Conseils aux étudiants souhaitant devenir interprètes de conférence

Vous êtes attiré par une carrière vous permettant d'utiliser les langues. Vous avez entendu parler de l'interprétation de conférence mais vous ne savez pas exactement de quoi il s'agit, quelles études poursuivre, quelles possibilités s'offrent à vous. Vous trouverez ci-dessous une liste de questions utiles et un certain nombre d'informations qui vous permettront de vous orienter.

Comment puis-je devenir interprète de conférence?

Que font les interprètes de conférence?

Les interprètes de conférence:

  • assurent la communication dans toutes sortes de contextes multilingues, lorsque les intervenants désirent s'exprimer dans leur langue et, néanmoins, se comprendre les uns les autres (conférences, négociations, conférences de presse, séminaires, dépositions, émissions télévisées, etc., etc.).
  • ne font pas de traduction écrite: les traducteurs travaillent sur des textes écrits, les interprètes transmettent les idées oralement.
  • ne sont pas de simples perroquets: ils convertissent des idées exprimées dans une langue (la langue source) dans une autre langue (la langue cible) de manière aussi naturelle et idiomatique que possible, en conservant le sens, le ton et les nuances de l'orateur.
  • interprètent en "consécutive": l'interprète est dans la même salle que les participants; il écoute attentivement les intervenants, en prenant éventuellement des notes; lorsque l'orateur observe une pause dans le discours, l'interprète transmet le même message de la langue de départ dans la langue cible.
  • interprètent en "simultanée": l'interprète travaille en équipe, et en alternance avec son ou ses collègues; il est installé dans une cabine insonorisée et transmet en temps réel les idées de l'orateur, de la langue source dans la langue cible. Dans la salle de conférence, les auditeurs écoutent la langue de leur choix à travers leurs écouteurs.
  • interprètent en "chuchotée (ou chuchotage)": l'interprète est dans la même salle que les participants et effectue une interprétation chuchotée en temps réel à l'oreille des participants dont le nombre est nécessairement très réduit.

Puis-je devenir interprète de conférence professionnel sans une formation appropriée?

Ce n'est pas exclu: certains ont réussi et, encore aujourd'hui, d'autres essaient...

  • les premiers interprètes qui ont travaillé en simultanée pour les tribunaux internationaux à l'issue de la deuxième guerre mondiale ont bien été obligés de se jeter à l'eau et de se former par eux-mêmes, mais rien ne vous oblige à réinventer la roue!
  • depuis 1970, la recherche interdisciplinaire permet de mieux saisir les processus complexes de l'interprétation et des méthodes efficaces d'enseignement ont été mises au point.
  • la formation systématique est aujourd'hui le moyen le plus sûr pour acquérir les compétences nécessaires au bon exercice d'une profession, quelle qu'elle soit.
  • il est essentiel d'accumuler un grand nombre d'heures de pratique effective, en compagnie d'autres personnes en formation et sous la direction d'enseignants/praticiens expérimentés.
  • l'AIIC encourage les meilleures pratiques dans les écoles, par le biais d'enquêtes sur les programmes de formation et d'un soutien direct aux enseignants.

Que peut m'apprendre un programme de formation en interprétation?

A interpréter ... ou plus précisément

  • à comprendre ce que l'orateur veut dire
  • à saisir ce que l'orateur veut dire au-delà des mots qu'il prononce
  • à préserver le message dans son contexte
  • à le transmettre en consécutive ou en simultanée
  • à apprendre une technique spéciale de prise de notes
  • à travailler la concentration, l'analyse du discours et les réflexes
  • à élaborer des glossaires utiles
  • à se préparer à divers types de prestations professionnelles
  • à gérer les situations génératrices de stress
  • à observer un code de conduite
  • à se préparer à entrer dans la profession

Quelles aptitudes personnelles un interprète de conférence doit-il posséder?

Voici quelques-unes des aptitudes les plus utiles à l'interprète:

  • avoir une connaissance approfondie de sa propre langue, dans plusieurs registres et domaines
  • avoir une parfaite maîtrise de ses autres langues
  • bien connaître la culture des pays où sont parlées ses langues de travail
  • avoir vocation à aider les autres à communiquer
  • s'intéresser à l'actualité, la comprendre et être d'une curiosité insatiable
  • être ouvert au monde hors du foyer et de l'école et avoir une vaste culture générale
  • avoir une bonne formation (et, en règle générale, au moins un diplôme universitaire de premier cycle)
  • être capable de se concentrer et de canaliser son attention sur les aspects importants d'une discussion
  • avoir une voix et une diction agréables
  • avoir une attitude aimable et collégiale
  • être maître de soi, avoir du tact, du bon sens et de l'humour
  • être prêt à respecter des règles éthiques (confidentialité, etc.)

Choisir une école: comment dois-je orienter mes recherches?

