree, preferably a B.S., B.A., or Masters.”
  • “have exceptional fluency in at least two languages”
  • Be “fluent in at least two cultures.”
  • Studying abroad can also be beneficial.

What is the interview process like?

  • “Before interviewing for a position, candidates are normally required to undergo a series of tests to ensure language proficiency.”
  • “First, the candidate has to translate a general text from the host language into the second, or third, language.”
  • “Then the applicant must choose a more technical text for translation to exhibit fluency in the area she has chosen for specialization. These tests can take up to seven hours.”
  • “After the candidate displays fluency the employer will invite the applicant to an interview. For this, the applicant is given some time to prepare a topic for translation and the interview usually begins with the oral presentation of this translation.”
  • “The interview culminates in an inquiry into her knowledge of the applicable region’s cultural and historical background.”
  • “Employers will often expect translators, after hiring and training, to work on word processing and other data entry equipment.”

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