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Just getting started in interpreting and translating, but I never finished my bachelor's degree.
Thread poster: Kelly Peters

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Consider the signal being sent Apr 16

Kelly Peters wrote:
I’m not the only one who translates in both directions either. I’ve seen many profiles here who offer to do that.

If your clients are happy with that then that's the only thing that matters, at least at the level of individual transactions. However, if you take a bird's eye view then, at least in the Anglosphere, there is a strong tendency for clients to allow translation only into the translator's own first language. That, rightly or wrongly, is considered by many clients to be an important part of producing a high-quality translation.

If you cheerfully advertise that you translate into a language that is not your own, you run the risk of being seen as less serious by those clients that see themselves as more serious. I suspect that these are the clients that are prepared to pay more in return for higher quality. To invert the argument, clients who don't care that you are translating into a language that is not your first language are probably not that bothered about having the highest quality translation, and probably don't pay the highest rates.

There have been many threads about this over the years. Worth a quick read through.

Regards,
Dan


Tom in London
Christine Andersen
Sheila Wilson
Michele Fauble
Oleksandr Ivanov
Rachel Waddington
Kay Denney
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, kind of Apr 16

Kelly Peters wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

I did ask one of my teachers about this and she said it doesn't matter because if you get certified that trumps a degree.



Was your teacher confused?


Interpreting was what I asked her about.

I’m taking classes for both interpreting and translating though.

Are you confused?


You said your teacher told you you did not need a degree if you got certified for interpretation. Is it possible to get certified without a degree?


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:03
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It is a doctrine I practise but don´t preach Apr 16

Dan Lucas wrote:

… if you take a bird's eye view then, at least in the Anglosphere, there is a strong tendency for clients to allow translation only into the translator's own first language. That, rightly or wrongly, is considered by many clients to be an important part of producing a high-quality translation.


You may be able to translate both ways, but others may be better! There is a whole range of scenarios.

I speak and write Danish on a level with many natives, but I do not translate professionally into Danish. I have Danish native colleagues who write really excellent English - they have taken large portions of their education and training in English. They have studied the specialist language in their fields - often legal or medical - and here the special terminology is almost an acquired language for natives too. Even so, they may hand a job to me and say it will be better done by a real native.

Their English is up to professional standards in their fields, and there may be very few English natives who can read the source language at that level. My Danish is ´not bad for a foreigner´, but even after living with it and studying it for forty years, it is not up to professional standard. I am more of a generalist, so I only translate into English.

My son is bilingual, but not a translator. He went to school and university in Denmark, but learnt English as a native, and also studied in the UK. He now lives and works there, and really speaks and writes both languages well.

If you truly have both languages at a professional level, fill out your profile and explain why. It could be a useful selling point.
Fill out your profile in any case. In translation it is increasingly important to know what you do best and concentrate on quality, especially in language pairs where there is a lot of competition. Show clearly what YOU have to offer, and stand out from the rest.

Best of luck!


Sheila Wilson
Dan Lucas
 

Kelly Peters
United States
Local time: 16:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You tell me. Apr 16

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

I did ask one of my teachers about this and she said it doesn't matter because if you get certified that trumps a degree.



Was your teacher confused?


Interpreting was what I asked her about.

I’m taking classes for both interpreting and translating though.

Are you confused?


You said your teacher told you you did not need a degree if you got certified for interpretation. Is it possible to get certified without a degree?


You tell me.


 

Kelly Peters
United States
Local time: 16:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What are you trying to say? Apr 16

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

I did ask one of my teachers about this and she said it doesn't matter because if you get certified that trumps a degree.



Was your teacher confused?


Interpreting was what I asked her about.

I’m taking classes for both interpreting and translating though.

Are you confused?


You said your teacher told you you did not need a degree if you got certified for interpretation. Is it possible to get certified without a degree?


According to my teacher, it is quite possible to get certified without a degree. Are you implying that my teacher is wrong?


 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 17:03
Romanian to English
+ ...
beg to disagree Apr 17

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

I did ask one of my teachers about this and she said it doesn't matter because if you get certified that trumps a degree.



Was your teacher confused?




I couple of years ago, I translated a dozen of medical diplomas to be considered in the US. I got a phone call from the medical authority asking me if I am a certified/sworn court interpreter. I sent them the Roster for court interpreters and they accepted my translations. Ergo ....


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Then, follow your teacher's advice Apr 17

Kelly Peters wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

I did ask one of my teachers about this and she said it doesn't matter because if you get certified that trumps a degree.



Was your teacher confused?


Interpreting was what I asked her about.

I’m taking classes for both interpreting and translating though.

Are you confused?


You said your teacher told you you did not need a degree if you got certified for interpretation. Is it possible to get certified without a degree?