  • Le choix de l'école est l'une des mesures les plus importantes de votre parcours pour devenir un interprète de conférence qualifié. Afin de vous aider dans cette recherche et dans ce choix, l'AIIC contacte régulièrement dans le monde entier de nombreuses écoles qui offrent des programmes de formation en interprétation et leur demande de répondre à une série de questions; la dernière enquête a porté sur 178 écoles. Les réponses des écoles sont publiées sur ce site web. Pour des raisons diverses (programme en transition, mauvaise adresse, etc.) certaines écoles n'ont pas répondu au questionnaire, aussi elles ne figurent peut-être pas encore sur le site web de l'AIIC.
  • Si vous ne l'avez encore fait, vérifiez l'Annuaire des écoles en ligne. Ce répertoire fournit des informations de base sur les écoles ayant répondu à l'enquête avec, le cas échéant, le lien correspondant.
  • En comparant les écoles et programmes de formation, vous voudrez peut-être établir la liste des critères auxquels vous tenez particulièrement (lieu, bourses, etc.). Vous pouvez aussi consulter notre guide des meilleures pratiques en matière de formation et ajouter certaines des considérations ci-dessous à la liste de vos critères personnels:
    • Ne soyez pas pressé! Les interprètes de conférence doivent avoir accumulé une solide culture générale et une excellente maîtrise de leurs langues (dans cette profession, au moins, la valeur attend le nombre des années!)
    • Résidez et étudiez dans les pays où sont parlées vos langues avant de suivre un programme de formation. Mieux vous connaîtrez le contexte culturel, plus votre compréhension de ces langues et votre expression seront affinées.
    • Optez pour un programme de formation post-universitaire plutôt que de niveau inférieur. Les programmes post-universitaires partent du principe que les candidats ont une solide connaissance des langues faisant partie de leur combinaison et qu'ils peuvent ainsi se concentrer sur l'acquisition des compétences, le perfectionnement des langues et l'initiation à la théorie de l'interprétation.
    • Ne soyez pas rebuté si l'école de votre choix impose un test d'aptitude! Il vous permettra, ainsi qu'au jury d'examen, d'avoir une idée de vos aptitudes et de vérifier si vous êtes prêt pour démarrer une formation... et ce, en toute objectivité! A noter que dans certains pays, la législation interdit les tests d'aptitude.
    • Examinez les programmes de l'école:
      • L'école fournit-elle des conseils sur les perspectives de carrière?
      • Les cours prévus répondent-ils précisément à la formation que vous envisagez?
      • Les cours sont-ils conçus et donnés par des interprètes professionnels?
      • Certains des professeurs ont-ils la même langue maternelle que vous?
      • Le programme prévoit-il des cours d'interprétation consécutive et d'interprétation simultanée?
      • Existe-t-il un cours expliquant la pratique professionnelle (éthique, etc.)
      • Des personnalités extérieures, en particulier des employeurs potentiels, assistent-elles à l'examen de diplôme?
    • Dernière suggestion: vous pourriez envisager la possibilité de visiter une ou plusieurs écoles et d'assister à un ou deux cours. Vous pourriez aussi avoir un entretien avec certains enseignants et parler avec des étudiants ou des diplômés.

Comment puis-je me préparer?

  • Ce que vous pouvez faire pour accroître vos chances de succès avant de commencer un programme de formation :
    • améliorer vos langues, lire de manière sélective et active, regarder la télévision et écouter la radio dans toutes vos langues
    • enrichir votre connaissance de votre langue maternelle
    • résider et vous immerger culturellement dans les pays où sont parlées vos langues
    • chercher à mieux connaître le monde mais aussi votre environnement immédiat
    • accroître votre culture générale
    • suivre l'actualité internationale
    • apprendre à utiliser l'ordinateur
    • apprendre à être autonome et à bien gérer votre stress
    • apprendre à étudier efficacement
    • cultiver la patience et apprendre à intégrer les commentaires, critiques et conseils
    • effectuer une recherche attentive des options de formation qui s'offrent à vous

Le style de vie de l'interprète de conférence me conviendra-t-il?

Répondez à ce questionnaire pour tester vos préférences (toutes les réponses sont bonnes!)

Question

Fonctionnaire

Indépendant

Devrai-je passer un test ou un concours pour travailler?

oui

probablement

Devrais-je élaborer mon propre profil professionnel compétitif?

non

essentiel

Aurai-je la responsabilité de me trouver moi-même du travail?

non

oui

Travaillerai-je généralement pour la (les) même(s) institution(s)?

oui

à vous de choisir

Puis-je travailler pour des agences ou pour une série d'employeurs?

probablement pas

oui

Mon employeur programmera-t-il mon calendrier de travail?

oui

non

Puis-je refuser des affectations?

habituellement non

oui

Aurai-je un salaire régulier?

oui

non

Aurai-je des indemnités?

oui

cela dépend

Devrai-je évaluer mon régime fiscal?

non

oui

Puis-je vivre où je le souhaite?

pas du tout certain

oui

Devrai-je beaucoup voyager dans mon travail?

pas nécessairement

plus probablement

Devrai-je voyager pour améliorer mes langues?

peut-être

peut-être

Aurai-je des possibilités de carrière et de formation auprès de mon employeur?

souvent

moins probablement

Devrai-je appartenir à un réseau ou à une association professionels?

souhaitable

important

Pour vous renseigner sur le style de vie de l'interprète de conférence, consultez VEGA.

Mes langues seront-elles demandées lorsque je chercherai du travail après ma formation?

  • Question capitale... mais le pronostic est difficile!
    • programmez votre profil AVANT de commencer votre formation : certaines combinaisons sont plus "utiles" et transférables que d'autres; résistez à l'impulsion d'ajouter une langue qui a toutes les chances d'être abandonnée par la suite
    • la déferlante de l'anglais poursuit bel et bien sa course et la langue anglaise est plus présente que jamais, avec toutes ses variantes; vous voudrez sans doute l'inclure dans votre combinaison linguistique, surtout si vous prévoyez de travailler sur votre marché local
    • votre décision de travailler comme fonctionnaire permanent dans une organisation internationale ou d'exercer en indépendant aura probablement une influence sur vos choix linguistiques.
    • un élément rassurant: une étude récente de la Commission des interprètes permanents de l'AIIC montre que les institutions internationales, de plus en plus touchées par les mouvements de personnel et les départs à la retraite, coopèrent désormais avec les écoles pour essayer d'évaluer les besoins de formation futurs compte tenu de l'évolution de toute la gamme des besoins en interprétation

Si vous souhaitez travailler pour une organisation internationale, visitez les divers sites web pour en savoir plus sur leurs besoins actuels et futurs en personnel, voir la fréquence des concours ouverts aux candidats ayant votre combinaison linguistique. Vous trouverez plus bas une liste des organisations.

Trouverai-je du travail après ma formation?

L'AIIC offre toutes sortes de conseils et appuis aux interprètes de conférence récemment diplômés qui accèdent à la profession et vous donne même la possibilité de poser des questions.

Quelles questions dois-je encore poser avant de prendre ma décision?

La Commission de la formation de l'AIIC fera tout son possible pour répondre à vos questions. Consignez-les dans le panneau d'affichage ci-dessous : nous nous efforcerons de vous aider à trouver les réponses.

