Resources

Whether you're a seasoned language professional or just starting out in the world of interpretation and translation, this curated collection of tools, guides, and associations is designed to support your journey. Navigate through insightful articles, webinars, and industry best practices to stay up to date with the latest trends and advancements.

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Want to join the industry? Start here.

You have decided on an exciting career path that takes time and dedication. It takes several years to get started as an interpreter. Some people need an average of 2,200 to 3,200 hours to learn to fluently speak a new language. Universities that offer four-year interpreter training programs may require a lot of your time to learn American Sign Language, but they do not typically exceed the amount of time required for any other language. There are several resources to help begin the journey toward becoming a qualified, professional interpreter.

Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH)

Certification is a means for patients, interpreters, healthcare providers and language services agencies to identify the most competent interpreters. Currently there are two organizations that provide national certification for medical/healthcare interpreters. While similar in many ways, there are key differences between these two credentials. Some healthcare interpreters choose to become certified by both.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI)

If you are bilingual and wish to become a professional interpreter or translator, there are several steps you must take. The following includes information from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Click here for the full report.)

Education

A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to become an interpreter or translator along with proficiency in at least two languages, one of which is usually English.

High school students interested in becoming an interpreter or translator should take a broad range of courses that focus on foreign languages and English writing and comprehension.

Beyond high school, people interested in becoming interpreters or translators have numerous educational options. Those in college typically choose a specific language as their major, such as Spanish or French. Although many jobs require a bachelor’s degree, majoring in a language is not always necessary.

Through community organizations, students interested in sign language interpreting may take introductory classes in American Sign Language (ASL) and seek out volunteer opportunities to work with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Training

Spoken-language interpreters and translators working in the community as court or medical interpreters or translators need to complete job-specific training programs or certificates. Medical interpreters, for example, typically must complete an accredited 40-hour medical interpreter training program (such as the Core Medical Interpreter Training, or CMIT).

Continuing education is a requirement for most state court and medical interpreting certification programs. It is offered by professional interpreter and translator associations such as the International Medical Interpreters Association, American Translators Association and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters on a regular basis.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There is currently no universal certification required of interpreters and translators beyond passing the required court interpreting exams offered by most states. However, workers can take a variety of tests that show proficiency. For example, the American Translators Association provides certification for translators in many language combinations. The federal courts offer court interpreter certification for Spanish language interpreters.

If you are interested in becoming a spoken language or ASL court interpreter, please complete the requirements set forth in the Kentucky Spoken Language Certification Policy, or the Kentucky Interpreting Requirement Policy for Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Interpreters respectively. You will also need to read and understand the Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters.

Kentucky Court Of Justice Administrative Office of the Courts (KCOJ AOC)

If you're wondering which path to certification is right for you, visit https://interpretered.com/about-us/interpreter-certifications-compared

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already in but want more?

KITA offers a variety of training events and programs. Stay current with industry standards and practices by regularly attending trainings and completing certifications. Check out our training page for more details on how you can stay on the cutting edge of the language industry!

Specialty Resources

National Association of Interpreters in Education
https://naiedu.org

American Association of Interpreters and Translators in Education
https://www.aaite.org/

Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Education
https://aaite.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/AAITE_ CoE_Interpreters_v1.0.pdf

Code of Ethics for Translators in Education
https://aaite.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/AAITE_ CoE_Translators_v1.0.pdf

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters
https://cchicertification.org/certifications/

National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters
https://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org/

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Position Papers

Position papers are documents issued by the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association that express its official position on matters of interest to interpreters and translators. Position papers are living documents and are subject to revision based on current research, changing workplace conditions, new technologies, etc. For any questions or concerns regarding the positions stated here in or to provide information on up-to-date research or other resources please notify us via the Contact page.