American Sign Language Fluency

How long does it take to become fluent in Japanese, Russian or any other foreign language? Language fluency, be it spoken or visual, requires time, dedication, study, immersion in the language community, and constant practice. While you may have the potential to handle communication of simple concepts of daily life after just three classes, it will most likely take you years to be comfortably fluent in native conversations at normal rates discussing complex topics.

Getting Started

Professional sign language interpreters develop interpreting skills through extensive training and practice over a long period of time. Before committing to this profession, it is imperative that you prepare yourself for the expectations, requirements and standards that will be asked of you.

Below are a few resources that will help guide you along the process:

  • DiscoverInterpreting.com
    This site, funded by the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC), provides all the tools needed to learn more about the interpreting profession and how to get started.  
  • The Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education
    CCIE was established to promote professionalism in the field of sign language interpreter education through an accreditation process. This site provides a list of accredited programs to help you prepare to enter the field of interpreting.
  • Professional Sign Language Interpreting
    This RID standard practice paper provides a quick-glance and overview of the interpreting profession.
  • Interpreter Training and Preparation Programs
    These programs provide you with the education and knowledge base to develop the skills to become an interpreter.

    *NEW* View an intensive spreadsheet of available 2 and 4 year ITP programs