Commission de la Formation de l'AIIC
avril 2006

Voir aussi:

Organisations internationales

Afrique - Amériques - Asie - Europe

AFRIQUE

BAD (Banque africaine de développement), Abidjan
CAFRAD (Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Développement), Maroc
CEA (Commission économique des Nations Unies pour l'Afrique), Addis-Abeba
COMESA (Marché commun de l'Afrique de l'Est et de l'Afrique australe), Zambie
HABITAT (Centre des Nations Unies pour les établissements humains), Nairobi
OAPI (Organisation africaine de la propriété intellectuelle), Cameroun
ONUN (Office des Nations Unies à Nairobi), Nairobi
PNUE (Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement), Nairobi
TPIR (Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda), Arusha et Kigali
UA (Union africaine), Addis-Abeba
Union arabe du Maghreb, Maroc

AMERIQUES

Banque mondiale, Washington DC.
BID (Banque interaméricaine de développement), Washington DC
CBD (Convention sur la biodiversité), Montréal
CELAC (Commission économique des Nations Unies pour l'Amérique latine et les Caraïbes), Santiago du Chili
FMI (Fonds monétaire international), Washington DC
FMPM (Fonds Multilatéral du Protocole de Montréal), Montréal
OACI (Organisation de l'aviation civile internationale), Montréal
OEA (Organisation des Etats américains), Washington DC.
ONU (Organisation des Nations Unies), New York
OPS (Organisation panaméricaine de la santé), Washington DC.
ZLEA Zone de libre-échange des Amériques, Panama

ASIE

BAD (Banque asiatique de développement), Philippines
CESAP (Commission économique et sociale des Nations Unies pour l'Asie et le Pacifique), Bangkok
CPS (Commission du Pacifique Sud), Nouméa

EUROPE

AIEA (Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique), Vienne
ASE (Agence spatiale européenne), Paris
BRI (Banque des règlements internationaux), Bâle
COE (Conseil de l'Europe), Strasbourg
CERN (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), Genève
CEU (Commission de l'Union européenne), Bruxelles
CEJ (Cour européenne de justice), Luxembourg
CICR (Comité international de la Croix-Rouge), Genève
CIJ (Cour internationale de justice), La Haye
CIO (Comité international olympique), Lausanne
EUROCONTROL, Bruxelles
FAO (Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture), Rome
FICR (Fédération internationale des sociétés de la Croix-rouge et du Croissant-rouge), Genève
FIDA (Fonds international de développement agricole), Rome
INTERPOL (Organisation internationale de la police criminelle), Lyon
OCDE (Organisation pour la coopération et le développement économiques), Paris
OEB (Office européen des brevets), Munich
OIAC (Organisation pour l'interdiction des armes chimiques), La Haye
OIM (Organisation internationale pour les migrations), Genève
OIPC (Organisation internationale de la protection civile), Genève
OIT (Organisation internationale du travail), Genève
OMC (Organisation mondiale du commerce), Genève
OMD (Organisation mondiale des douanes), Bruxelles
OMI (Organisation maritime internationale), Londres
OMM (Organisation météorologique mondiale), Genève
OMPI (Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle), Genève
OMS (Organisation mondiale de la santé), Genève
OMT (Organisation mondiale du tourisme), Madrid
ONU (Organisation des Nations Unies), Genève, Vienne
ONUDI (Organisation des Nations Unies pour le développement industriel), Vienne
OSCE (Organisation pour la sécurité et la coopération en Europe), Vienne
OTAN (Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord), Bruxelles
PAM (Programme alimentaire mondial), Rome
PE (Parlement européen), Luxembourg, Bruxelles et Strasbourg
TPI (Tribunal pénal international), La Haye
TPIY (Tribunal pénal international pour l'ex-Yougoslavie), La Haye
UEO (Union de l'Europe occidentale), Bruxelles, Paris
UIP (Union interparlementaire), Genève
UIT (Union internationale des télécommunications), Genève
UNESCO (Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture), Paris
Union latine Paris
UPU (Union postale universelle), Berne



2006




Message board

Comments 47

The most recent comments are on top

Hajer Messaoud

Hello, 

Well, I'm writing to ask two questions. 

I know different languages (Italian, French, English, Arabic and German). I can speak perfectly some of them and I'm improving the other ones. My mother tongues are Italian (I was born in Italy and have lived there for 20 years) and Arabic (my parents are Tunisian). Now I'm studying foreign languages in France, so my French is deeply improving. The problem is that the 6 official languages recognised by the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. So, does that mean that Italian cannot be my B-language? The other question is: is wearing the headscarf an obstacle to working at the UN? Thank you.

Total likes 0

Andy Gillies

Dear Despoina,

If you haven't already, you should have a look at the AIIC Schools Directory 

It lists 3 schools that teach DE into EL and EL into DE. That doesn't necessarily mean that they offer EL A, DE B, EN C, as a combination but it's the best place to start. The reason your having trouble may also be linked to the combination EL-DE DE-EL for which there may be a very limited market. And as such the schools are not very interested in it. (Quite apart from the difficulty of finding qualified teachers). I know that in the EU the EL booth sometimes does a retour, and therefore your retour into DE may have a market there (together with your EN C). But I'm no expert on your combination and don't know anything about the private market its prospects. For more information about that why not ask your question(s) on http://interpreting.info/

Other options for you might be to study with the EL A, DE C, EN C, combination and look towards adding a B later. Before doing this you should check if that is a combination with market prospects. Alternatively the university you mention might allow you to study with DE A, EL B, by way of exception knowing that later you will revert to EL A, DE B. But you'd have to put that to them (and it may not be the best way to learn to interpret anyway).

I hope that's helpful. Good luck

Andy

Total likes 0

Despoina Passa

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to ask some information about postgraduate programs of conference interpreting. My native language is Greek, my active language is German and my third language is English.

