This year I started working full time as a community interpreter with EN A/ES B in Washington state. I eventually have my sights set on the MACI at MIIS and a career in conference and/or court interpretation. Besides my current A/B combination, I have both DE and FR in my arsenal and my question is, between DE and FR, which would provide the most advantages in the US conference interpretation market?
Relevant information regarding my biography/situation:
I can see the advantage of having a French C and eventually bringing it up to a French B to use in court interpretation. I guess that my question is mostly about the short-term right now, i.e., which C should I choose for MACI at MIIS? In the long-run, I can add whichever language is left over, but which ABC combination would set me up best to hit the ground running after completing a masters?
Any thoughts or comments? I'd appreciate any perspective/advice/knowledge you might have to share. Thank you!
EDIT: Answers welcome in EN, ES, DE, FR.
Hi abelisle, and well done on getting started in your career, and in giving some serious thought to your future markets. Not everyone does!
From what I can understand, you want to get the MACI degree at MIIS and have a career in conference or court interpreting. If your goal is to become a court interpreter, do you really need the conference degree? I only ask because I seem to recall that MIIS had a court interpreting short course over a summer, or something like that, taught by Holly Mikkelson, a great authority on the subject.
If you do get the CI degree, is your goal to remain in Washington, or to move to where the work is? Would moving include the East coast? That would open up more horizons for you - and give you more to think about - than staying in Washington.
So, to give some specific answers for each of those possibilities:
However, do keep in mind that making a B language is a lot more difficult than it sounds (see here), and you will be working in an area where nuances will determine whether or not your client goes to jail. So your existing B needs to be very high quality before you even attempt to add a second B.
On the private market anywhere in the US, however, there is less of a market for 3-language meetings, and as Gaspar said, most of the interpreting market in the US is biactive. It is a rare interpreter in the US who has a third language, so when you are needed, you will be really needed, but it will be much less than for two-language meetings. As an example, when I graduated from MIIS with an MACI in En -A, Ru-B, Fr-C, I never once worked with my C in the 14 years I was in the US. As a second example, any time I worked for large, multi-language meetings, all our booths were biactive with English as the common language - so I worked in the Russian-English booth, and if there was French spoken, it was done into English by the French-English booth, and I took their English and interpreted into Russian.
You could also try to contact some organizing interpreters for conferences in the US, or some AIIC members who live in the US, to see what the market is like.
answered 31 Oct '16, 06:16
Je ne sais pas si le marché privé nord-américain fonctionne vraiment avec des langues C. J'ai cru comprendre que l'essentiel se faisait en biactif, donc A<>B. Le seul grand client qui me vienne à l'esprit et qui utilise des langues C, c'est les Nations Unies. Dans ce cas, il faudrait miser sur le français.
answered 31 Oct '16, 05:24