The United States is a land of diverse languages and cultures, and if you are fluent in multiple languages, there are many jobs available in interpretation and translation services. You may be required to translate documents, serve as an interpreter for non-English speakers, or provide group or private lessons in English or a second language.
Part time or on-call job opportunities for bilinguals
If you are only looking for part-time work as a translator or interpreter, you may wish to register with a translation services company that provides on-call services for facilities such as
- Hospitals: You will serve as an interpreter for patients who cannot speak English, and translate medical documents for the patients.
- Businesses: You may serve as a liaison between English-speaking management and non-English speaking employees or translate company documents for employees. Management may request private or group language lessons in the employees language or in the language of non-English speaking clients. Workplace English lessons may also be requested for employees.
- Schools: Services may be needed for recent immigrant students and their families as students prepare to enroll in school. You may not only serve as an interpreter and translator, but also as a cultural bridge between the school system and the students. School systems with a sudden influx of non-English speaking students may offer ongoing employment opportunities for bilingual individuals as these students face difficulties in navigating their new surroundings.
- Courts: When a person accused of a crime cannot speak or read English, you will serve as an interpreter and translator. Performing these services in court requires that you obtain certification in court translation and interpretation services. State court requirements differ from state to state, but federal court interpreters must all meet the same qualifications.
When certified as a federal court interpreter, you will be placed on the National Court Interpreter Database (NCID), and contacted for on-call work when your language skills are needed. The federal courts recognize three types of interpreters:
- Certified interpreters. Proficiency is certified in Spanish, Navajo, or Haitian Creole by meeting US State Department guidelines.
- Professionally qualified interpreters. You must meet both US State Department and United Nations qualifications in language skills other than Spanish, Navajo, or Haitian Creole, and belong to a recognized professional language translation organization.
- Language skilled interpreters. Formal training is not required, only a demonstrated proficiency in the second language and the ability to perform interpretation and translation duties in court.
Although many of these job opportunities are part-time or on-call, it is a good way to make a second income and to practice your language skills. Talk to a center like Liaison Multilingual Services, Inc to see where you can chip in.