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Summer 2002 Vol. 46, Number 2

Interpreters and translators

Whether spoken, written, or signed, the message has to get through—whatever the language. Interpreters and translators are ambassadors of clear communication for every walk of life.


Linguaphiles of the 21st century can choose from an 
expanding selection of occupations. Among them are interpreters of spoken and signed language and translators of written language. These highly skilled workers enable the cross-cultural communication necessary in today’s society. 

What skills do interpreters and translators need? For starters, knowing at least two languages is a prerequisite. But it takes more than bilingualism to succeed in these occupations. On the following pages, you’ll learn about the work of interpreters and translators, including what they do, where they work, how much they earn, and how they prepare for these careers.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: October 08, 2002