I'm interested in a career in conference interpreting, and I'm trying to gather information on where to apply for a MA. Besides the better-known schools (ESIT and ISIT in Paris, ETI Geneva, etc.), what other well-regarded interpreting programs are out there, especially for a UN-type language combination like the one I hope to have (English/Chinese/French/Russian)? Practicing interpreters, what schools do you and your successful colleagues hail from, hear about, and/or recommend?
asked 21 Dec '12, 03:43
Besides the 3 schools that you mention and which are indeed considered as the best ones in the profession, I believe the Monterey Institute of International Studies, in California, also offers serious training from and into Chinese. http://www.miis.edu/bethesolution/interpretation
answered 21 Dec '12, 10:07
I would like to qualify Andy's answer: While he is right regarding the fact that UN institutions practically hire ZH A's with a retour into EN or FR only and you'll never be recruited to interpret from EN into ZH being a native English speaker and although most AIIC colleagues with Chinese are native speakers of this language, I would dare to say that this only applys to the UN market. In my opion, of course subjective and personal, I think that you'll have a wide range of working options with biactive English and Chinese ON THE PRIVATE MARKET as I understand that the market for this language combination EN>ZH>EN is starting to gather momentum worldwide in the wake of China's economic development and one could guess that this trend will further increase.
My advice to you: if you want Chinese in your language combination being an English A, you'll need to have your Chinese at B level in order to have fair and wide range of working opportunities on the private market. So concentrate on that, even more so if you were raised bilingually. Danielle's tip, Monterrey, is a very good one. There are other schools in UK. It depends where you live or if you feel like moving to another country. If you feel confident about your mother tongue and provided that you grew up and went to school and University in an English speaking country and you feel that you must work on your Chinese in order to have a Chinese B, then I would seriously consider applying to a Conference Interpreting program in China.
As for the rest of your language combination: With Russian and French you will be a darling for the English booth within the UN system, provided you pass the exams while you will not be required to work from ZH into EN as Andy said, since that's taken care of by the ZH booth. RU and FR may be useful at the Council of Europe too. Russian and Chinese will however be of very limited use for the EU institutions. Passive Russian and Chinese on the international private market won't take you too far. Interpreters with Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese need to work biactively into EN or FR or ,at the very least, into the language of the national market of the country you live in.
My 2 cents - I hope this little explanation helps you find a suitable program for your needs. Conrado