I have done some research concerning the schools that offer postgraduate programs of conference interpreting in Europe and I am facing great difficulty finding a school that gives someone the chance to choose Greek as the first language and German as the second one. Actually, the only program that I am aware of at the time being is that of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. I have also contacted the Mainz University in Germany, since Greek language is a part of its curriculum but unfortunately

I was informed that I can choose it only as the active language (language B) and not as the native one, which in this case has to be German. Therefore I would be deeply grateful if you could give me any further advice of how I can continue my research, if there is any other school that perhaps I am not aware of, or if such a language combination exists due to market request at all.

Thank you for your time in advance.

Total likes 1

Alix Machiels

Hello !

I will soon graduate and obtain a bachelor's degree in translation, with a 3 language combination : French (mother tongue), English and Chinese. Interpretation studies are not available in this language combination in my school (Institut libre Marie Haps) - and not even in Belgium - so I am considering entering a master in Taiwan, China or France after spending some time in a Chinese-speaking country to develop my Chinese skills.

I think studying in Asia would be more interesting for such a language combination, but some people warned me of the diploma problem: apparently, to work for governmental or international organisations, I need a recognized diploma, which could not be the case with a Chinese or a Taiwanese master.

Could anyone give me more information about those diploma requirements in diplomacy or the EU / UNO / UNESCO... ? Has anyone who studied in Asia had this type of problem ? What's more, has anyone heard about the programme offered at the National Taiwan University? It seems good but it is still pretty new!

Thank you very much!

Alix ( Brussels )

Total likes 1

Andy Gillies

hi Alia

Let me go thru your questions one at a time.

If you'd like a second (third or even fourth) opinion you could post your question to this Q&A

1. too old to become a conference interpreter Definitely not. It can be an advantage to have a few years more life experience.

2. DE-EN A/B is certainly in demand. But there's a lot of competition. DE-ZH A/B possibly. Less competition. DE-EN-ZH A/B/C. I doubt there is much of a market for Chinese as a C only. But I'm not an expert on this combination. Best look at, or ask a question about that combination here interpreting.info Have a look at the questions tagged "mandarin" or "chinese" like these...

From what I've seen there you probably need 2-5 years in China to master Chinese to a B level.

3. "I've never lived in an English-speaking country" You probably should and/or need to. A B language should be at a level equivalent to an educated native-speaker.

4. "One semester in China.. qualify me for Chinese C" It's very very unlikely. A year, more likely 2, would appear to be a reasonable minimum for a language like Chinese.

5. "The university I graduated from is now offering…" I can't recommend one university over another. But you compare them here... http://aiic.net/directories/schools/finder My advice would be work on your languages first. From what you say you may well not be admitted to any interpreting course simply because your languages are not up to the required level.

Good luck

Total likes 0

Alia Groschupf

Dear Madams and Sirs,

I am 28 years old and come from Germany. I finished my Bachelor's degree (Business Communication Chinese) in 2012 from a German university. I can speak English fluently (IELTS score 8 out of 9 possible credits) and my skills in Mandarin Chinese are very good as well, however I am not a fluent user.

I would like to become a conference interpreter with German as A language, English as a B language and Mandarin Chinese as a C language. I might wanna add Spanish as another C language, however I only have a good basic command of the language up to now.

My primary questions up to now are:

  1. I am basically a little worried of being just too old for becoming a conference interpreter. On the other hand I think it is never too late to do the right thing?
  2. Will there be any demand for this combination in the future? I have thought about taking Mandarin as a B language. But I am not sure that I can actually master it and if I do - will anyone "believe" that a German person actually CAN speak Mandarin at a level this high and eventually book me? I am asking this because everywhere you tell people that you can speak / understand Chinese they're like "this is impossible!".
  3. I have never lived in a anglophone country for a long time, but I have visited the US a zillion times throughout my life, sometimes I stayed for up to 6 weeks or even 2 months. I have done several translations from German into English since I am working in market research, I guess my transations were ok as they always have used them. And I have always enjoyed translating, the only thing is I want to take it to another level and INTERPRET.
  4. I have spent one semester in Shenzhen, China, to attend classes for language training for intl. students. Does this "qualify" me at all to assume that I could take Mandarin as a C language?
  5. The university I graduated from is now offering a MA in conference interpreting with Chinese as an A, B, or C language (I even found it on this page). Would you recommend to take my MA there or to better go abroad? The problem might be that the universities abroad are far more expensive and I assume I could receive a scholarship from the university I went to. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions!

Alia

Total likes 0

Andy Gillies

Hi Jiyeah,

It's a little difficult to reply without knowing what criteria your languages were judged on.

I think it's unlikely that nationality counts. However, the length of time spent in each language environment will be considered and you've spent most time in a Korean-speaking environment.

In Europe schools will receive a student for interview and judge the languages at the interview, regardless of nationality. In some schools it is also possible to be received for interview with A B and to be accepted to the school with B A. It's not assumed that candidates know their best language combination. My advice would be to apply to schools with your language combination (and AIIC lists only 3 here http://aiic.net/directories/schools/finder EWHA, ISIT and MIIS), explain clearly your biography and see what they say.

Unfortunately lot of people in your situation are fluent in two languages, but neither of them is at the high standard required for conference interpreting.

However, an interpreting school should only judge this based on good samples of the potential student's language - written but preferably spoken.

Good luck

Andy Gillies

AIIC Training

Total likes 0

Jiyeah Seong-Yu

Hello, I'm having some problems applying to CI programs due to my language combination - more specifically, regarding my A language. I was born in Korea, moved to India at 9, attended an international school for 3 years, went to a French middle school for another 2, before returning to Korea. Here I've completed my high school education in Korean, and am currently in the last month of my Bachelor's degree in International Relations, conducted entirely in English. I feel strongly that my A language is English - I debate and speak much more fluently than I do in Korean. For some time I assumed my A language was Korean, but while I was preparing for my Master's in CI, I realized that English really was my A. So I've started applying to schools in the UK and the States. I've already been accepted at a Korean university's MA in CI (Korean A, English B, French C) The problem is that I'm still South Korean on paper - and with the admissions going on, I've been contacted by some schools, one refusing to accept me because English wasn't my 'native' language (English A, French B), another requiring me to change my A to Korean (English A, Korean B, French C). I am assuming that schools need a criteria to judge a candidate's 'native' language, and that nationality is one. This is why I've elaborated in my statement or purposes about my language combination, about feeling most comfortable using English and so on. I've also attached a 119/120 Toefl iBT score, but I know many students have similar marks regardless of it being their native language. I feel that by insisting on applying with Korean A, I will not perform as competently as I would in English. But it seems that these qualifications don't seem to validate my argument - and I'm worried that even if I do apply to more CI programs, I will be turned down for the same reasons. I'd really like to work with English as A, and with French in the combination as well. What would you suggest I do, if I want to apply with English A? Is it simply impossible, due to technicalities? Thank you in advance, Jiyeah.

