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I am considering to enter the MA for CI in Geneva with French A and German B (I'm bilingual) but I'm not sure about my C languages ; in fact, I'm even wondering if I should have a C language at all.

The thing is, my English is a little rusty, I'm not sure that it qualifies as a C language. I have no trouble in reading / listening comprehension whatsoever if the speaker is American or British but I make many mistakes when speaking/ writing.

The same goes for Russian, which I studied for five years now. I understand everything when listening to the radio, still unable to read Tolstoy without a dictionary though, but when I hang out with my Chechen friends the moment where I understand every single word is only after the second glass of vodka. Not sure if vodka is allowed in the booth :(

So what I want to ask you is this : given that there are sooo many English-speakers out there already, is it really necessary that an interpreter masters that language ?

Wouldn't it be possible to earn a living with just French and German (possibly in an A1/A2 combination)? Would that be viable on the French/ German market (being based in Strasburg or Geneva) ? What do you think ?

Or do I necessarily need a C language ? Should I rather work on Russian / English to add at least on of those to my combination ?

In this case, I'd prefer to have French A, German B and Russian C, without any English... but is that a reasonable choice ??

Thank you in advance

asked 01 Oct '16, 04:04

alaunos's gravatar image


Interpreting schools, particularly reputable ones like Geneva, generally align their entry conditions closely to market prospects. So many schools do insist on EN in some shape or form. However, if FTI are willing to take you with FR-DE only then it will be because they believe there is a market for that combination.

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answered 03 Oct '16, 12:53

Andy's gravatar image


Les collègues biactifs que je connais à Strasbourg ont également d'autres langues. Certains ont un second B ou deux autres langues C UE. Je ne suis pas sûr (à vrai dire j'en doute fortement) qu'il soit possible de ne vivre que de la niche franco-allemande.

Le russe ne fait sens qu'en combinaison avec l'anglais : les deux sont requis pour travailler sur le marché des onusien.

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answered 01 Oct '16, 04:39

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

Je te remercie. Concernant le russe, ce n'est donc pas une langue recherchée sur le marché privé (avec un retour vers le français ou l'allemand) ?

(01 Oct '16, 04:50) alaunos

Un bon moyen de te faire une idée, c'est de regarder s'il est fréquent que des collègues aient ont le russe sans avoir l'anglais. Une petite recherche dans l'annuaire aiic et le tour est joué :

Et par la même, leur domicile professionnel te donnera une indication quant à l'emplacement de l'hypothétique marché de niche.

(02 Oct '16, 06:22) Gaspar ♦♦

Hi alaunos,

You answered your own question very well - there are soooo many English speakers out there. That means that when you are in a booth you will have to interpret them. So yes, English needs to be somewhere in your combination. If you can prove that you have it and can work from it without studying it, then more power to you; but that is difficult for a beginner to do.

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answered 31 Oct '16, 06:27

JuliaP's gravatar image


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question asked: 01 Oct '16, 04:04

question was seen: 2,465 times

last updated: 31 Oct '16, 06:27 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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