Unit Group

5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters

Translators translate written material from one language to another. Interpreters translate oral communication from one language to another during speeches, meetings, conferences, debates and conversation, or in court or before administrative tribunals. Terminologists conduct research to itemize terms connected with a certain field, define them and find equivalents in another language. Sign language interpreters use sign language to translate spoken language and vice versa during meetings, conversations, television programs or in other instances. Translators, terminologists and interpreters are employed by government, private translation and interpretation agencies, in-house translation services, large private corporations, international organizations and the media, or they may be self-employed. Sign language interpreters work in schools and courts, and for social service agencies, interpretation services, government services and television stations, or they may be self-employed.

Example Titles

community interpreter
conference interpreter
court interpreter
legal terminologist
literary translator
medical terminologist
sign language interpreter
translator adaptor

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Main duties

Translators and translator-revisers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Translate a variety of written material such as correspondence, reports, legal documents, technical specifications and textbooks from one language to another, maintaining the content, context and style of the original material to the greatest extent possible
  • Localize software and accompanying technical documents to adapt them to another language and culture
  • Revise and correct translated material
  • May train and supervise other translators.

  • Terminologists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Identify the terminology used in a field of activity
  • Conduct terminological research on a given subject or in response to inquiries for the preparation of glossaries, terminology banks, technological files, dictionaries, lexicons and resource centres, and add to terminological databases
  • Manage, update and circulate linguistic information collected from terminological databases
  • Provide consultative services to translators, interpreters and technical writers preparing legal, scientific or other documents that require specialized terminologies.

  • Interpreters perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Interpret oral communication from one language to another aloud or using electronic equipment, either simultaneously (as the speaker speaks), consecutively (after the speaker speaks) or whispered (speaking in a low whisper to one or two persons as the speaker is talking)
  • Provide interpretation services in court or before administrative tribunals
  • May interpret language for individuals and small groups travelling in Canada and abroad
  • May interpret for persons speaking an Aboriginal or foreign language in a variety of circumstances
  • May train other interpreters.

  • Sign language interpreters perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Translate sign language to a spoken language and vice versa either simultaneously or consecutively.

  • Translators, terminologists and interpreters specialize in two languages, such as French and English, the official languages of Canada. They may also specialize in another language and one of the official languages. The main areas of specialization include administrative, literary, scientific and technical translation. Interpreters may specialize in court, parliamentary or conference interpretation.Sign language interpreters work in French and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) or in English and American Sign Language (ASL).

    Employment requirements

    • A university degree in translation with a specialization in translation, interpretation or terminology in two languages including at least one of the two official languages
      A university degree in a related discipline such as languages, linguistics, philology and courses in linguistic transfer and two years' experience as a full-time translator working in two languages, at least one of which is an official language
      Five years of experience as a full-time translator working in two languages, at least one of which is an official language, are required.
    • Sign language interpreters require a college training program or a university certificate in sign language interpretation.
    • Certification on dossier or by examination from the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council may be required for translators, terminologists and interpreters.
    • Sign language interpreters may require a certificate or certification evaluation in LSQ or ASL.
    • Fluency in three languages is usually required for translators or interpreters working in an international context.
    • Membership in a provincial or territorial association of translators, interpreters and terminologists may be required.
    • Membership in a provincial association of sign language interpreters may be required.

    Classified elsewhere

    • Authors and writers (5121)
    • Editors (5122)
    • Language instructors (in 4021 College and other vocational instructors )
    • Linguists (in 4169 Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c. )

    Classification Structure - 5