RSC Interpreters Resource Library


Welcome to the IRC-RSC Interpreter Training Resource Library. This resource library is intended to provide a selection of free or very inexpensive training materials for interpreters and staff who work with interpreters.

There are four “key competencies” that the RSC considers important for its interpreters to develop. Therefore, the resources below are categorized by the specific competencies they support. Additionally, many useful resources exist in the public domain for improving English language proficiency. These, along with relevant glossaries and dictionaries, are included in the library as well.

> Interpreter Best Practices Evaluation Rubric

Likewise, staff who work with interpreters should strive to develop their skills in communicating through interpreters based on the four competencies identified for working with interpreters. Limited resources exist for this purpose at this time, but the library will be updated as more are developed.

> Caseworker Working With Interpreters Best Practices Evaluation Rubric

If you have any difficulty accessing any of the resources, or would like more information, please feel free to contact Saw.TeckHarng@Rescue.org.


IRC Online Interpreter and Staff Training Modules

If you are an IRC staff, to access the course, please log in to your learning account and enroll in the course. Click the link below to read the course description.

> Interpreter Module 1: Resettlement Interpreting Skills and Protocols

> Interpreter Module 2: Ethics, Conduct, and Professionalism for Interpreters

> Interpreter Module 3: Working with an Interpreter

If you do not have a learning account, please use the below log-in. You will find the above courses under the ENROLLMENTS section.

  • Username: Test.Account@rescue.org
  • Password: learning

Sources and further information:

  • The Community Interpreter: A Comprehensive Training Manual Marjory Bancroft and Lourdes Rubio-Fitzpatrick, 2011
  • A Guide to Interpreter Positioning in Healthcare Setting NCIHC, The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care Working Papers Series, May 2003
  • National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services, The Healthcare Interpretation Network, 2007

Interpreter Competencies – Accuracy

> Building Interpreter Accuracy Through Error Analysis

If an interpreter experiences accuracy problems, it likely stems from interpreter skills or ethical knowledge deficiencies. Review the powerpoint entitled “Error Analysis Presentation” (developed by Dr. Thérèse Marie Mirande) to help you determine which area(s) may be most in need of improvement, or see one of the below accuracy-focused resources.

> Good Public Speaking – Register

Tutorial explaining register (level of language) and why it is important for interpreters by the UK’s National Network for Interpreting

> Good Public Speaking – Specific Skills

Tutorial on fine-tuning accuracy by improving the delivery of an interpretation (Good Public Speaking) by the UK’s National Network for Interpreting

> Interpreter Training (Part 1)

Clarity interpreting video, Part One: Never Add, Omit, or Substitute

> Interpreter Training (Part 2)

Clarity interpreting video, Part Two: Managing the session. In addition to a demonstration on proper clarification technique, this video resource includes a demonstration of one session management technique to avoid summarization, and a demonstration of preservation of speaker tone, style, and register (level of language)


Interpreter Competencies – Professional, ethical conduct and adherence to role boundaries

> Oregon Court Interpreter Services Ethics Webinars

Oregon Courts ethics webinars. Of the available topics the most relevant include: Ethical Considerations on the Role of the Interpreter; Back to Basics (ethics). These are paid webinars, but cheap at $15.00 each.

> Ethical Principles for Translators and Interpreters

Speak Your Languages-Ethical principles for Translators and Interpreters. Note: the section on cultural bridging should be disregarded. Interpreters in resettlement processing should never attempt to explain cultural obstacles to communication, only draw attention to them when absolutely necessary. Interpreters may always explain linguistic problems, such as terms that do not have equivalents in the target language.

> Five Steps to Transparent Intervention

The interpreter’s five steps to transparent intervention: how to appropriately indicate when there is a problem with interpreted communication.

> Model Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Judiciary

Court interpreter model code of ethics. This should be read as the “rules”, or inflexible expectations that shape an interpreter’s work. Court interpreters follow the strictest codes of ethics. This level of strictness is appropriate for interpreting in resettlement processing, as the interviews conducted at RSCs have legal ramifications.

> National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services

National Standards Guide for Community Interpreting Services, Published by the Healthcare Interpretation Network – HIN, Toronto, Canada, 2007. Note: The interpreting profession in Canada sets standards for community interpreters that are nearly as strict as those for interpreters in the legal field. Therefore, it is appropriate to pair this standard of practice with a court interpreter code of ethics for resettlement processing, as it does not make room for cultural explanations or advocacy conducted by resettlement interpreters.


Interpreter Competencies – Interpreter Skills

> Essential Skills for Interpreters

Basic interpreting skills and protocol module. This is a short online training module that walks the user through the basics of consecutive interpreting. It takes about 1/2 hour to complete.

> Court Interpreting Demonstration

Short video by the US Courts entitled “Court Interpreter Demonstration” explains and demonstrates two of the three modes of interpretation.

> Interpreter Training (Part 2)

Clarity interpreting Part Two: Managing the session. In addition to a demonstration on proper clarification technique, this video resource includes a demonstration of one session management technique to avoid summarization, and a demonstration of preservation of speaker tone, style, and register (level of language)

> Consecutive Note Taking (Part 1)

Consecutive interpreting part 1 published by Orion Language Services, developed by Edgar Hidalgo Garcia. This video discusses the development of memory techniques as a foundation for notetaking, and points out when notetaking must be used vs. depending on memory.

> Skill Building Exercise

Skill-building exercise manual published by the California Courts. Covers message analysis, listening comprehension, memory techniques, and dual-tasking.

