Interested in applying to LIPS? Here's some information you might want to know.
What is an interpreter? Interpreters are often mistakenly called translators. Technically speaking, a translator is someone who translates written material (books, articles, poetry, etc.) from one language to another. Interpreters -- on the other hand -- work with spoken language. When a person with limited English goes to the hospital for example, they have the right to an interpreter to help them communicate with the doctors and nurses. Interpreters also work in courts, in community meetings, and in the school systems. A professional interpreter helps people who speak different languages communicate with each other as directly as possible. The speakers of each language feel that they are having a conversation with each other, made possible by the interpreter’s presence. What is LIPS? LIPS stands for the Liaison Interpreter Program of Somerville. It is a training program for bilingual high school students to learn the basics of interpreting and get hands-on practice in the community. During the Fall, LIPS students are trained by Cross-Cultural Communications Systems Inc. (CCCS), an interpreting agency, as they prepare to interpret for an immigrant health fair. From January to May, the students are trained in simultaneous interpretation using special interpreting equipment, and take on assignments in community events culminating in YUM- a multicultural food festival where LIPS students take on leadership roles either as interpreters or event hosts. In addition to learning interpreting, LIPS students are connected with resources for applying to college, including an essay writing workshop, individual counselling, and college visits.
Who can apply? High school students who are fluent in English and another language. Priority will be given to students who live in Somerville, who show great dedication and perform well on the entrance exam, and who speak high-demand languages.
What languages are in high demand? The assignments we get reflect the major languages of Somerville- primarily Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. Nevertheless, speakers of all languages are welcome to apply for LIPS. Does your language community need more interpreters? Tell us! You can help us find work for your language.
Will I get paid? Yes! LIPS participants who attend trainings regularly and go on assignments will be paid.
What is the time commitment like? LIPS participants will attend a full-day intensive training on Saturday, October 10. After that, trainings will be every Thursday from 3:30 - 5:30. All trainings are mandatory. LIPS participants must also go on at least 6 community assignments during the year.
Is LIPS right for me? Do you love languages? Do you love speaking your languages? Do you have a sharp mind and a drive for excellence? Do you like helping your community? Are you interested in health care, social justice, local politics, immigration, business, education, or food?* Are you ready to take on a challenge? If you answered yes to most of these questions, LIPS is probably for you! Apply now.
*Interpreting is one of the few jobs where you get to learn about all of these fields.