The interpreters’ work requires sustained intellectual effort. They translate spoken speech or sign language from one language into another. The interpreter’s activity involves listening, understanding and memorizing the content of the message in the source language and rendering this message in different target languages. This process is most often unidirectional, from the source language into the target language, usually the interpreter’s native language, but it can also be a bidirectional one.

Although interpreters may find themselves in a variety of communication situations, they are generally required during major formal meetings and business meetings, exhibitions, product launches. They are present during legal procedures in criminal or administrative suits, in different situations in support of the police, at witness hearings or court appearances. They can also be used by employers during job interviews or during various local community social events within the framework of legal partnerships.

In terms of oral translations, the interpreter can do: simultaneous translation, where the interpreter is located in a soundproof room and translates using headphones while the speaker is speaking. A version of this type of translation is the whispered translation close to the customer, in a soft tone; consecutive translation, where the speaker pauses after several sentences or ideas to allow the interpreter to translate; ad-hoc translation, where the interpreter makes sure that the speakers understand each other without interrupting them or without fully translating the message. The latter may also be carried out by phone and does not require that the speakers be fluent in the source language.

In the case of sign language, the translation is made by interpreting the signs and translating into the target language. A new area is the translation from one sign language into another.

It is important for an interpreter to assimilate quick speech, to develop auditory memory skills, to use IT tools and to demonstrate a professional conduct during work.