Total likes 0

Andy Gillies

Hi Reem, There are very few schools that offer online programs full stop.

But you could investigate FTI (formerly ETI) in Geneva and Glendon School of Translation in Toronto. You'll find both in the AIIC Schools Directory here... http://aiic.net/directories/schools/

There may be other schools that I'm not aware of. So if you find any others do please mention them here - I'd be interested to know where they are.

You could also try asking your question on this AIIC-sponsored page... http://interpreting.info There are quite a lot of interpreters, teachers and interpreting students visiting the site and someone might know more than me.

 

Total likes 0

reem kashef

Thank you for the great effort exerted in the provision of such valuable information. I would like to train to become a simultaneous and conference interpreter. I understand that I need to train in order to become one. Unfortunately I could not find a school in my country, Egypt. Are there any schools that offer online programs?. If yes, how can I find them?. Thank you once again and looking forward to your assistance.

Total likes 0

Andy Gillies

Hi Pooja, Thanks for those interesting questions. I'll try to answer them for you… 

First of all, you mention the combination French into English. Unfortunately that is not a combination that is viable on the market. You will either have to work from French into English AND English into French, or find several languages from which you can work into English and which offer work prospects - eg French, German & Spanish into English at the EU or French & Russian into EN at the UN.

It may be that Bengali, Hindi and English are useful for the Indian Parliament, which employs interpreters. Why not have a look at AIIC's Facebook page In the "posts by others" section you'll see an entry on 7th May by R.K Das. He is an interpreter at the Indian Parliament. He may be able to give you some India-specific suggestions.

To your questions…

  1. "internship, summer courses, job, or any other legal way of staying in any francophone country for a year?" Absolutely, and more than 1 year if you intend to work EN-FR in both directions. For more on language combinations see this page
  2. First of all, unfortunately, doing the course is no guarantee of graduating. The French courses have exams at the end of the 1st and 2nd years and not all students pass either. However, once you've graduated, if your combination is FR-EN, there are good markets available to you. It does take a while to become established as an interpreter however and you are unlikely to immediately earn a fortune.
  3. As I say above, FR into EN is not a combination on its own. Non-EU citizens can't become staff at the EU regardless of language combinations. The UN is an option, but it's not something you should count on achieving - not many manage it. There are very few staff posts available for EN-FR (in both directions) - OECD, Govt of Canada, NATO, for example - and you're likely to need a fair bit of experience before you're considered for one. This page might be helpful if you see yourself as a staffer

Most conference interpreters are freelance. So it might sound daunting, but plenty of us make a good living without being staff. I hope that's useful. It's a tough career to choose, but one I highly recommend. You can also ask professionals for advice on Interpreting.info where you'll find lots of AIIC members and trainers ready to help out

Andy Gillies AIIC Training

Total likes 0

Pooja Pratyasha Pal

Dear Sir/Madam, I am an Indian student and I'm going to complete my post graduation(M.A.-French) in India by april 2014. I speak English, Hindi, Bengali(mother tongue), French and Spanish. I am interested in going to France for Master in CI in any one of the 3 schools featuring in your list of Interpretation schools in France. here are my questions: 1) All the 3 schools in the above-mentioned list would only admit candidates who have lived for atleast a year in a country where their B language is spoken. My B language would be French but I haven't lived in any francophone country so far. What do u suggest I do? Look for an internship, summer courses, job, or any other legal way of staying in any francophone country for a year?(Since its not practical to just fly into a country and say "me voila!") 2) Keeping in mind the cost of a 2 year course in Master in Conference Interpretation, is it really feasible? After completion of the course, will I earn enough to say that spending on the training program was "worth it"? 3) which leads to the question that is it going to be easy for me to get a permanent job anywhere in Europe itself (as I don't really like the idea of freelancing). 3) What are the chances of an Indian interpreter being employed for interpreting from French into English, given that there are ample number of native English and French speakers who could do the same? Much as I'm interested in this career path, the above are some of the questions which have brought me to a dead end about making a decision (and I have less than a year to decide). I would be eternally grateful if all my above questions are answered. Thank you in advance!!

Total likes 1

Andy Gillies

Hi Nora, Every now and again students are faced with this problem. There are no schools teaching IT-JP in AIIC's Schools Directory.

http://aiic.net/directories/schools/finder

However, some schools may try to accommodate you all the same if you show potential. They do this by having a Japanese-speaking teacher (without Italian) and an Italian speaking teacher (without Japanese) in the same classroom. At least one of them will be a conference interpreter, sometimes both. I know this method has been used for Eastern European languages at ESIT in Paris, but also in other schools in Europe.

What I suggest you do is look in the Directory for all the schools that teach Japanese at all (just enter Japanese in the first menu and nothing in the others). Then contact them and ask if there is any way they can accomodate you, including, but not necessarily only, the method I describe above. (There may be other ways of doing it.)

The answer to your question might interest other students to so why not also post it here... http://interpreting.info/ ... I would repeat my answer there but you'll also get answers from other trainers.