According to my teacher, it is quite possible to get certified without a degree. Are you implying that my teacher is wrong?


Get certified, forget about the college degree. By doing that, you will save a lot of money.


Jorge Payan
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Interesting Apr 17

Liviu-Lee Roth wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

Kelly Peters wrote:

I did ask one of my teachers about this and she said it doesn't matter because if you get certified that trumps a degree.



Was your teacher confused?




I couple of years ago, I translated a dozen of medical diplomas to be considered in the US. I got a phone call from the medical authority asking me if I am a certified/sworn court interpreter. I sent them the Roster for court interpreters and they accepted my translations. Ergo ....


Did you mean that medical authority accepted your translations only after they saw you were on the roster for court interpreters?

[Edited at 2020-04-17 07:21 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Trump Apr 17

Kelly Peters wrote:
I did ask one of my teachers about this, and she said it doesn't matter, because if you get certified, that trumps a degree.


I suspect her comment about the relative value of certification compared to a degree was a personal opinion about what most clients consider a more appropriate indicator of your expertise.

It also depends on what she means by "certification". Who is the certifying body in this case? If she meant the accreditation exam from the American Translators' Association, then I agree with her that the certification would likely be regarded more highly by many clients than a degree. However, the ATA certification exam is simply an exam (they assume you already know how to translate), and it is very, very difficult to pass the exam. If you have "just started" with translation and interpreting, you'd be wasting money taking it.

I would love to just go back to college, but I don't have the money for that right now...


Well, then I would say: don't worry about not having a degree. Train yourself through books and online courses, and start advertising your services to potential clients by contacting them personally or registering on their web sites:

https://www.proz.com/blueboard
https://www.proz.com/business

Liviu-Lee Roth wrote:
Keep in mind that in order to get a certification as a medical interpreter, first, you need to take the "Bridging the Gap" course (40 hrs, about $400) and then apply for the certification exam.


I assume you mean this one:
https://xculture.org (Cross Cultural Health Care Program, CCHCP)

It appears as if their different trainers can set their own prices, but I had a quick look and saw prices of between $700 and $900 for the 5-day course.
https://xculture.org/medical-interpreter-training/bridging-the-gap-training-program/btgtrainings/
https://xculture.org/medical-interpreter-training/licensed-training-agencies/

Kelly, you should ask your teacher if this was the "certification" that she was referring to.

On the CCHCP web site it says that you can get US certification for medical interpreting at these two bodies:
https://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org (National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters)
https://cchicertification.org (Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters)

Don't forget that in order for one's certification to remain valid, you may be required to undergo continuing education courses at various third-party establishments, which all cost money. I get the impression from the two certification bodies' web sites that they strongly recommend interpreter training before attempting to get certified, and a 5-day introductory course may not be what they have in mind. Of course, I'm just speculating here, but if you're trying to find the cheapest route, then certification may not be it.


[Edited at 2020-04-17 07:00 GMT]


 

Jiayin Jenny Zheng
United States
Local time: 16:03
Member (2014)
Chinese to English
Ha, you are in my region Apr 17

Kelly Peters wrote:

I went to a meeting of a local interpreting and translating organization, and while I know each meeting is different, that particular meeting had a panel full of professionals who had multiple PhDs and I left that meeting feeling very intimidated and discouraged. They haven't had any more in-person meetings however because of COVID-19.

Am I wasting my time?


I know a few folks in that organization since they are a sister organization of ours, and we work together (since I'm their Mandarin Chinese counterpart). Most of the Mandarin LCIs (licensed court interpreters) who took and passed the test are either 1. bilinguals with a legal background, or 2. bilinguals with a professional interpreting background. I'm not trying to intimidate you, but being a Spanish court interpreter in the state of Texas you have to have a license, a fed license is the best (although almost impossible to pass). You can keep on taking the tests every half-year till you pass, but it's pretty demanding for someone without any training or background knowledge - in other words, you will be on the low-end of the market for a very long time before moving up the ladder.

Also, UT doesn't offer interpreting courses do they? Not that I am aware of, at least not in Mandarin. But for a Spanish interpreter in Texas, you can look into plenty of training resources. Some people recommended Southern California School of Interpretation, but I am not a Spanish person to vouch for their training. There is also ACEBO, which is almost a must if you are studying to be a LCI, but their books are pretty intimidating if you are a brand new beginner - just a personal opinion.


[Edited at 2020-04-17 06:46 GMT]


 

Kelly Peters
United States
Local time: 16:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes Apr 18

Jiayin Jenny Zheng wrote:

Also, UT doesn't offer interpreting courses do they?


UT does, but so does ACC. I'm taking the interpreting and translating courses at ACC right now.


 
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