Limitations of interpreter certifications

Introduction

Some say that interpreting is the second oldest profession. While conference interpreting is widely known to have been born during the Nuremberg trials, ad-hoc interpreting (including community, public service, and natural interpreting) dates back to the Ancient Egyptians.

With such a stretching history, the profession has evolved almost beyond recognition. Those interpreting at the Nuremberg Trials would probably think it far-fetched that interpreters today can interpret remotely from another country thanks in great part, to advances in technology.

With the founding of the United Nations, interpreting became used in a more established manner. Interpreting went through a “professionalization” of sorts – interpreting education programs were created and the profession became more formalized in every sense. And with that, came the establishment of interpreting certifications. In this post-certification era, we thought it was necessary to analyze the certifications available in the United States.

Information contained in this report

  1. TL;DR
  2. Certifications vs. certificates
  3. Interpreting silos
    1. Conference interpreting certifications (AIIC)
    2. Medical interpreting certifications in the US
    3. Judicial interpreting certifications in the US
    4. Community interpreting certifications (or lack thereof)
  4. A look at sign language interpreting certifications
  5. Nimdzi recommendations

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