Linguist Categories I, II, III – What’s That?

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Foreign Language Linguists and TranslatorsLinguist jobs are often advertised by their category level: CAT I, II, III.

CATEGORY I LINGUIST

May/may not be a US Citizen. Will not have access to sensitive information. Must have two-way language skills in both the target language and English.

CATEGORY II LINGUIST

CAT II linguists must have strong proficiency in the target language and an advanced working proficiency in English.

Language proficiency will be determined via DLPT or ILRT language testing.

CAT II linguists are U.S. citizens  granted access at SECRET level or a designated U.S. Government Personnel Security authority for the specific purpose of providing support to US Government operations.

CATEGORY III LINGUIST

Native proficiency in the target language is preferred, but not required. CAT III linguists should meet at a minimum the criteria of ILRT level 3.  CAT III linguists must be able to understand the essentials of all speech in a standard dialect and have broad enough vocabulary that the need for paraphrasing or explanation is rare.

Language proficiency will be determined via DLPT or ILRT language testing.

CAT III linguists must be able to follow accurately the essentials of conversations between educated native speakers, reasonably make and answer telephone calls, understand radio broadcasts, news stories similar to wire service reports, oral reports, some oral technical reports and public addresses on non-technical subjects.

CAT III linguists are U.S. citizens  granted access at TOP SECRET Security Clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI), or who, after prescribed counterintelligence screening, have been granted, at a minimum, an interim TS/SCI clearance by the U.S. Government.

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