> Analytical Skills

Message analysis skills tutorial by the National Network for Interpreting

> Consecutive Note Taking – Part 2

Notetaking video tutorial by Orion Language Services, developed by Edgardo Hidalgo Garcia. This is a basic introduction to notetaking symbols and a few common questions about notetaking. It cuts off abruptly with no part 3 available, but is still a good start on the mechanics of notetaking.

> Note-taking

Interactive notetaking tutorial by the National Network for Interpreting

> Rozan – The 7 Principles of Note-taking

Rozan’s 7 Principles of Consecutive Notetaking. This is an old document that is considered to be a “classic” text in interpreting. It is fairly academic but contains some useful tips.

> Mastery of the Mother Tongue

Mastery of the Mother Tongue by the National Network for Interpreting. This is an awareness presentation, as many interpreters may believe that speaking the language their parent(s) speak qualifies them as an interpreter, when in reality their language proficiency may fall short of what is necessary.


English Language Proficiency – Pronunciation

> Free Word Stress Lessons by Email

Free word-stress training by Altalang delivered by email. This resource helps ESL speakers understand where to place stress, or accent, on words.


English Language Proficiency – Vocabulary

> Medical Terminology Course

Medical vocabulary training, presented in a series of modules with explanations and quizzes. Useful particularly because it breaks down medical terms into their Latin and Greek roots to help learners understand the logic behind anatomical & clinical etymology (etymology=study of words).

> English Language Teaching

Vocabulary trainer from Cambridge English. 14 Business English vocabulary modules with definitions, quizzes, and games.


English Language Proficiency – General English Proficiency

> VOA – Learning English

Voice of America-learning English. Access a variety of articles and videos created with the English language learner in mind. Especially effective in learning real world American English. Also access modules about particular English language topics such as grammar.

> Quick and Dirty Tip.com – Grammar Girl

Grammar Girl. This resource addresses a lot of very common issues for both native and ESL English users. This is also presented as a well-produced podcast and as a regular column by some major media outlets.

> TED talks

Ted talks. These short presentations use medium-level vocabulary for talks on a wide range of topics. They are useful for practicing listening comprehension as well as interpreting skills like memory and notetaking.


Glossary and Dictionary Resources

> Resettlement Terminology Glossary – English Only

Glossary of terms commonly used in resettlement processing (English only) Developed by the IRC East Asia RSC December 2012

> Resettlement Terminology Glossary – Burmese-English

Glossary of terms commonly used in resettlement processing (Burmese) Developed by the IRC East Asia RSC December 2012 (updated in May 2014)

> Resettlement Terminology Glossary – English-Karen

Glossary of terms commonly used in resettlement processing (Karen S’gaw) Developed by the IRC East Asia RSC December 2012 (updated in May 2014)

> Resettlement Terminology Glossary – Hakha Lai-English

Glossary of terms commonly used in resettlement processing (Hakha/Lai) Developed by the IRC East Asia RSC December 2012

> Resettlement Terminology Glossary – Falam-English

Glossary of terms commonly used in resettlement processing (Falam) Developed by the IRC East Asia RSC December 2012

> The Cross-Cultural Healthcare Program (CCHP)

The Cross-Cultural Healthcare Program (CCHP) has produced medical glossaries in a large number of refugee languages/languages of limited diffusion. $20-38.00 each.

> Acebo

Acebo has produced legal glossaries in several languages, including Mandarin, Khmer, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Laotian, available for $5.00 each. Also available in Spanish.

> Ornagai

Ornagai Free Burmese-English/English-Burmese dictionary. It is available online, as an app for Android and iPhone/iPad, and as a download for PCs.

> Drum Publication – Medical Terms (2nd edition)

Drum Publications has produced a PDF English-Karen-Burmese medical glossary available for free on their website, or for a low suggested donation in printed booklet form.

> Drum Publication – English-Karen Dictionary

Drum Publications has produced an English-Karen dictionary that is available online for free, and for a suggested donation in printed book form (while it is provided for free in digital form, a donation is requested if it is to be printed, to help support their work producing printed linguistic and cultural resources for the Karen community worldwide.)

> Drum Publication – Karen-English Dictionary

Drum Publications has produced a Karen-English dictionary that is available online for free, and for a suggested donation in printed book form (while it is provided for free in digital form, a donation is requested if it is to be printed, to help support their work producing printed linguistic and cultural resources for the Karen community worldwide.)


Working With Interpreters

> Legal Services of New Jersey “Working With Interpreters”

In this video, you will learn some basic tips that will allow you to communicate effectively and easily through an interpreter with a person who doesn’t speak your language.

> Teaming with an Interpreter

Basic Working With Interpreters short module. This is a short online training module that walks the user through the basics of working with interpreters. It takes about 1/2 hour to complete.

> A Guide to Interpreter Positioning a Healthcare Settings

National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (NCIHC) document discussing the considerations that go into interpreter positioning and the merits of different positioning options.

> How to Support Your Interpreter

How to support your interpreter: Tips for caseworkers on working with interpreters.

> Five Steps to Transparent Intervention

How to support your interpreter: Tips for caseworkers on working with interpreters.

> National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services

National Standards Guide for Community Interpreting Services, Published by the Healthcare Interpretation Network – HIN, Toronto, Canada, 2007. Note: The interpreting profession in Canada sets standards for community interpreters that are nearly as strict as those for interpreters in the legal field. Therefore, it is appropriate to pair this standard of practice with a court interpreter code of ethics for resettlement processing, as it does not make room for cultural explanations or advocacy conducted by resettlement interpreters.

> Language and Culture Worldwide

Articles on cultural competency from Language and Culture Worldwide.