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Healthcare in Every Community, Every Community in Healthcare

Professional Development Resources
for Medical Interpreters

The organizations and resources listed on this website are not necessarily audited or endorsed by CCHCP.
Please be mindful of the differences of terms and pronunciation in dialects of languages, including English. English medical terminology provided by countries outside of the U.S. may differ from standard U.S. practices.
Submissions to add, edit, or remove resources can be emailed to:

National Medical Interpreter Associations

International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA)  |  Recommended Resources:

IMIA Code of Ethics

IMIA Terminology Resource Database: Glossaries, dictionaries, terminology databases, anatomy atlases, nomenclatures, thesauri, lexicons, vocabularies, manuals, encyclopedias and other word-based documents in the fields of medicine and healthcare in the various languages used by IMIA interpreters.


National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC)  |  Recommended Resources

NCIHC Code of Ethics

The Terminology of Health Care Interpreting: A glossary of terms

Interpreter Associations: List of regional and local interpreter associations in the United States

CCHCP encourages medical interpreters to research interpreter associations in their region, state and/or city, or see the NCIHC link above for a list of those associations.

The California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) is a major association that has established interpreter standards (Ethical Principles, Protocols, and Guidance on Roles & Intervention), holds annual conferences and monthly webinars.

National and State Medical Interpreter Certification Entities

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)  |  Recommended Resources:

Information on Becoming Certified or Renewing Certification

CCHI Candidate’s Examination Handbook

Continuing Education Accreditation Program: CCHI’s National Training Provider Registry provides healthcare interpreters and providers an avenue to find continuing education programs.

Upcoming CCHI Webinars

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI)  |  Recommended Resources:

Preparation for CMI (Certified Medical Interpreter) Exams

         CMI Candidate Handbook

Informational Monthly Webinar

Upcoming Events

There are also state certification exams for medical interpreters in the following states:

Language Proficiency Assessment Resources

CCHI Candidate’s Examination Handbook  (Language Proficiency Guidelines on pages 15-16); or

CCHI Dual Language Proficiency: Requirements for proof of language proficiency

CMI Candidate Handbook (Language Proficiency Guidelines on Pages 6-7)

Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR): The Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) is a U.S Federal interagency organization established for the coordination and sharing of information about language-related activities at the Federal level. It serves as a way for departments and agencies of the Federal government to keep abreast of the progress and implementation of techniques and technology for language learning, language use, language testing and other language related activities.

ILR Language Skill Level Descriptions – Speaking

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines

CCHCP strongly recommends the use of third-party language assessments to ensure impartiality. Fluency in both English and the target language(s) are crucial for patient safety and the liability of the interpreter, service provider, and health institution. Hiring managers and training providers are also encouraged to save documented proof of the interpreter’s language proficiency and refer to the next section (Regulations Related to Medical Interpreting) for clarity on laws and best practices.

Laws, Regulations and Standards Related to Medical Interpreting

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Civil Rights (includes translations of civil rights information)

The Joint Commission

National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Health and Health Care|  Recommended Resources:

CLAS Standards

Tracking CLAS (interactive map)

CCHCP Equity and Inclusion – Cultural Competency Training

CCHCP Equity and Inclusion – Cultural Competency Consulting

Executive Order 13166 “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.” Signed Aug. 2000.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Affordable Care Act (ACA) – enacted March 2010

ACA Resources in Other Languages

National Health Law Program (NHeLP)  |

Please be sure to comply with the regulations and standards of your state, county, and employer. If you are self-employed or employed through a interpreter service provider, be sure to check the regulations of the facility you will be interpreting at.

Skill Development Resources

NCIHC: Sight Translation and Written Translation Guidelines for Healthcare Interpreters

ATA: Not Your Mother’s Latin: Honing Your Medical Terminology for Medical Interpreter Certification

Erin Lyons: The ABCs of Medical Translation: Strategies to Identify, Translate, and Manage Acronyms and Abbreviations

Interpretrain  |  Sample Resource:

Note-Taking Training Manual (Sample Page Here)

Massachusetts General Hospital: The Interpreter Newsletter

Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind Resources

Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID)  |  Recommended Resources:

RID’s Standard Practice Papers

RID: Approved Workshops

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)  |  Recommended Resource:

NAD: Position Statement on Mental Health Interpreting Services with People Who Are Deaf

Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI) – National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Exam

ADA Business Brief: Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings

Alabama Department of Mental Health: Mental Health Interpreter Standards for Persons Who Are Deaf

National Center on Deaf-Blindness

St. Catherine University CATIE Center

University of Rochester Medical Center – National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR)

Pro-Tactile Resources

American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) Tips for Interpreters

