DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Translator & Interpreter Corps

Translator and Interpreter Corps

The Translator and Interpreter Corps at DePaul is a volunteer, student-based language access facilitation service organized to respond to pressing community need for intercultural communication. The Corps provides advanced language students with a unique opportunity for training and practical experience in translation and interpretation while supported by an academic environment. Their work benefits Illinois immigrant communities at large, advancing the university’s Vincentian values of enfranchising and empowering charity. These pro-bono services are available to community based organizations offering immigration and other social services to limited-English proficient, low-income individuals.

The field of translation and interpretation is at a point of very rapid development, and has become a pressing necessity in many fields. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth of “46 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Despite the aid of automatic translation and other computer translation tools, nuanced human intervention remains essential, so there is a degree of security in this professional skill for talented linguists. As specialized translation and interpretation training programs are starting to be introduced into higher education, heavily aided by technology supporting telecommunication in a way never before available, students today have an advantage that neither aspiring nor established translators had just a decade ago: professional translators are able to find jobs online and work remotely, they can use computer aided translation software and internet searches for research needed to ensure the accuracy of their translations, and they are able to communicate with other translators by email and in forums to discuss translation problems and the profession as a whole. Translation and interpretation skills, combined with other language and intercultural skills, are advantageous in many careers, as is productive and responsible volunteer experience.

DePaul is proud to be on the forefront of this educational development by offering an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in translation and interpretation as volunteers offering pro-bono services through DePaul to community organizations in Illinois. These legal and social service providers, who may not have the language resources necessary to attend to the needs of their clients, will appreciate trained, high quality language services in aiding their work with low-English proficiency individuals. The community benefiting from these services will appreciate being able to comfortably and effectively express themselves within complicated situations. For students, this practical and productive experiential learning will be an advantage when entering the professional market, as well as in their personal development.

This program’s goal is to provide those individuals in need but without resources to access the language services which will help them to bridge an impasse. These volunteer services support the university’s Vincentian values of enfranchising and empowering charity while responding to the educational needs of its students and preparing them for their professional careers.

The Translator and Interpreter Corps is an interdisciplinary program, a collaboration between the Law School’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic and the Modern Languages Department and was founded in 2015 through support from the MacArthur Foundation.

For further information, please contact the Translator and Interpreter Corps Administrator, Shelby Lasaine