Andy Gillies

AIIC Training

Total likes 0

Nora Nera

Dear Sir/Madam, I am an italian student who gradueted in Florence University and who presently is spending six months in Japan studying at the Kyoto Gaidai. My intention is to become an interpreter from Italian to Japanaese but untin now I haven't been able to find a school or istitution, in Italy and in Japan as well, that provides professional training for the languages I am interested in. I've been looking for a course of interpretation but I'm still in a desperation. So my questions are: - does a training corse for the combination (italian.Japanese) of languages I chose exist? -what can I do if it doesn't? I would be really grateful if you will give me an advice even if I alredy know it won't be easy. Best regards Eleonora Perna

Total likes 0

Andy Gillies

Hi Paridhi,

The answer to your question is one that a lot of students would be interested in so can I ask you to post it here... http://interpreting.info/ ...and then I'll be happy to answer there.

You'll probably also get a few more answers from other colleagues too. all the best

Andy Gillies

AIIC Training

 

Total likes 0

Paridhi Banerjee

I am a student from India, but I have done all my studies in french, so needless to say that I am fluent in French. I would consider my native language to be English because it's the language that I have complete control over. I can also speak Hindi, Bengali (which is my mother tongue, even though I do not master it perfectly) as well as Tamil, and Spanish.

I am currently in Paris doing my under-grad course in LEA, I am also learning russian. I would like to be a conference interpreter, and I already have a school (ISIT or ESIT) in mind once I have gotten my bachelors degree. I would like to know how to do I prepare myself for the entrance exams (I know I still have 3 years) and are there any other schools that is better? and do you think it would be better if I deepen my knowledge in Hindi ?

Thank you

Total likes 0

Dominique

I am mother tongue English and fluent in Italian, French & Spanish.

I would like to move into conference interpreting but am not sure how much demand there is for these European languages.

Any advice greatly welcomed.

Total likes 0

nina

Hi!

I'm invited to take the entrance test for the MA in Conference interpreting at the University of Westminster in April 2007; I would like to prepare for this, is there something more specific I can do than improve my language levels? and specifically I Know I will be asked to do an interpretation exercise during the interviw and it worries me a little bit because I have no specific training to interpret, shoud I try to prepare for this aspect, and if yes how?

Thank you

Nina

Total likes 0

Nina

Hi Indira!

I'm supposed to take the entrance test for Conference Interpreting in April 2007, I suppose you already took it, I am strongly interested in the contents and , I have some time and would like to prepare myself a little bit, but how?any suggestion? THANKS!

Nina

Total likes 0

Kat

I am an English graduate who has been living in Italy for the last 3-4 years and would like to do a Masters in conference interpreting this year. My languages are English (A), Italian(B) and Spanish (C). I would prefer to study in Italy, but most of the courses on offer here provide for those who are native speakers of Italian. Would it be worth my while to study in Italy how to interpret into Italian, or better for me to study elsewhere where I can learn how to interpret into English, as that is the language I would be interpreting into professionally? I would also like to know if I qualify outside of Italy would it be more difficult to find work within Italy?

Any help and advice would be much appreciated!

With thanks

Kat

Total likes 0

Kat Barnes

I read the last message with interest as I am in a similar situation. I am English but have been living in Italy for the last 3 years and wish to apply for a masters course in interpreting this year here in Italy, my languages are English (a), Italian (b) and Spanish(c). Most courses here however seem to be directed towards native speakers of Italian, and the modules concentrate on interpreting into Italian. Should I try and get on to one of these courses or would it be more worthwhile looking for a course which is more flexible so I can study how to interpret into English? I am unsure if learning to interpret into Italian will teach me the right skills and help me in my career or if I would be better off looking for a school outside of Italy. Any advice on schools, or general tips would be very much appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Kat

Total likes 0

Jessica Subire

Je suis une étudiante bilingue (français/espagnol), née à Genève, mais habitant actuellement à Malaga, en Espagne. J'ai fait mes études universitaires à Malaga, licence en Trad. et Interprétation, cependant pour améliorer ma formation en interprétation j'aimerais faire un master ou DESS en interprétation.

Juste après avoir fini mes études universitaires j'ai commencé mon DEA en Traduction et Interprétation à Malaga et la même année (l'année passée) j'ai présenté ma candidature à l'ETI de GE et j'y suis allée pour passer les 7 examens d'admissions des différentes combinaisons mais malheureusement je ne les ai pas tous passés. J'avais choisi comme combinaison linguistique (Espagnol-A / Français-B / Anglais-C / Italien-C). J'ai étudié 10 mois en l'an 2000 aux USA et pendant mes études universitaires en 3eme année, 10 mois en Italie, à la SSLMIT à Forlì.

J'aimerais me présenter à nouveau aux examens mais je ne sais pas comment me préparer pour les réussir ou si je devrais plutôt réduire la combinaison linguistique à deux ou trois langues au lieu de 4 et les rajouter dans le futur.

J'apprécierais des conseils sur ce sujet.

De plus, j'aimerais savoir si vous pourriez m'informer sur les meilleurs masters /DESS qu'il y a en ce moment pour ne pas me tromper et choisir celui qui me donnera la meilleure formation comme interprète de conférence vu que mon rêve serait de travailler en tant que tel. Merci d'avance pour votre réponse.

Mes salutations les plus sincères.

Jessica Subire

Total likes 0

bino

I am getting 32, have plenty of experience for interpretaion. you pros think I am still get the chance to become a simultanous interpretor?

Total likes 0

Leila Rossi Taraniuk

I would appreciate if you could let me know if there is any online Master in CI. Languages A Italian, B English and French. I am Italian but have been living abroad for a long time, I am in Singapore at the moment.

I am really keen on getting an International Certification which could help me improve my skills and guarantee my professionalism.

Thanking you in advance, Kind regards,

Leila

Total likes 0

John-Paul Malko

hello, I too would like some further info on entrance exams, I did a degree in langauges but have never had to interpret and so i'm unsure as to how I should go about preparing myself to sit an entrance exam for a masters course. Any advice would be much apreciated.

thanks!

Total likes 0

Tom

I am very interested in applying for the Conference Interpretation program offered by the Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation (GIIT) of Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). A year ago, I learned from the Chinese media that GIIC obtained certification from AIIC, and was appraised as among the world's top 15 professional interpretation schools. However, I have not been able to verify this from non-Chinese media sources, including

the AIIC website. Is the above information correct?

