The role of multilingual interpreters is a challenging and rewarding position that involves interpreting the spoken word from one language into another, and being able to do it in a variety of languages. The multilingual translator is employed to translate written words from one language to another. Some people may be able to do both of these jobs, which are quite different in some regards.
This page lists specialist recruitment agencies in the United Kingdom that deal with vacancies in the arena of multilingual interpreters and translator staff.
Most multilingual interpreters and translators enter the profession after having experienced a family background that involved learning two or more languages. This can be very helpful in both interpreting and translating careers.
If knowledge of written and spoken languages is already strong, then it may not be necessary to do a degree in a foreign language, although this may well help. Alternatively, a degree in translation or interpreting would be of benefit. There are many specialist areas to consider, such as conference focussed, or areas concerned with science, technology or business.
Working hours can be erratic. A multilingual translator or interpreter may be asked to work for police services at short notice, or work long into the night at conferences. On the other hand, some translator jobs with specialist firms may be more 9-5 based, especially when focussed on non-urgent document translation.
Pay starts at around £18,000 per year, but more experienced multilingual translators/interpreters can earn between £25,000 and £60,000 per year.