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Unique Translation Jobs for Interpreters

Yao Ming's Translator Growing up, I dreamed of being a lot of different things –  a doctor, lawyer, and even possibly a rogue American solider (thank you Chuck Norris and the endless Missing in Action and Delta Force movies).  While being a translator never exactly crossed my mind, it can be a rewarding position that bridges language and cultural divides.  But who says it can’t be fun and have a bit of spunk.  Here’s a list of the more unique translation opportunities.

Translators & Interpreters Wanted

1. Elko City CouncilTranslators for Brothel Workers

For starters, yes, the county of Elko, in Nevada, has a legalized brothel industry with seven such locations.  Recently, the Elko City Council passed a motion that would provide non-English speaking brothel workers with English interpreters.  Proponents for the law believe that the regulation would help keep non-English speaking workers safe by making them fully aware of their responsibilities and rights.

2. Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) – Ebonics Translators

While the language is controversial given its deviation from standard English, its use at least warranted the DEA’s search for Ebonics translators.  Ebonics translators would listen to wire taps, translate as necessary and testify before court.

3. Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) – Contract Linguists

If you thought being an Ebonics translator got your heart pumping, there’s additional demand from the FBI for contract linguists.   The FBI is looking for contract linguists to help investigate terrorism and foreign counter-intelligence among a bevy of crimes. There are a few strings attached though – linguists must be U.S. citizens and be willing to renounce dual citizenship with a foreign country.

4. Muammar Qaddafi – Personal Interpreter

Muammar Gaddafi

Before Mr. Qaddafi’s recent exodus, I’m sure he was in the market for an interpreter with solid Arabic translation skills and an ability to translate stirring speeches for 96 endless minutes. United Nation’s protocol requires that all official documents and publications be translated into English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. This means that previously, there were ample opportunities to work for Mr. Qaddafi – to think, you might have just blown your chances.

5. International Art Project – Chinese Translators

Back in 2007, artist Ai Weiwei enlisted 1,001 Chinese residents to travel and wander the city of Kassel, Germany – he coined the project Fairytale.  For most of the participants, this was their first time leaving China, providing quite the cultural shock.  Their experiences and thoughts on identity, memory, love and the possibility of cultural dialogue were all captured on video.  To finish the project, Ai Weiwei still needs help translating remaining interviews.