In the US, the nationwide certifications that apply to medical interpreters are the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). However, these only provide interpreting certifications in three (CCHI) and six (NBCMI) languages.
Imagine only speaking Hindi and ending up in the hospital. The interpreter who shows up has not been given the opportunity to take a certification exam, so the hospital will not know if that interpreter is qualified to perform the job. It seems unfair that speakers of Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Korean, and Vietnamese who require interpreting services have an extra level of reassurance that their interpreter is a certification-holder. It also seems silly to expect that interpreters with any of the aforementioned language combinations have a certification when interpreters of the other 345 languages don’t have the opportunity to become certified because the certification exams for these languages don’t even exist.
In order to strengthen the credibility of these certifications, it is important to consider including more languages. The threat, however, is that the certifications currently only exist for interpreters who cater to the over-supplied languages. This could be viewed as a mechanism to keep other interpreters out or hinder those interpreters from getting jobs, ultimately creating an elitist mentality.
Interpreters understand the threat “no voice, no job.” How do hearing loss and acoustic shock affect the profession?
We examined the interpreting markets in 12 different countries. So, what are the three things that the interpreting market needs now?
There are three key influencers for interpreting services in every market: the demand, the government, and the infrastructure.
We recently conducted a large study for which we examined the interpreting markets in 12 countries. We assessed how the interpreting markets are run, what trends, challenges and opportunities stand out, and what drives interpreting - including pricing. Based on our research, we identified five factors that drive pricing in interpreting.