For reasons of technical obsolescence, will not be migrating with us to our new website and will be shutting down on 31 July 2020. All content will be archived in a usable format, accessible upon request, pending a decision on a possible future successor.

First-time posters: please review the site's moderation policy

Dear Interpreters, I am a native Hungarian, currently studying Chinese-English translation in the UK. In Hungary there are institutions offering CI training, however, none of them offers Chinese, which is my No. 1 B language (other B being English, having Slovak & Czech as my C + conversant in 5 more languages).

I would like to study further to become a fully qualified conference interpreter, however, not being an English/Chinese native speaker I am having a hard time applying to any well-known institution only welcoming native speakers of the above two languages, not taking into account that my only option of study is to be trained from B (English/Chinese) into B (English/Chinese). If you know about any (especially, short-term!) programmes where I could further improve my skills and get a qualification and/or prepare for a qualification exam e.g. CATTI, please, let me know.

asked 28 Dec '12, 21:34

cathygao's gravatar image


edited 01 Jan '13, 05:21

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

Hello cathygao,

I agree with Manuel. I would apply to a program offering Hungarian A and I would train as a CI with an English B and maybe Slovak and/or Czech C + another very strong C language that you feel really confindent working from. This way you will be trained as a CI, you will have a diploma as a fully fledged CI and you can apply to the EU institutions and do work on the European interpreting market as well. During training you will adjust and improve and hone your A language (this is something that students systematically don't pay enough attention to as they think that they are natives speakers of any given language but there is more to it actually and CI training into your mother tongue can help you with that). This is in my view much more advisable than pursuing CI training in EN>ZH at all costs without being a native speaker of any of these languages. You may pass the final exams without much luster and with a lot of luck and double the effort as compared to your fellow students but the chances are high that your languages won't be up to par when in a real private market or institutional working situation as interpreter...when push comes to shove. This will be a pity for your mother tongue and sadly the end of your career as a professional interpreter as well: Nobody will hire an interpreter who does not fully master the mother tongue. I think that this would be even more important to you since you state that you are already at a program with EN/ZH without practice into Hungarian at all.

As Santiago says, once you are trained as a CI and understand how it works and what you have to pay attention to, then you can add Chinese as a working language. Adding languages is a natural development during the professional career of a conference interpreter. During you CI studies you can try to visit -for a couple of weeks and as a guest student- Universities that offer ZH>EN interpreting in order to train your skills in Chinese interpreting a bit. I think that would be a reasonable compromise to start off with.

I hope this helps Regards, Conrado

permanent link

answered 30 Dec '12, 15:27

Conrado's gravatar image


edited 30 Dec '12, 21:46

Go to ELTE and get your B level in English checked. If it really is B material, enroll there with HU A and EN B. That way, you'll have the techniques and a pretty good language combination to start with.

As said previously, you can add languages and train by yourself once you got the technique.

Tough, I'm wondering if there really is any regular demand for HU<>ZH. While HU<>EN is quite more likely to pay your rent.

permanent link

answered 03 Jan '13, 14:14

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

... shouldn't you be focusing on learning CI as opposed to working on your languages? What I mean is why not apply to a school with HU:A and with possibly EN:B and everything else as C languages, if you cannot find one catering to CH:B? You will not be shackled to the language combination you come out of school with for evermore, once qualified as a CI your language combination can legitimately evolve, all the more so if you already have it to begin with :-).

permanent link

answered 29 Dec '12, 11:50

msr's gravatar image


Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 28 Dec '12, 21:34

question was seen: 4,712 times

last updated: 03 Jan '13, 14:14 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

about | faq | terms of use | privacy policy | content policy | disclaimer | contact us

This collaborative website is sponsored and hosted by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.