Thanks very much for your reply.

Total likes 0

Marie-Helene

Greetings! I am a practising community interpreter (French and Spanish)) in Australia, accredited at professionnal level by the NATIONAL ACCREDITING AUTHORITY FOR TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS. I am very interested in progressing to conference interpreting and may be able to start a one-year post-graduate full time university course "Master of Conference Interpreting". My concern is that at this stage it is unlikely that Spanish will be an option so I'd only study in the French English language combination. I have been brought up bilingual French - Spanish and so have native proficiency in French and I would say near native in Spanish (only early schooling was carried out in Spain) so I wanted to do an A B1B2 combination. My question is (sorry for the long-winded intro!) will I still be able to get work with Spanish even though it was not part of my course curriculum, what is the non-language specific "theory" part of conference interpreting vs language specific part? Also, I would like to relocate to Europe...will an Australian diploma (Macquarie University) will well regarded and will I not be at a distinct disadvantage vs graduates from Euro schools?

This would represent a huge investment for me so I would like as much of an "indication" as you might be able to give me ( I know you can't comment on a particular university etc...but would appreciate your advice).

Thanks for your time

Marie-Helene

Total likes 0

C. Marzocchi

Dear Joshua,

Regardless of the employment opportunities that your nationality may or may not open to you, interpreter training institutions normally do not train exclusively for a specific market (in this case the EU institutions) although the language combinations offered and the contents of training may more or less be targeted onto a specific professional situation.

The reason why you had problems in enrolling in La Laguna is that a training institution will have a policy as to the A or B languages of students.

The school in La Laguna, according to our latest survey, requires of students that Spanish is either the A or the B language ((http://www.aiic.net/schools/?fuseaction=Dsp⪼hool_id=103)

So it is still a good idea to study in the country of one of your foreign languages, provided your language combination fits in with the particular institution's requirements.

Best

C. Marzocchi

on behalf of the Aiic Training committee

Total likes 0

Carlo Marzocchi

Dear Eddy, congratulations on the variety of your skills. Formal university training is not required (but we highly recommend it) if you want to practice as a free-lance interpreter; however, most international organizations (like the UN which you mentioned) require of their language staff that they have a university degree.

Under the heading "Asia Pacific" our online Directory of Interpretation Schools (http://www.aiic.net/schools/) mentions the Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation of the Shanghai International Studies University, which fulfils all or most of AIIC's training criteria.

There may be other interpreter training institutions in China and I am sure you will be able to find them on the Internet. We recommend, however, that you carefully check the information you obtain from them against the best practices in interpreter training that AIIC has established over the years (http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm?article_id=27&plg=1).

Good luck!

The AIIC Training Committee

Total likes 0

CARLO MARZOCCHI

The fact that a particular institution is not mentioned in the aiic directory may be simply due to the fact that the aiic Training committee was not able to obtain a reply to our questionnaire from that institution, and certainly does not mean that it is does not offer good training in translation or interpreting, perhaps also in conference interpreting.

Moreover, from the very beginnings of modern conference interpretation, Aiic members have been closely involved in interpreter training programmes. Drawing on this collective experience, the AIIC Training Committee has established a series of criteria for best practice in interpreter training(http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm?article_id=27&plg=1); you may want to take into account these best practices when you consider enrolling in a training programme.

Good luck with your training!

The aiic Training Commitee

Total likes 0

Aiic Training Committee

Dear Rebecca,

As a rule the Aiic Training Committee does not comment on an institution’s reputation or quality of teaching. However, we do endeavour to publish as much information as possible on training institutions, on the basis of their replies to a questionnaire, so that prospective students can form their own opinion. In your case, you may find further information on the courses at Shanghai International Studies University in the Aiic Directory of Schools (http://www.aiic.net/schools/?fuseaction=InRegion®ion_id=3&name=ASIA%2DPACIFIC). Unfortunately, we do not have any information concerning the master course in Beijing.

Moreover, from the very beginnings of modern conference interpretation, Aiic members have been closely involved in interpreter training programmes. Drawing on this collective experience, the AIIC Training Committee has established a series of criteria for best practice in interpreter training(http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm?article_id=27&plg=1), which you may want to take into account when you consider enrolling in a training programme.

Best wishes

Carlo Marzocchi

on behalf of the Aiic Training Commitee

Total likes 0

Aiic Training Commitee

Dear Duc Hai,

Unfortunately at the moment we are not aware of any course in conference interpreting in Vietnam. Please note however that this does not mean that such a course could not take place in the future. The aiic directory of courses is updated every couple of years, so you may want to check again in the future. In the meanwhile, you could perhaps consider enrolling in a programme in the country where your main foreign language is spoken.

Best regards

Carlo Marzocchi

on behalf of the Aiic Training Committee

Total likes 0

Carlo Marzocchi

Dear Alexandra,

We have checked with colleagues in the US before answering your enquiry and unfortunately at the moment we do not know of any other programme specifically targeted at conference interpreting (whereas several programmes specializing in court- or community interpreting exist). Depending on the student's circumstances, we suggest that enrolling in a programme in the country of one's first foreign language is always a viable option.

Best regards

Carlo Marzocchi

on behalf of the Aiic Training Committee

Total likes 0

Maike Hopp

Hi,

I'm a nineteen-year old girl from Germany and just graduated from high school last summer. As I always knew that I absolutely want to become a conference interpreter I searched for suitable programmes all over Europe and was successful as I'm now at Heriot-Watt university Edinburgh studying Translating and Interpreting for French and Spanisch, taking English as my native tongue and not including German in my degree. I was very happy at the beginning but now I'm not sure anymore that this really is the best way to become a conference interpreter and so I'm really thinking about dropping out...I really don't know what to do and need help desperately. My plan B would be to study some languages in Germany, as many as possible, and then do a Master Degree in Conference Interpreting.. or do you think it would be wise to study a similiar degree as I'm doing now in Germany at least to have my mother tongue included in my degree? Please reply as soon as possible because I'm thinking about returning to Germany after this trimester which ends in 5 weeks...

