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Bonjour,

Je souhaiterais devenir interprète, et dès maintenant commencer à apprendre une 3ème langue vivante étrangère. Je parle déjà français, anglais et allemand.

Cependant, j'hésite à apprendre le russe, l'espagnol ou le néerlandais.

Je trouve le russe beau et stimulant, avec un très bel alphabet. Seulement, cette langue est relativement difficile à maîtriser, et je n'aurai pas de nombreuses occasions de voyager en Russie.

Concernant l'Espagnol, je n'ai pas d'affinité particulière avec cette langue, mais je pense qu'elle serait plutôt rapide à apprendre, sachant que je parle déjà français. De plus, je pense qu'elle me serait utile (c'est-à-dire demandée sur la marché).

Enfin, j'aime beaucoup la sonorité du néerlandais, ce sublime mélange entre anglais et allemand.

Néanmoins, je sais que le russe et l'espagnol me permettraient de travailler à l'ONU, même si je suis conscient que peu d'interprètes ont le privilège d'y exercer leur profession. Le néerlandais me serait plutôt utile à la Commission Européenne (quoique ?).

Selon vous, quelle langue offre le plus de débouchés (à la fois sur le marché privé, et au sein des institutions) ?

Je vous remercie d'avance. :)

asked 21 Jan '13, 13:55

ThomasAC's gravatar image

ThomasAC
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edited 21 Jan '13, 17:16

Nacho's gravatar image

Nacho ♦
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Dear Thomas,

With French, English and German you already have three demanding languages you need to keep abreast with. Concerning any other language it is important to know where you want to work as an interpreter and also how much time you are able to invest in another language. If you want to work for the UN and see any chances of being accepted, then of course Russian or Spanish would be good options. In the EU, I also think Dutch is an understimated language - and I sometimes have trouble finding interpreters with Dutch on the freelance market when the EU institutions are in session.

But apart from all the considerations circling around market options I think it is important to ask yourself which language really intrigues you - which of the three languages would you really like to dig your teeth into and study and visit the countries where it is spoken and get to know the people and read the papers etc. Which mentality of the people speaking these languages suits you most. Which books did you like most - the ones written by Dutch, Spanish or Russian authors?

If you can find a definite answer to these questions, then this should be your option - because then you will automatically enjoy learning this new language and become very familiar with it and the people who speak it - and this will make you a good interpreter for the language combination. However, just learning another language for the sake of learning another language...I personally don't believe in it. Then I'd rather invest more time and effort in the languages I love and speak already (albeit imperfectly).

Whatever you decide to do - I hope you will end up being very happy with your choice.

All the best of success! Almute

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answered 22 Jan '13, 13:38

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AlmuteL
3.8k101520

edited 22 Jan '13, 13:39

Thomas,

I'll answer in English if that's okay... Other interpreters with your language combination and more experience will probably have better advice for you but nonetheless, I'd like to repeat to you what I've gathered from talking to our interpreting trainers and other interpreting students:

  • Beware of the "Spanish should be pretty easy because I am a French native speaker"-trap! Some find it indeed easy to learn a language that resembles their mother tongue. However, and particularly with French As learning Spanish, this often becomes a problem instead: Faux amis, similar but not quite identical sentence structures etc...

  • Upon a visit of the head of the SCIC's French interpreting unit to our university, he told the French A students that Dutch, as you so rightly assume, is an extremely useful C language for the French booth. Especially in addition to German and English- so that would work out great for you, I guess.

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answered 21 Jan '13, 15:24

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KaPe
3994411

edited 21 Jan '13, 17:27

2

Hello Karolin !

Thanks a lot for your answer (and excuse me for my mistakes in English :S).

Yes, you're totally right. It's true that it seems easier, but in fact it's completely full of traps.

Oh yes ? That's interesting ! Thanks again, I wouldn't have known if you hadn't told me that ! :)

And can I ask you what you think about Russian ? Could it be more useful for the private market, as I know there are lots of Russians on the French south coast, and a lot of Russian tourists in my country. Furthermore, I studied in geography that Russia's going to get more and more powerful in the next 10 to 20 years (and is going to take part in many conflicts, for instance in the north pole). And it's one of the five official UN languages...

(22 Jan '13, 05:40) ThomasAC
2

As I stated before, I think you'd be better off asking someone who actually has Russian in his or her language combination ;-)

(22 Jan '13, 07:04) KaPe
3

Il faut aussi être réaliste. Si tu commences le russe maintenant et que tu ne fais pas l'INALCO ensuite, il est probable qu'il te faudra pratiquement une dizaine d'années avant de maîtriser la langue (n'oublie pas qu'à l'ONU, tu seras souvent "pivot", c-a-d que les autres cabines prendront "ta" version française pour interpréter vers l'arabe ou le chinois peut-être, donc ta compréhension du russe doit être parfaite dans tous les domaines)... Je pense que l'ajout de l'espagnol ou du néerlandais est probablement plus abordable (même si légèrement moins utile).

(22 Jan '13, 14:55) Danielle

À mon avis, vas-y pour le néerlandais. Tu pourras tirer parti de ta connaissance de l'anglais et de l'allemand et ton perfectionnement linguistique s'en trouvera facilité. C'est un peu comme apprendre le portugais quand on a déjà le français et l'espagnol. Tout en gardant à l'esprit que chaque langue est différente, bien entendu. En somme, ce sont trois très bonnes langues de base pour la Commission et le Parlement.

Ensuite, au cours de ta carrière, tu pourras toujours rajouter d'autres langues, même si ces trois-là devraient te donner suffisamment de travail.

Autre petite chose à méditer, si tu comptes ajouter le néerlandais, pourquoi ne pas faire une école belge ? En étant à Bruxelles, tu pourras profiter de l'environnement bilingue français/néerlandais, voire habiter dans une banlieue flamande (et tu devras parler leur langue, ils sont très anti-français, tant mieux pour toi d'ailleurs) ?

Si tu t'orientes vers un profil ACCC, il ne serait pas idiot d'étudier dans un pays francophone (ton français sera impeccable !). Si tu vises une langue B par contre, mieux vaut faire ta formation dans un pays où cette langue est parlée.

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answered 23 Jan '13, 07:17

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GuillaumeF
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edited 23 Jan '13, 07:29

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Angela ♦
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question asked: 21 Jan '13, 13:55

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last updated: 23 Jan '13, 07:29

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