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Hi, I am very interested in doing a fulltime MA in Conference Interpreting in London (turkish/english/german). However, I wonder what the job situation for this combination is currently like and what the future will/ might bring. I live in Germany and would like to stay here and work as a freelancer if possible. Does anyone have any knowledge about what the chances are or would be with this combination?

Many thanks!

asked 05 Feb '17, 09:56

Nurcan's gravatar image


First things first: What would be your A language, your B language (if any) and your C language(s)?

(05 Feb '17, 11:28) Gaspar ♦♦

Thanks Gáspár, Turkish would be A (although I consider German as A as well since I grew up in Germany), German would be B and English C.

(05 Feb '17, 11:36) Nurcan

Hi Nurcan,

I've contacted a few colleagues who have Turkish in their combination or who do know a bit about that market. Hopefully, they'll be able and willing to chime in.

When speaking of studying in London, assuming you were meaning doing an MA in conference interpreting there, I wouldn't recommend it. The course is short, expensive and the value for the money isn't good. At least not if you'd be attending in the hope of actually working as a conference interpreter and being paid for your work and being able to live off your earnings (if any).

If you were talking about doing a BA in an other subject: Assuming you have spent most of your life in Germany, have spoken Turkish with your parents at home, but didn't have high school subjects (maths, science, etc.) taught in Turkish language, it would make more sense to study law, politics or economy in Turkey. That way, you'd brush up your Turkish and bring it to the level of proficiency required to be truly bilingual in all subjects and registers. Merely talking a language with your parents doesn't make it necessarily an A or a B language. In my case, the first language I have learnt at birth and ever spoken since with my mother is Hungarian, and while talking without an accent, I'm lacking the fluency, eloquence, register, vocabulary,... required to call it an A or even a B language.

Since London is pretty much off the table, when time will come for doing the MA in conference interpreting, your options are likely to be limited to Boğaziçi University and ISIT Paris:

But, for the sake of being sure, you could also ask the two top German universities (FTSK Germersheim -Uni Mainz- and Heidelberg) as well as Bilkent University whether they might offer your language combination.

As for market prospects, the EU seems to be interested in accrediting freelance conference interpreters with Turkish A and German, English or French B (or A). Be nevertheless aware that that is no guarantee whatsoever that those passing the test will ever be actually recruited. They most likely are just expanding their pool of people who could be called to work in near (or distant) future, depending of what will happen in Cyprus.

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answered 06 Feb '17, 04:51

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

Dear Nurcan, Are you sure you are a Turkish A and not a German A? If you lived most of your life in Germany and were educated in German schools, then you may be a German A, and we're dealing with another ballgame. Your A language isn't necessarily what you spoke to your parents at home.

But assuming you are indeed a Turkish A- there is Bogazici, ISIT, and also ITIRI in Strasbourg accommodates Turkish As (and Bs) on a regular basis and has exchanges with the school in Bogazici. They also have a Turkish A section in the Translation degree.

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answered 16 May '17, 20:57

InesdC's gravatar image


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question asked: 05 Feb '17, 09:56

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