Interpreters and Translators
Skills & Knowledge
Most Important Skills for Interpreters and Translators
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing—Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking—Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Being Aware of Others—Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Understanding How People Learn—Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Helping Others—Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Interpreters and Translators
- Foreign Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Clerical—Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Law and Government—Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Philosophy and Theology—Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
- Communications and Media—Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Geography—Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Artistic—Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Social—Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.
Describe Your Skills
People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.
- Interpreting information for others.
- Collecting information from different sources.
- Working directly with the public.
- Keeping up-to-date with new knowledge.
- Communicating with people outside your organization.
- Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.
- Compiling, calculating, tabulating, or otherwise processing information.
- Creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships.
Careers that Use Similar Skills
The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Interpreters and Translators.
View more careers in the Education and Training cluster
View more careers in the Foreign Service pathway
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.