Interpreter Strip

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Interpreter Strip

Japanese
Created:pre-1950s
Level:Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers,
Sea Scouts, and Scouters


The Interpreter Strip is a recognition, not an award... it is optional insignia, not temporary insignia. Its sole purpose is to serve as an immediate, visual cue to others that you are able to perform as an interpreter, when needed... not to award your ability to converse in another language. (This is also why its placement on your uniform is near your nameplate.)

Interpreter strips are in the alphabet of the language represented, not the English-language translation. To accommodate the characters of various languages, the size of each interpreter strip may vary slightly
Guide to Awards and Insignia, § Universal and Nonunit Insignia


Interpreter Strip requirements

Youth 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:
Boy Scout Requirements, 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.

Stock Interpreter Strips

The Scout Shops carry the following:

Language BSA Supply No. Strip
American Sign Language
18025
Arabic
403
Cantonese
404
Deutsch (German)
392
Español (Spanish)
395
Français (French)
391
Greek
405
Hebrew
18039
Italiano (Italian)
400
Japanese
406
Korean
615007
Mandarin, Simplified
407
Mandarin, Traditional
408
Morse Code
615120
Native American
617588
Nederlands (Dutch)
393
Portugues (Portuguese)
401
Russian
402
Vietnamese
409

Custom Interpreter Strips

However, that does not, in any way, mean that these are the only authorized Interpreter Strips. You can custom order any language through the BSA Supply Division. Just because it's not listed (above), that does not mean they don't already have it; nor does it mean that they will not make it for you.

See: Talk:Interpreter Strip#Custom Interpreter Strips for discussion about this.

Uniform placement

Interpreter Strip uniform placement
Interpreter Strip uniform placement

The interpreter strip is affixed to the field uniform shirt immediately above the right pocket:

  • Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scout and Boy Scout Leaders: above and flush with the Boy Scouts of America strip
  • Venturers and Venturing Leaders: above and flush with the Venturing, BSA strip or lettering
  • Sea Scouts and Sea Scout Leaders: above and flush with the Sea Scouts, BSA strip on the “New Century” Universal Sea Scout uniform

More than one Interpreter Strip may be worn, one immediately above the other — one for each language the member qualifies.

Patch Placement and Uniform Inspection Sheets

Spoof patches are not authorized for wear on the BSA uniform.

Related awards

Morse Code Interpreter Strip
  • Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip
  • Emergency Preparedness requirement:
    • 4 (Show three ways of attracting and communicating with rescue planes/aircraft.)
  • Radio requirements:
    • 5 (Discuss how information is sent when using continuous wave (CW) Morse Code transmission)
    • 9.a.4. (Explain how you would make an emergency call on voice or Morse code.)
    • 9.a.6. (Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10-minute real or simulated amateur radio contact using voice, Morse code, or digital mode.)
  • Signs, Signals, and Codes requirement:
    • 3.a (Describe what Morse code is and the various means by which it can be sent. Spell your first name using Morse code. Send or receive a message of six to 10 words using Morse code.)
American Sign Language Interpreter Strip
Native American Interpreter Strip
  • Indian Lore requirement:
    • 5.b. (Sing two songs in an Indian language. Explain their meanings.)
    • 5.c. (Learn in an Indian language at least 25 common terms and their meanings.)

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