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Hello, I would like to thank everyone in advance for reading my questions and giving any feedback. I am an undergraduate at a university in the U.S. triple-majoring in Linguistics, Spanish, and French. My dream is to become a conference interpreter and I am working to making it a reality. I have a few questions about the journey on how to get there.

  1. What should I study as a first masters? I know I need to work on my languages in order to get them to the excellent level needed for interpretation, so I studied abroad for one semester in Rennes, France and am now studying abroad in Lima, Peru for one semester. I will have one year left at my university when I return, and afterwards I plan on doing a masters in France (my French in much weaker than my Spanish). My main reason for doing a masters in France is to improve my French to a high enough level for a quality conference interpretation school. However, I am not sure what I should specialize in before I study conference interpreting. I have the impression that studying international relations/communications would be good to learn specialized terminology and be familiarized with the workings of international organizations. I would also be interested in studying politics (also very helpful for working in the agreement sector?) or linguistics (phonetics, phonology, basically anything to do with speech sounds). I am open to any suggestions, as I am primarily focused on using this time to improve my French.

  2. How do I know when I´m ready to start a masters in conference interpretation? In other words, at what level should my languages be? My hope is to be ready for interpretation school after studying for a masters in France, but I am still not completely sure if this will be enough time. I would even consider working for a few more years until I am ready.

  3. Studying at ESIT or ISIT is expensive, especially when considering the cost of living in Paris. I believe the course is not so expensive at the University of Geneva, but then the cost of living in Switzerland is very high as well. Are there any bursaries available? Is it possible to work a job at the same time as the course, or is the course too intense to allow for other things outside of studying and practicing?

  4. Is the Newcomer's Scheme still available in Brussels? What can I do to get the best chance of being accepted into the program? It seems like a wonderful opportunity for beginning interpreters who have just passed their final exams to be able to work right away for the EU institutions.

  5. How long does one usually have to work as a freelance interpreter before they feel prepared enough to pass the concours for the staff positions? What is the success rate for passing the test?

  6. How many years as a staff interpreter would be suggested before trying out for the UN staff interpreter examination? What is the pass/fail rate for it? Very low passing rates, I imagine.

  7. After passing the UN examination and interview, my understanding is that you are placed on a roster, and will be offered a job when a position needs to be filled. What is the average waiting time between being placed on the roster and being offered a job?

I am looking forward to starting out in such a profession, and am excited to reach out to interpreters in the field (even if it is in the form of questions for now). Any suggestions for how I could improve my plans, or anything else that I should take into account would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to reply in English, Spanish, or French.

asked 08 Jun '16, 01:59

crylemin's gravatar image


edited 08 Jun '16, 03:06

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

Les questions 1 et 2 ont été abondamment traitées sur ce site, tu trouveras les réponses à tes questionnements dans les sujets existants.

Pour la question 3, pour ces qui est des bourses, tu auras davantage de chances de trouver une réponse sur un forum consacré aux études en France et en Suisse. La possibilité de travailler à côté des études dépend de l'école, du type d'emploi et du volume horaire de l'un et de l'autre. Mais il est souvent dit que ce sont des études à plein temps.

Question 4 : le NSF existe encore. Il faut faire partie des rares à être invité au test d'accréditation dont le calendrier n'est pas prévisible (pas de test en 2016, un seul test en 2017), réussir le test d'accréditation, puis avoir une combinaison d'intérêt pour le service.

Vois aussi :

Question 5 : le taux de réussite est marginal. Pour le dernier concours (2013), il y a eu 121 candidats en cabine anglaise et 2 réussites. En cabine française, 103 inscrits et 6 réussites. Parmi les candidats figurent aussi nombre de freelance accrédités.

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answered 08 Jun '16, 05:12

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

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question asked: 08 Jun '16, 01:59

question was seen: 2,194 times

last updated: 08 Jun '16, 05:12 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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