Interpreter Strip

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Interpreter Strip

Created:before 1950s
Level:Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Scouters

The Interpreter Strip is not an award, per se -- it's SOLE purpose is to give others an immediate, visual queue that you are able to perform as an interpreter, when needed. That's why the patch is unique in it's appearance; that's why it's placed near your name tag on your uniform; and, that's why it's displayed in the other language. E.g., Deutsch, instead of German.

While the BSA Supply Division currently only carries Interpreter Strips for American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, that does not, in any way, mean that these are the only ones authorized for earning the Interpreter Strip.

You can wear an Interpreter Strip for any language (other than English), as well as American Sign Language, Signing (which is not the same as American Sign Language), and even Morse Code. And no, spoof patches are NEVER authorized.

If you cannot find an Interpreter Strip for the language you know, you can check other sources (i.e., eBay search for "interpreter strip" -spoof), or even have your own patch made... just as long as it conforms to the same standards as BSA-provided Interpreter Strips. It is imperative that you make sure the text of your Interpreter Strip is written in the subject language... not English! (Except, of course: ASL, Morse Code, Signing.)

Interpreter Strip requirements

Boys and adults may wear this strip if they show their knowledge of a foreign language or the sign language for the hearing impaired by:

  1. Carrying on a five-minute conversation in this language.
  2. Translating a two-minute speech or address.
  3. Writing a letter in the language.*
  4. Translating 200 words from the written word.

*Does not apply for sign language.

Morse Code Interpreter Strip requirements

Youth and adults may wear this strip if they show their knowledge of Morse code by:

  1. Carrying on a five-minute conversation in Morse code at a speed of at least five words per minute.
  2. Copying correctly a two-minute message sent in Morse code at a minimum of five words per minute. Copying means writing the message down as it is received.
  3. Sending a 25-word written document in Morse code at a minimum of five words per minute.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
2018 Boy Scout Requirements, No. 33216, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.

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