Often being bilingual is confused with being able to interpret professionally, or being able to evaluate interpretation. Sometimes law firms hire bilingual paralegals to help aid in communication with their clients. Similarly, many doctors’ offices have bilingual assistants to aid in communication with their LEP patients. Even though such an employee is a great asset and can be helpful when interacting with the client, they should be wary of providing interpretation, especially for any depositions or inside the exam room. Interpreting requires extensive training and a rich linguistic background. Saying that anyone bilingual can interpret is like saying that anybody…
A bilingual is a person who speaks, writes, understands and reads in two languages at the level of a native speaker. Bilinguals usually grow up in households where a language spoken at home is different of that of the community, for example, a child of French parents growing up in US. To be a true bilingual, (vs to know a second language), means that you are near native (or native) in the use of both of your languages.
Becoming bilingual takes years of living in the surroundings of a language one is acquiring. Usually, to become a true bilingual, one needs to live in the country where their language of interest is spoken and acquire a different language at home.
Underqualified interpreters underqualified interpreters Why can’t bilinguals interpret? The differences between a bilingual and an interpreter… and the hidden costs of using underqualified interpreters. Language learning is a lifetime long process. It takes work and commitment to developing specialized vocabulary and understanding of linguistic nuances in two or more distinct languages. What distinguishes a linguist from a bilingual are the hours of study, courses, and practice that a professional interpreter dedicates to mastering their craft. Speaking a second language does not make you an interpreter the same way as taking an anatomy class does not make you a medical doctor….