All About Sign Language Interpreters

In the absence of adequate statistical studies, the exact number of people in the United States who are deaf or have hearing loss is unknown. Best estimates vary dramatically, with numbers ranging from 22 to 36 million people.

What is certain is that the deaf is a constant demand for a large part of our national community and thus for translators. For more information about Sign Language Interpreting Services, you can visit

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They are widely used by local school districts, colleges, and other educational institutions, hospitals, vocational centers, and government agencies. The job of an interpreter is to facilitate communication between different languages and cultures. In our multilingual and multicultural society, interpreters are essential in the day-to-day running of schools, hospitals, and courts of law.

Sign language translators have the added challenge of having to translate not only between two different languages but also between two different language modes: spoken and sign, while most language translators have to work with only one mode.

Sign language translators should use hand gestures and facial expressions to convey the voices, emotions, and special meanings of the hearing-impaired person which would otherwise be conveyed through the speaker's tone, volume, and bowing.

Sign language translators must be fluent in English and ASL. A bachelor's degree is not required but is usually preferred, especially in areas of competitive interpretation.