Preparing For The Department of State Exams

A few weeks ago I decided to fill out an online application (update-this is no longer available on their website) to be a consultant interpreter and translator for the Department of State. I mailed it thinking that I would never hear back and that I had just wasted a stamp.

Well, much to my surprise, I did hear back. I got a call from an interpreter who wanted to schedule a phone screening/small interpreting test for later on in the afternoon. It was consecutive interpreting and even though I was nervous and it was hard, I somehow managed to pass which meant that I received an invitation to go take the interpreting exam in DC, at my own expense.

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Translating vs. Interpreting

Yesterday, I received an email from someone looking for a “translator for a deposition in ABC town on xx/2011.” As I had not yet had my cup of coffee, it took me a minute to realize that they were in fact looking for an interpreter.

For a minute there, I honestly thought that I would have to go to ABC town to translate documents in front of someone. My caffeine-free brain wondered, “Why on earth would they need a translator on location.”

So to avoid any confusion, here’s a quick breakdown: Continue reading