Skip to content

100 Community Interpreting

The definition of Community Interpreting is subject to a great deal of philosophical, political and wishful thinking. Definitions range from the inclusion of any willing bilingual amateur to only holders of a bachelor degree in interpreting – in settings that are similarly broad in scope.

Our view is that the purpose of Community Interpreting is to facilitate communication between community service providers – such as welfare offices, schools, immigrant settlement organizations – and people in the community who do not speak English comfortably enough. It is the first stage in the development of the individual interpreter.

Our Community Interpreting Series is an extension of the material introduced in Basics of Interpreting with specific information and terminologies associated with the various community agencies and settings, and a great deal of workshop instruction together with practice in consecutive interpreting and sight translation – which is the reading aloud in one language a document written in a different language. Community Interpreters generally work in a non-adversarial environment where both sides of the conversation have basically the same goals – to understand each other and address a shared problem.

However, interpreting for the police can be very adversarial. We include police interpreting because community interpreters can be called upon for police interviews and interrogations. The interpreters must understand the work environment and be aware of the pitfalls they may face.

In theory, immigration interpreting should be non-adversarial but from time to time an immigration official can appear somewhat aggressive or the end client can seem evasive or even untruthful.

Community interpreting has been the beginning of most interpreting careers. People start interpreting for family and then friends and then acquaintances. Then they start to be called on by service providers who need to converse with their clients. And there begins the career of a professional interpreter. Our goal is to enable you to understand the environment and the job so that you can be a credit to yourself and the profession.

Completion, Exam, Certificate

  • A Statement of Completion is issued for each course.

  • There will be a final exam offered upon completion of all the courses. This is a modern exam created by us solely for this program. There is a fee for this exam.

  • A “Certificate in Community Interpreting” will be granted to students who have passed all of the above sessions and the final Exam (with a score of at least 70% on all components).

  • Recognition – our Certificate in Community Interpreting is recognized or “accredited” by several community services providers in British Columbia. They accept our graduates onto their interpreter list ahead of people without training and. But most importantly they provide experience and practice – which is an essential part of progress in any profession.

  • “Certified Community Interpreter” is a protected title in several parts of Canada, including British Columbia. The term “Certified” implies some level of performance guarantee on the part of the issuing agency, typically a government body or professional association.Our graduates are “Certificated Community Interpreters”. That is a more academic title signifying that you have completed a certain level of training.


ID Course Type Hours Registration
101 Basics of Interpreting Bilingual Tutorial
Lecture: 25
102 Introduction to Community Interpreting Lecture in English
Lecture: 20
110 Interpreting for Immigration & Refugee Board Bilingual Tutorial
Tutorial: 15
111 Interpreting for Social Services Bilingual Tutorial
Tutorial: 10
112 Interpreting for the Police Bilingual Tutorial
Tutorial: 10
190 Community Interpreting Certificate Written Exam Exam
Tutorial: 1
191 Community Interpreting Certificate Oral Exam Exam
Tutorial: 1

Attend a Free Information Session

If you are fluent in English and another language, why not make your skills available to hospitals, the courts, Immigration and anywhere the need for accurate multilingual communication exists?