We’re Hiring!

Think you’ve got what it takes? Come join our team!

CIS is always looking to expand our pool of professionally trained and certified interpreters and translators in any language. If you’ve completed a training program and are interested in interpreting as an independent contractor with us, please send your resume to cis_request@ccab.org.

See our job requirements below:


Community Interpreter Services (CIS) seeks independent contract interpreters in the greater Boston/Worcester, Massachusetts area fluent in both English and an additional language (including but not limited to: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic, Albanian, Greek, Russian, Burmese, Cape Verde, Swahili, Urdu, Amharic, Somali, Farsi, Khmer, Chinese Mandarin, and Cantonese, etc.) to work in face-to-face settings with people who have limited or no English proficiency. This is a contract position and actual assigned interpreter appointments will be based upon customer need.

Minimum Qualifications –

  • Must possess a 45 hour minimum interpreter training program certificate in medical, legal, and community or any of the three.
  • Proof of professional experience as an interpreter.
  • Bilingual in English and target language is a must. 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from country of origin.
  • Solid communication skills and basic computer skills.
  • Must live in Massachusetts or immediate surrounding area.


Community Interpreter Services (CIS) seeks to contract with independent contract translators in state of Massachusetts fluent in English and an additional language (including but not limited to: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic, Albanian, Greek, Russian, Burmese, Cape Verde, Swahili, Urdu, Amharic, Somali, Farsi, Khmer, Chinese Mandarin, and Cantonese, etc.) to translate documents ranging from the fields of medical, legal, education to the corporate world. This is a contract position and all translation assignments are based upon customer need.

Minimum Qualifications –

  • Proof of professional experience in translating documents.
  • Proof of membership with American Translators Association.
  • Ability to understand texts in the source language and to render them correctly in the target language using a style and register appropriate to the purpose of the text.
  • Thorough knowledge of the institutions, culture, attitudes and practices in the countries where that language is spoken, normally acquired through residence there.
  • Bilingual in English and target language is a must. 

My friend is bilingual, why can’t she interpret? Why can’t I have a friend or family member interpret?

Is it really necessary to hire a professional interpreter if there’s a family member available to interpret?


Family members, friends, coworkers and community members should never serve as interpreters. There are a number of potential risks: loss of confidentiality, inaccurate interpretation, breach of ethics, and legal liability. Using a family member or friend negatively affects everyone: the LEP person’s care or service, the family member providing the interpretation, and your agency or company.

Being an interpreter is a profession, not just a talent. Professional interpreters receive intensive formal training and are bound by the ethical standards of confidentiality and accurate interpreting. Professional interpreters are not just bilingual – they are thoroughly trained to know specialized vocabulary and cultural idiosyncrasies, to remain impartial, and to conduct themselves in a formal manner. These skill sets allow them to confidently handle any type of conversation, including those requiring in-depth comprehension and knowledge where getting it wrong just isn’t an option. If you were in a country where you did not speak the native language, would you want just anyone interpreting for you before you underwent an emergency medical procedure?

What about using my bilingual staff?

Using bilingual staff members may seem like the perfect solution to not using family members or friends and saving money on professional interpretation – but many of the same limitations arise in this scenario.

Bilingual staff members may be fluent in the language but have not received the same specialized training as professional interpreters. Most importantly, there are major conflicts of interest as they oftentimes are not serving the needs of the LEP because they are bound by the interests of their employer. Impartiality is impossible.

Many agencies formally recognize the importance of using only credentialed interpreters. For example, The Atlanta Board of Education recently enacted a new policy that directs all of the state’s public schools to use only trained certified interpreters that are to act as a “neutral party.” It also plainly states, “Schools may not rely on or ask students, siblings, friends or untrained school staff to translate or interpret for parents.”

Using professional interpretation and translation services helps mitigate risk when dealing with LEP persons, particularly in healthcare and legal settings. By not using an interpreter, an agency or provider assumes the risk for the potential loss of confidentiality, misdiagnosis, and/or uninformed consent for treatment or services. This oversight can lead to increase in liability, healthcare or legal costs, and poor health or legal outcomes. Professional interpretation and translation services can decrease the risk of malpractice lawsuits or other litigation that result from a lack of clear communication between LEP and providers.

In order to get the most out of your experience with a trained interpreter, below are some helpful tips:


  • The interpreter will interpret everything you and the non-English speaker say as accurately as possible, without adding information, editing or summarizing.
  • The interpreter will use the first person (“I” – speaker) and the second person (“You” – listener) whenever possible.
  • Should the interpreter encounter difficulty in translating certain words or phrases, she/he will ask for clarification.
  • The interpreter will attempt to communicate the inflection or emotion of your client’s speech.  If the interpretation does not fully reflect the emotional content, the interpreter will try, without editorializing, to state his or her impressions.
  • The interpreter will not advocate for you or your client.
  • The interpreter will withdraw voluntarily from a case if she/he feels unable to be impartial or protect the client’s confidentiality.


  • Before you and the interpreter meet with your client, explain the nature of the appointment to the interpreter. Tell the interpreter what topics you will be discussing and in what sequence. Is there any important information you are trying to find out? What do you hope to accomplish overall?
  • Address questions directly to your clients when you speak (“When did you see the doctor?”) not to the interpreter (“Please ask him when he saw the doctor”).  Even though the client might not understand what you are saying, a great deal of information is conveyed through body language.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, and pause frequently.
  • Remember there is not a word-for-word correspondence between languages. The interpreter might need to use three sentences to interpret what you have said in three words.  Give the interpreter time to present information in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Encourage the interpreter to ask for clarification if necessary.


Welcome to the new Community Interpreter Services blog! Here you’ll find regular updates from our team including events at CIS and Catholic Charities, news from the interpreter services industry, and featured spotlights on the Catholic Charities social service programs that receive funding as a result of our revenue.

As a social enterprise of Catholic Charities Boston, Community Interpreter Services (CIS) is the only nonprofit interpreter service provider in the state. Profits from CIS are reinvested into the many social service programs Catholic Charities offers for those trying to escape poverty and lead meaningful, productive lives. Catholic Charities is one of the largest social service agencies in the Commonwealth, serving over 165,000 individuals each year regardless of faith, race, abilities, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class.

Since 1986, CIS revenue has helped to put food on the shelves at our food banks, provide youth mentors to troubled teens, and run an annual summer camp for children from low-income neighborhoods. When you book through CIS 7 times, it assists in stocking a full classroom with school supplies to start off the year. Eleven hours of interpreter services helps fund a Licensed Clinician for family support groups to help guide families struggling with addiction.

While our revenue helps support these programs, the main purpose of CIS is to provide interpreter and translation services to refugees and immigrants, all of whom are from a variety of ethnic, religious, and linguistic backgrounds. With over 30 years of experience in the interpretation industry, CIS has developed unique expertise in delivering professional language services throughout the Commonwealth. We work with corporations and agencies that have diverse customer bases and employee populations to overcome language barriers.

According to The American Immigration Council, immigrants account for 16% of the Massachusetts population. Almost 10% of Commonwealth residents over age 5 have limited English proficiency (LEP), as reported by the Migration Policy Institute in 2016. Throughout the years we have seen the LEP population shift. In the past 10 years, CIS has provided interpreter services to over 100,000 LEP individuals, children, families, and elders – allowing them access to critical services in their native language. Today, we estimate that the majority of the LEP persons we serve are elderly, low-income and among the disabled population.

To learn more about who we serve and how our revenue benefits local communities, watch this space for regular updates and sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop!