Continuing Education Part 2

“You learn something new every day,” is a common saying in English, and indeed, wise professionals practice continual learning so they can keep up with important changes in their field of expertise. In some cases, such as with legal and medical professionals, such continuing education is part of maintaining their license as well as giving the best possible service to clients and patients.

As highly skilled professionals, interpreters and translators also work to hone their skills and keep up with developments in their fields. And like doctors and lawyers, those translators who have chosen to work in specialty fields work the hardest to keep current. Let’s look at how the language specialists your organization works with keep at the cutting edge.

Keeping up With Technology
Though it’s not necessarily required by any laws or industry standards, dedicated interpreters and translators are constantly brushing up on advances in language technology. It only makes sense as technological assistance (such as computer aided translation software) plays a larger role than ever before in their daily work.

Those interpreters and translators who work with organizations in specialized fields often put in extra work to ensure they know at least the basics of the computer systems those clients use every day.

Strengthening Specialty Skills
Legal and medical interpreters are often required to obtain a license from the state they operate in. To maintain this license each interpreter must complete a certain number of continuing education, or CE, hours. For example, in Wisconsin, court interpreters are required to complete 16 hours of CE before renewing their license for two years. In addition, certifying organizations may require CE hours. The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) each require CE hours to maintain one’s certification.

As you might expect, most CE courses have direct application to the specialized parts of a licensed interpreter’s job. For example, subjects approved by the Wisconsin Court Interpreter Program for 2021 includes courses on autopsies, types of court motions, court interpreter ethics, firearms and ballistics, and intellectual property law, just to name a few. These courses not only cover the basics of the subject, but also offer training in how best to discuss them clearly with those who are not proficient in English.

Making a More Effective Specialist
Not all CE courses are as specialized as “Autopsies” or “Psychiatric Interviews: The Impact of Language.” Some help interpreters and translators practice their basic craft more effectively, such as “Understanding and Improving Memory” or “Navigating Differing Levels of Formality.” Some, such as “Self-Care for Medical Interpreters,” help them deal with typical workplace obstacles. Interpreters and translators take courses like these in order to become more well-rounded and effective professionals.

Knowing the extra effort the language specialists you work with undertake in order to offer you their best will give you full confidence in their abilities and the results they produce.