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Translation Office

Guidelines For Working Interpreters

When working with language interpreters, some guidelines may apply to develop better communication between the interpreter and the parties involved in the dialogue:


  • Prior to using an interpreter, the teacher/administrator will be aware of the interpreter’s hourly rate, the source of payment, and will have a Translator Payment Form (invoice). Please contact Translation Services (317-4740, or Laura Low at to receive this information and payment form.


  • The teacher/administrator will provide the date, time, and place of the appointment to the interpreter. The interpreter will call the parent to set up the appointment. (Meeting information may change to accommodate the parties’ needs.) The interpreter is paid also for the time (minutes) he/she spends on the phone setting up the appointment with the parent.


  • The interpreter’s minimum pay is 1 hour per appointment, (unless they are full time employees and have been called after/before their work hours, in this case the minimum is 2 hours - per CSEA contract.). If any of the parties fail to keep the appointment, the interpreter will still get paid the indicated time for their work.


  • The school may decide to contact the parent/s to set up the appointment. In this case, the school will arrange the appointment between the parties.If the school needs to cancel the appointment, the school will notify the scheduled interpreter at least 2 days prior to the meeting. If the interpreter needs to cancel the appointment, he or she will notify the school under the same time rule. Interpreters should also contact Translation Services to allow time to find another interpreter.


  • During the appointment, the interpreter needs to listen carefully and memorize information to relay it to the parent and the teacher/administrator. Interpreters have found that a lot of information is lost when interpreters are not given the adequate time to convey the message. Requesters need to understand that working with interpreters may require more time than working with two English speakers. Time will allow both, the interpreter and the parties involved, to communicate more effectively, which in turn will help to develop better parental collaboration and understanding of the student’s academic and behavioral expectations.


  • By the end of the meeting, the teacher/administrator will complete the Payment Form (sign it, and have the interpreter sign it. This form will be returned to the payment source to be processed as soon as possible.


  • The interpreter’s requester or person responsible for the meeting reserves the right to remind the interpreter about staying within the interpreter’s role and maintaining his professional traits.