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Languages (Interpreting & Teaching): Interpreting & Translating



Interpreting, translating, and sign language work

What's on this page?

This guide contains information about working as an interpreter

This includes working as a Sign Language interpreter


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Job Descriptions

Translators produce written texts, while interpretors usually help make people understood as they speak. Many people in this field do both as required

There are three main types of work in this sector

  • Private companies sometimes hire in-house translators
  • Freelance workers are common
  • The public sector requires language specialists in various roles

Routes into public sector are covered in the Public Sector Work section

Translating into English within the EU

The European Commission hires people to translate documents between different lanaguages, to facilitate international communication

Employees enjoy the opportunity to develop their skills, and work with other linguists

While freelance workers find their job can have busier and less busy patches, working for a government organisation like this means more steady work


Keeping track of news from this sector, and views of practitioners, can be a good way to improve your interviews, meet people who can help you in your career, and find out if this sector is right for you


Working in this field requires

  • A good level of fluency in a foreign language
  • Up to date knowledge of the culture and idioms of the cultures you translate
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Client service skills
  • Attention to detail

Membership of a professional body can help to prove your skills, which can lead to more jobs. But this usually requires work experience in this field before you can apply

Many jobs in this sector are freelance, so there are good opportunities to get experience and build up a reputation

Sign Language Interpreter

Sign Language Interpreters are people who translate for the deaf

This profession requires a knowledge of the deaf community as well as good verbal communication skills


These sites may of use in finding translation jobs