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Interpreter Corps FAQs

interpreter corps FAQs

Q – What is an Interpreter?
A – One who translates and interprets a language in to another language.
Q – What is the difference between interpreter and translator  
A - The interpreter interprets oral communication, while a translator translates written text. Both interpretion and translation presuppose a certain love of language and deep knowledge of more than one tongue
Q – Why do we need Interpreters?
A – Not everyone speaks or uses English as their basic language. The Coast Guard needs to be able to clearly communicate with individuals or groups that don't speak English. Professional Interpreters are very costly, not familiar with CG terminology and not always ready or qualified to assist. That is where the Auxiliary Interpreters come to the "rescue". We are Always Ready to assist when and where needed.
Q – How does the Coast Guard use Interpreters?
A – Here are a few examples of successful Interpreter missions:
Air Medevac
Boarding Team
Cutter Deployments
Communications Watch Standing
Foreign VIP Tours
Foreign SAR Training Events
Foreign MSO Training Events
Foreign Border Guard Training
Basic Emergency Training at CG Units
Translations of CG documents, foreign speeches, media articles
Translations of MSO Guidelines
Translations of Incident Investigating Documents
Foreign Conferences
Other authorized CG missions
Translation of Auxiliary documents/training materials   add to list
Participate in CG courts of inquiry where witnesses do not speak English add to list
Translate radio recordings from foreign vessels involved in accidents add to list
Q – Who can qualify for the USCG Auxiliary Interpreter Corps?
A – Any member of the USCG Auxiliary who speaks a foreign language in addition to English may submit an Application online.
To submit an application, click on this link
Q – How does an Interpreter qualify?
A – An Application will be reviewed by the Interpreter Corps staff and, if acceptable, will be forwarded to an appointed Language Qualification Examiner (LQE) for competency level testing. After successful examination from the LQE the Application will be finalized, acknowledged and the information is entered in the Interpreter Corps database. To be qualified as an interpreter, besides language qualification, candidates must complete ICS 100, ICS 700, AUXCT, and Risk Management (RM)
Q – What is the meaning of Competency Level?
A – The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Interpreter Corps has Competency Levels
In keeping with the U.S. Coast Guard interpreter grading system, as set forth by the International Language RoundTable (ILR) and the Defense Language Institute (DLI) our interpreters are graded in this manner
2.0, 2.0+, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0    
The higher the number the more mastery of the language. Areas of tested competency are: Interpretation,Translation and Oral Communication
Q – Who appoints the Language Qualification Examiners?  
A – The Division Chief (DVC) of the Interpreter Corps appoints any member of the Interpreter Corps who has a proven track record in a specific foreign language and who is willing to perform competency level testing.
Q – Is there a mission category for Interpreter service?
A – Mission "60A Interpreter Assistance" is the applicable category to enter on Form-7030 ACTIVITY REPORT – MISSION.

Q – How do you find Interpreters?  
A – It all starts at the Flotilla level. If you know a fellow member who speaks other languages in your Flotilla, we recommend you encourage this member join the Auxiliary Interpreter Corps. This program can be used as a recruiting tool for Flotillas. Here is another mission that can excite those with linguistic skills, to join the Auxiliary!
Q – Why are more Interpreters needed?
A – The main reason is that now, as part of the Department of Homeland Security the CG needs to increase its Interpreter assets. The CG Auxiliary can serve as a force multiplier. The Coast Guard has gained confidence in our linguistic skills and the Interpreter Corps. They have already increased their usage, and with our merge into the Department of Homeland Security, we can expect more diverse utilization (from both the Coast Guard as well as other agencies within the Department). It is very important that we keep up with the increasing demand for qualified Interpreters.
Q – How does the Coast Guard find and contact our Volunteer Interpreters?  
A – We maintain an Interpreter Corps database on the CG Intranet. Coast Guard units can access this database via server with granted access and password. Those accessing the database from the Internet require authorization and special password.  
This user-friendly database can be searched by the Interpreter's name, language, language by city and/or state, district, sector/station, or national. CG units normally contact Interpreters directly for routine missions. In some special cases CG units contact the Division Chief for recommendations.
Q – How often is the Interpreter Corps database updated?  
A – Almost daily. New data and changes are entered as received. We encourage all Interpreters to submit updates when their status and/or address, phone, fax, or Email address change. We receive no data from AUXDATA, so we can only enter information that we receive directly from Interpreters.
Q – What are the benefits for Interpreters?  
A – First and foremost is to serve this country and its Coast Guard. With service comes pride. Many Interpreters get to travel under reimbursable Coast Guard orders. Many Interpreters receive recognition and awards for their superior performance of duty. The biggest reward is satisfaction.
Q – Is there a qualification ribbon or device for Interpreters?  
A - Yes, the Operations Program Ribbon This ribbon recognizes qualifications in the various operations program areas. Auxiliarists who qualify as an Auxiliary Interpreter may wear the Operations Program ribbon.