People with excellent language skills usually consider getting a career in interpreting. In this case, the candidate should have the required language abilities to pursue a career in this field. The most common way to get into the industry of public service interpreting is through a post graduate qualification such as a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting or DPSI. This diploma is an essential qualification for interpreters and can be used to enter the industry of professional interpreting.

What is a DPSI?

If you’re considering a career in interpreting, a DPSI qualification will evaluate your proficiency in this field. Once you pass the exam, you are entitled to add “DPSI” after your name and you can also register for membership of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters. A DPSI also qualifies you for a membership in the Chartered Institute of Linguists and exempts you from the Diploma in Police Interpreting if you’re planning to work as an interpreter for the police.

DPSI Qualifications

This diploma is usually obtained by interpreters who wish to work in the medical, legal, and local government areas. To qualify, you need to have a background in Local Government, Health, and Scottish, English or Northern Irish Law.

An exam is given each year in June and you must pass the exam to obtain the diploma.

Career Options

If you plan to apply your interpreting services to the public sector, getting a DPSI is an important step. You’ll be delighted to know that an interpreting career is a rewarding one with the following career options:

  • Community Interpreter. This job entails offering language interpretation in group or one-on-one settings in a community-based environment. A community interpreter’s services are usually needed at community events, conferences, public or business meetings, government and social agencies, and other community settings.
  • Conference Interpreter. This job is usually required in the diplomacy or international business field, although a conference interpreter can also work for any organization that involves speakers of various foreign languages. Participants in a meeting or conference who don’t understand the speaker’s language usually wear earphones that are tuned to the interpreter who speaks the language they know.
  • Health or Medical Interpreter. Interpreters in this field help doctors, technicians, nurses, and other staff to communicate with their patients. For this job, the interpreter should have prior knowledge of common medical terms and medical terminologies for both languages. Medical interpreters should understand the patient’s personal situation and maintain ethical and confidentiality standards. Health interpreters can also work remotely, either over the phone or through a video relay.
  • Judicial or Legal Interpreter. Working as a legal interpreter requires working in legal or court settings. The interpreter’s services are needed in arraignments, hearings, and trials with people who have limited English proficiency. Such setting requires the interpreter to have a background of legal terms, which should be provided by the DPSI qualification. Court interpreters may sometimes be asked to read documents aloud in a language different from how it’s written. This is called as sight translation.
  • Escort or Liaison Interpreters. This job requires the professional interpreter to accompany foreign visitors in an English-speaking country. You can expect to be required to interpret in informal and formal settings. It’s the interpreter’s job to make sure that the foreign guest can communicate during their visit. This job may require the interpreter to travel a lot.
  • Literary Works Translator. The job is to translate books, journal articles, short stories, or poetry from one language into another. The literary translation ensures that the style, tone, and meaning of the author’s work is preserved in the translated version. As much as possible, the translator works together with the author to get the intended meaning, including the cultural and literary characteristics of the original work.
  • Localizer. This work for the interpreter and translator entails adapting graphics and text in products and services from one language to another. The localizer wants to ensure that the product appears as if it originated in the place where it will be sold. Knowing both languages is not enough because they also need to understand technical information they’re working with and the culture of the people expected to use the product or service. Localizers often work in adapting software, websites, user manuals or documentation, and marketing materials.

Final Thoughts

A career in public interpreting is an excellent choice for people who are proficient in other languages aside from English. The career options in this industry is a fulfilling one as it enables you to assist non-English speakers to understand information given to them. It is also an avenue to be involved in different areas such as law, medicine, publishing, politics, or entertainment.