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

...I have so many questions, maybe you guys can help? So, here it is:

1) I majored in History of Art, with minors in Classics and English. Is that a weird profile? Is it too old to train as something else at 32?

2) My native language is Italian, but I studied both in France (4 years) and the UK (4 years). I have this feeling that Italian as A language would limit my job opportunities (is this true?) - do you think it'd be possible to pick another A language?

3) What about B and C languages? What level is required? How can you add more?

4) I read somewhere that some languages are more in demand than others (and it makes perfect sense, especially if you end up working in a political institution), but nobody can confirm this. So if I wanted to learn a new language, how do I know which one?

5) I want to start this September, and I know it's too late for some places (like Geneva), but I can't find any info on others (Bruxelles, Paris, Trieste...) - does anyone have any experience with admission procedures?

6) I love languages, I think I'm good at them, but my main reason to retrain at this point is to find a job (in this climate, it's hard to find anything for more than 6 months). So how is the market, really? Did you have many difficulties to find work?

Thank you so much! :)

asked 22 Apr '13, 11:50

annag's gravatar image


edited 22 Apr '13, 13:36

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦


Dear annag: Please ask the 6 questions separately. It is in your best interest, since single questions attract more answers than a group of questions. You can edit your questions at any time. Before asking a question, please make sure that it has not been asked (and answered) before. You can do that by using the search box or looking for a tag. For instance, for your 6th question, you may find an answer looking for "market-chances": For info on schools and admission procedures (your 5th question), you may find your answer here:

(22 Apr '13, 13:33) Delete ♦ goes:

1)... no & no :-)

2)... A-languages are what they are, one does not "pick them up" except in extremely rare cases... and the the time-scale is more like 40 years than 4 ;-); A-languages only limit CI job opportunities to the extent they're (not) conference languages... or not in one's location.

3+4) ...depends on personal history, professional domicile, prospective markets... check this out for levels prospective schools will be best able to advise, after testing yourself and your languages.

5) can't have looked hard enough, each school advertises its admission procedures and deadlines.

6) ...CI is no exception to the "hard to find" rule :-( ... and like most other professions, success depends in general on talent and hard work - and a modicum of luck :-), then more specifically on languages and location.

permanent link

answered 22 Apr '13, 13:29

msr's gravatar image


Cara aspirante interprete,

you are certainly not too old to be trained as a conference interpreter. You can find information about schools at and on B and C languages at

You cannot 'pick' an A language. In the case of mixed backgrounds, usually the strongest working language is that of one's high school studies, but it's impossible to generalise. I would need to know more about your school career. Having said that, an English A is much more in demand than an Italian A, both in Italy and in Brussels.

Re third language, I would postpone that decision until after you have attended an interpreting school for a few months. You'll be able to assess how much time and effort you'll be able and willing to devote to a new language.

In bocca al lupo!

Stefano Marrone AIIC Training

permanent link

answered 23 Apr '13, 04:31

stefano%20marrone's gravatar image

stefano marrone

edited 23 Apr '13, 04:33

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

5) A ma connaissance, seule l'ISTI Bruxelles accepte des italophones (A) et en raison de la très forte demande, l'admission est conditionnée à la possession du grade de licence (aka. 'bachelier' en Belgique) correspondant au domaine d'études, la traduction et l'interprétation donc. A vérifier sur leur site.

Je ne sais pas si l'EII Mons est plus flexible. De mémoire, ils ont aussi un département d'italien.

Last but not least, l'inscription en Belgique peut se faire trèèèèès tard au cours de l'année, même une fois que l'année universitaire a commencé.

6) Les études sont déjà sélectives et le début de carrière est, sauf quelques rares exceptions, rude. Il faut une certaine autonomie financière, à la fois durant les études et pendant le début de carrière. Nombreux diplômés laissent tomber leurs rêves parce qu'ils ont des factures à payer, et que pour ce faire, il se retrouvent à avoir un boulot alimentaire à plein temps qui les éloigne du milieu professionnel (plus de temps ni d'énergie à se perfectionner, ni à accepter d'éventuels contrats).

permanent link

answered 23 Apr '13, 06:49

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

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: 22 Apr '13, 11:50

question was seen: 5,569 times

last updated: 23 Apr '13, 06:49 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.