Thanks in advance,

Maike Hopp

Total likes 0

Nguyen Duc Hai

Dear Sir/Madam,

I'm living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

I've been looking for a worldwide recognized course of interpretation which is conducted in my home country. But I'm still in a desperation.

Through Google searching, I'm directed to the AIIC website for info on CI training. I'm quited interested in this professional training. But when I access the directory of training schools, I'm disappointed that no course is /will be taught in Vietnam.

Grateful that you'll give an advice on who I should contact to be enrolled in the CI training.

Thanks and kind regards,

Duc Hai

Total likes 0

alexandra

I notice the only program listed in the US is the Masters at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Does anyone know where I can find a list of universities that offer serious programs (a Master's degree or a something that would prepare one to be a conference interpreter) in other parts of the country? I am especially interested in any program that is on the East Coast.

Total likes 0

Eddy Sun

I'm a Chinese student and hope to get admitted in a Postgraduate Programme of Interpreting and Translation or Conference Interpreting in the September of 2007.

I didnt have much official university learning background, received vocational training after middle school and majored in Chinese cooking. But, through self-study, i got Cambridge Business English Certificat 3 in 2001, Grade 8 (Test for English Majors) in 2002, and advanced English/Chinese Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpretating certificate (National Accreditation Exam for Translators and Interpreters, organized by the Chinese Ministry of Education and BeiJing Foreign Studies University) in the last September.

I worked as an English teacher for 2 years in private schools in BeiJing, and have worked as a freelancing interpreter and translator for 2 years. I'd like to make further study in Translation and Interpretating, especially to conduct some research in Interpretating.I have a deep interest in Psychology and have spent some time studying it, I'd like to put the Psychology knowledge in the study of Interpretating.

With a MA, making a bigger contribution to the world by working as a staff interpreter for international organizations ( such as UN ) or teaching in a University can become a reality for me.

Do i have to present a Bachlor Degree? Because i dont have one.

I attended Self-Study-Exam in China (organized by the Chinese Ministry of Education) and got an associate diploma in Economics and Trade English ( it's equivalent to a BA now ). Is it helpful?

I spent one year studying Intellectual Property in the University of International Business and Economics. Is it helpful?

Is the possiblility of getting a full scholarship high? Because I can't afford to study in a foreign country without it.

All suggestions are welcome!

Total likes 0

Chisato Kubo

I am very grateful that such a message board has been established for people like me, wanting to become a conferance interpreter!

I am planning to study at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. There is a masters course in Interpreting and Translation. Although the course is accredited by NAATI(Australias National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters), it`s not on your directory of interpretation schools. Is there a reason for this? Could some one please advise me, if the course is worth attending, to prepare myself to become a conference interpreter? Thank you in advance!

Total likes 0

leo

i think both of them are nice, i am looking for a school as well, for French , English and Chinese.

i would like to talk about it with you.

Total likes 0

Indira

Hi Mila!

I'm exactly in your same situation. I've been invited to the entrance test in august-september.

I'm extremely interested in the contents of this test; did you do it already? If so, could you please let me know about it?

Thanks in advance!

Total likes 0

Joshua Williams

Bonjour,

J'ai une question à propos du programme d'interprétation à La Laguna en Espagne. En effet, j'ai bien envoyé un formulaire pour que je puisse me présenter pour les examens d'admission de cette école. Quelques semaines plus tard, j'ai lu que l'école compte sur un soutien pédagogique de l'Union européenne, alors je me suis demandé si ce programme ne prépare ces gradués pour travailler que dans l'Union européenne. A cause de ma nationalité, je ne pourrai jamais travailler au sein de l'Union européenne. Je me suis renseigné auprès du secrétariat de La Laguna et je n'ai reçu aucune réponse et ceci après qu'ils m'avaient assuré que j'étais inscrit pour les examens à Madrid en juin. Est-ce une école qui ne prépare que des étudiants qui possèdent l'espagnol comme langue maternelle? Ce n'est pas très clair pour moi car j'ai lu dans un autre forum où Jaclyn Harmer recommandait à un étudiant de poursuivre des études d'interprétation en Espagne afin de bien renforcer sa langue C. J'affiche ces informatoins en espérant recevoir une réponse ici parce que je n'ai évidemment pas eu beaucoup de chance en m'adressant direcetement à l'école (j'ai envoyé environ 3 e-mails). Merci en avance pour votre assitance.

Total likes 0

Mila

Good afternoon,

In July I’m invited to take the entrance test for the Conference Interpreting course at Westminster University. I know I’ll be required to make translations into my active language and further there will be a general knowledge and language awareness test, as well as interview and interpreting tests. Does anyone have any experience with such a test? What kind of texts can you expect? Is it allowed to use dictionaries? In which language do they conduct the interview? Do you have any recommendations for me? I’m really looking forward to this program and all helpful suggestions are very welcome :-)

Thank you.

Mila.

Total likes 0

rebecca

i am a Chinese student. i am very interested in the oral intepreter field. And i know there are two universities in China------Beijing foreign language University and Shanghai Foreign language University have master degree program in this field. I want to know which university has a better reputation in this area. Thanks a lot!

Total likes 0

Bahar Cotur

Many thanks and congratulations to the Training Committee! I am e-mailing the page to my students right now. Such articles are always of great help to show students that whatever you tell them in class is painstakingly repeated to hundreds of students all around the world and that they are not alone in their concerns and worries.

Total likes 0

Lauren Michaels

Hi there! Thank you so much for your amazing page for students. I am currently in France studying (Canadian student) and I am aiming for a career in interpreting or translation. If there is anything else interesting like this, please send it over! Otherwise I'll continue enjoying the site. Thank you once again,

Lauren Michaels

Total likes 0

Luigi LUCCARELLI

Communicate! is pleased to introduce this new version of "Advice to Students", one of the most consulted pages on AIIC.NET with over 100,000 views. A new format and hyperlinks to other articles should help you find the information you need about our field and the possibilities open for pursuing studies. We encourage you to explore our growing website. If you should not find an answer to your question or would simply like to share your views, please leave a comment here."

Total likes 1