How To Become a Sports Interpreter?


The demand for interpreters is expected to grow 24% from 2020 to 2030. This growth will reflect on the sports industry as well, as there is an increasing number of non-native players, coaches, and managers coming to the U.S.

A career that combines knowledge of languages and that of sports can be thrilling and rewarding. Sports interpreters have an important role—they help with overcoming language barriers and sharing information. However, being proficient in more than one language isn’t the only requirement. You need to take certain steps and hone specific skills to embark on this journey.

If you want to become a sports interpreter, here are a few tips that can get you there.

Have Understanding of Sports

To successfully interpret players, coaches, managers, or anyone else’s speech, you must know what they are talking about. You are required to master technical jargon in both (or more) languages. Being a sports interpreter is a demanding profession, so you need to make sure that you’ll enjoy being in that environment. You should be inquisitive about this field and consistently adopt new vocabulary. Here are a few notions you should be familiar of:

  • History of sports
  • Terminology
  • Rules
  • Statistics
  • Athletes’ personalities

Keep Up With the News

Staying in the loop with what’s happening in the sports industry will help you tailor your interpretation. If you know all the current events, you won’t be surprised by the information you need to convey. You don’t want to end up with a surprised and baffled look on your face during interpretation because you haven’t been keeping up with the novelties.

Gain the Necessary Qualifications

Besides fluency in at least two languages, there are other requirements that sports interpreters need to meet. A bachelor’s degree might help you progress faster, but it’s not a necessity. What sports interpreters often do need to acquire is specialized training in this field of translation. Not only will this help you get a job faster, but it will also make it easier for you to learn the ropes. If you hold a certificate for professional interpreter training in a different language, you should consider reaching out to TheWordPoint, a certified translation service, to get it translated.

Work on Useful Skills

Proper education and formal qualifications don’t guarantee success. You need to embody a list of useful skills that will help you adapt to the nature of this job. For starters, sports interpreters should display cultural sensitivity. Knowing the languages won’t suffice if you aren’t familiar with cultural differences. Interpreters also need great concentration to translate accurately what the coaches and players are saying. Communication and interpersonal skills are also relevant. As you’ll be next to other people at all times, you are required to maintain good relationships.


Interpretation is more demanding than translation as you need to instantly translate and deliver the message. Besides adapting to unexpected situations, you must be ready to step out of your comfort zone. Even if you have experience in interpretation in healthcare or education, you should prepare for what the sports industry comes with.

It’s no rarity that interpreters require to translate harsh words, accusations, or heartbreaking news. That’s why it is important to practice. Besides practicing interpretation, prepare your mind for potential unpleasant situations. Remember that interpreters don’t need to translate the speech word-per-word. What you should deliver is the essence.

Get Ready for What the Job Brings

There’s more to being a job interpreter than taking a front-seat role in the world of sports. You’ll need to juggle many responsibilities. Before you decide that this is the career of your choice, get to know the diversified responsibilities you’ll have—which include:

  • Attending all press conferences, meetings, practices, and more
  • Staying up to date with pertinent rules and industry changes
  • Compiling information for player’s reference
  • Assisting with phone calls and other tasks that demand interpretation
  • Traveling

Final Thoughts

Interpreters are a liaison between different parties in sport. It is a demanding and consuming job, but it can also be very fulfilling and exciting. If you are ready to immerse yourself in sports and dedicate yourself to this career, it is a job that can fill your life with incredible experiences.

Barbara Fielder is a translator, interpreter, and writer. Her talent for languages has opened many doors for her. She has worked as a translator and interpreter in many industries and collaborated with a number of world leaders in business. Barbara’s hobbies include reading and jogging.

No PR, IPS, Wire