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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Date: 02/27/2013 Description: Secretary Kerry in France - State Dept Image

The Department of State exists to assist the President, through the Secretary of State, in formulating and executing the foreign policy and relations of the United States of America. (1 FAM 011.2)

The ability to communicate into and from foreign languages is essential to the conduct of United States Diplomacy. By enabling communication between U.S. leaders, officials and citizens and their foreign counterparts, interpreters working on behalf of the State Department are often an essential component of our country's foreign policy efforts. State Department interpreters are carefully selected, rigorously tested and trained to be the voice and ears of U.S. interlocutors as they represent U.S. government interests by addressing foreign audiences, participating in international conferences, holding discussions with foreign counterparts, negotiating treaties and taking part in any activity where language would otherwise be a barrier to communication.

Although State Department interpreters maintain a low profile, they are always present facilitating communication in a wide variety of settings: whether the President of the United States is visiting a foreign country or welcoming a foreign leader, whether the Secretary of State is holding a bilateral meeting or a joint press conference with a Foreign Minister, whether a U.S. delegation is participating in trade negotiations or representing U.S. interests in a trade dispute, or whether a foreign delegation comes to our country to interact with U.S. counterparts or receives U.S. government support through a training program, State Department interpreters will provide the language support needed to successfully pursue the foreign policy goals of the U.S. government.


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