NCIHC Guidelines for Working Effectively with Interpreters in Mental Health Settings (includes ASL interpreting)

Sego Lily Center for the Abused Deaf (free provider trainings and deaf community education classes)

Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS)

Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program (resources for deaf/hard of hearing individuals)

Council de Manos (ASL – Spanish – English)

Mano a Mano (ASL – Spanish – English)

NCIEC: Trilingual Task Force (ASL – Spanish – English)

Mental Health Resources

NCIHC: Mental Health Resources  |  Recommended Reading:

NCIHC Guidelines for Working Effectively with Interpreters in Mental Health Settings

Alabama’s Mental Health Interpreter Training Project (MHIT)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (many free publications, including in other languages; search for language in search bar, as publications are not categorized by language)

L.A. County Department of Mental Health (training and workplace development)

Washburn Center for Children: Spanish Clinical Language and Resource Guide (English – Spanish; includes terms for speaking with children)

Wisconsin Hmong Mental Health Professional Group: Hmong-English Mental Health Terminology Glossary (Green and White dialects)

Government of Canada: Workplace Mental Health Glossary (English – French)

McGill Cultural Consultation Service: Clinical Resources for Mental Health Workers and Consumers (various languages)

Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre (various languages)

Inuit Tuttarvingat: Resources (English – Inuktitut)

Queensland Government: Glossary of Mental Health Terms for Interpreters and Translators (English – Arabic, Bosnian, Croatian, Farsi, Serbian, Samoan, and Tagalog)

Transcultural Mental Health Centre: Multilingual Resources

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Office of Multicultural Affairs: Mental Health Care in Translation

Alabama Department of Mental Health: Mental Health Interpreter Standards for Persons Who Are Deaf

Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program (resources for deaf/hard of hearing individuals)

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: Interpreting in Situations of Sexual Violence and Other Trauma

Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS)

LGBTQIA Resources

NCIHC LGBTQIA Resources for Healthcare Interpreters and Interpreter Trainers

National LGBT Health Education Center   |   Sample Publications:

Understanding the Health Needs of LGBT People

Providing Inclusive Services and Care for LGBT People: A Guide for Health Care Staff

The Medical Care of Transgender Persons

Glossary of LGBT Terms for Health Care Teams

Promoting Health Care Access to LGBT Farmworkers

Nuevas preguntas sobre la orientación sexual y la identidad de género: Información para pacientes

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)  |  Sample Resources:

Multilingual leaflets for families of LGBT individuals in East, Southeast, and South Asian and Arabic languages

Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study

HIV/AIDS Resources


OMHRC and CAPS: HIV/AIDS Prevention Glossary (English – Spanish)

Interpreter Self-Care Resources

ATA: Medical Interpreters and Burnout

RID’s Standard Practice Papers: Self-Care

International Journal of Interpreter Education: Teaching Interpreters About Self-Care

NCIHC: Interpreting Debriefing Process

Circadian: Nursing and Health Care – Managing Fatigue

Medical Glossary Resources (in addition to those in previous sections):

National Network of Libraries of Medicine: Consumer Health Information in Many Languages

Medline Plus

Health Reach



Health Education Resource Exchange (HERE)

Health Information Translations

Health Translations

Washington Health Benefit Exchange (includes “broker” and navigator search to help patients enroll in insurance)

Refugee Phrase Book (various languages; click “Languages”, select desired language(s), and confirm with “Apply”)

IMIA: Pain Description Glossaries (French, Haitian Creole, Brazilian-Portuguese, Russian, Spanish)

California Office of Binational Border Health: English-Spanish Dictionary of Health Related Terms (includes terms for traditional concepts, such as “susto”)

University of Connecticut – Center for Public Health Policy and AHEC Connecticut: English-Spanish Dictionary of Health Terms That May Be Useful to Volunteers at The UConn Migrant Farmworkers’ Clinics

MHP Salud (Spanish resources for migrant workers; will need to sign-in to access)

Medical Spanish (English-Spanish audio with dialogues, vocabulary, and anatomical illustrations)

Practicing Spanish: Medical Spanish (English-Spanish audio)

CommonGround International: Medical Spanish Classes (English-Spanish vocabulary, phrases, flashcards, video lessons, Facebook group live video lessons, etc.)

Help The Refugees: English – Karen/Burmese Medical Terminology

Japan Healthcare Info: Medical Expressions (English – Japanese; includes pharmaceutical terms)

Dine College and Mayo Clinic: Glossary for Basic Cancer Terminology in the Navajo Language

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre: Oji-Cree Medical Dictionary

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre: Ojibwe Medical Dictionary

Amharic-English Medical Dictionary (AEMD) (with audio)

 AACI’s Shira Pransky Project: Health-Related Hebrew Vocabulary