Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters

(NOC 5125)

in All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Translators translate written material from one language to another. Terminologists conduct research required to translate and interpret technical, professional, and scientific vocabulary and material. Interpreters translate oral communication from one language to another during speeches, meetings, conferences, debates and conversation, or in court or before administrative tribunals. 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.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 25 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 735 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 200. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 44% of Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $54,041. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,825

Minimum

$29,980

Median

$74,671

Maximum

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$10.81

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Translators translate written material from one language to another. Terminologists conduct research required to translate and interpret technical, professional, and scientific vocabulary and material. Interpreters translate oral communication from one language to another during speeches, meetings, conferences, debates and conversation, or in court or before administrative tribunals. 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.

Job 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 signs quebecoise (LSQ) or in English and American Sign Language (ASL).

Sample job titles

  • certified interpreter (C.Int.)
  • certified terminologist (C.Term.)
  • certified translator (C.Tr.)
  • deaf interpreter
  • interpreter
  • legal terminologist
  • medical terminologist
  • sign language interpreter
  • terminologist
  • translator

Skills

To become a translator, you must have a thorough knowledge of at least two languages and excellent writing skills. Translators usually translate into their native language. To work as an interpreter you should have excellent oral expression, a good memory, and the ability to concentrate well. You must also be able to think quickly and clearly. As an ASL/English interpreter, you should have physical stamina and manual dexterity.

Job 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 or 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 or 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.
  • 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.

Other considerations

Job opportunities may grow as Nova Scotian businesses expand their marketing efforts to include foreign customers and require translators to communicate. Fluency in three languages is usually required for translators or interpreters working in an international context

By the numbers

Quick look

215

employed in 2016

70.7%

employed full-time

48.8%

self employed

69.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
30.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.6

median age

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

33.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

77.4%

Halifax

9.4%

Annapolis Valley

7.5%

Northern

5.7%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

69.8%

Other Professional Services

11.6%

Public Administration

9.3%

Information, Culture & Recreation

4.7%

Agriculture

4.7%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Leasing

What is the age of Employment?

43.8%

35-44

18.8%

55-64

12.5%

15-24

12.5%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

29.3%

Bachelor's degree

$36,393 median annual income
24.4%

Doctorate

N/A
19.5%

College certificate or diploma

$41,637 median annual income
12.2%

High school

N/A
4.9%

Less than high school

N/A

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

American Sign Language (ASL)

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on American Sign Language as a visual and motor medium of communication and discourse for deaf individuals and deaf culture. These programs include courses in the development of ASL, ASL morphology and syntax, signing technique, English translation of ASL, formal and colloquial ASL, and ASL transcription.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Deaf studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the sociological, historical and linguistic aspects of the deaf and hearing impaired, and that prepares individuals to work with the deaf and hearing impaired. These programs include courses in sign language, deaf studies, deaf culture, structure of sign language, history of the deaf community, and civil rights of deaf people.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

French language and literature (Canada) - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the French language, including its history, structure and related communications skills; and the literature and culture of French-speaking peoples.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Language interpretation and translation

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to be professional interpreters and/or translators of documents and data files, either from English or French into another language or languages or vice versa. These programs include courses of an intensive nature in one or more languages plus courses in subjects such as single and multiple-language interpretation, one- or two-way interpretation, simultaneous interpretation, general and literary translation, business translation, technical translation, and other specific applications of linguistic skills.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Spanish language and literature

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the Spanish language and related dialects. These programs include courses in Spanish philology, Modern Castillan, various Latin American dialects, regional Spanish dialects, and applications in business, science/technology, and other settings.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada
110- 39012 Discovery Way
Squamish, BC, V8B 0E5
Tel: (604) 617-8502
Fax: (604) 567-8502
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia
PO Box 372
Halifax, NS B3J 2P8
Canadian Translators and Interpreters Council
1 Nicolas Street, Suite 1202
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: (613) 562-0379
Fax: (613) 241-4098

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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