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I am 25 years old German-born Chinese, studying now in China. I really wish to be a professional conference translator. This is more or less an "overnight idea" which overwhelmed me. Now I am seeking for all the information about how to become professional. I am thankful for every little advice you can give me. I have no college degree in language studies, I only can build on my language skills.

asked 24 Jun '13, 01:18

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Valar Morghulis

edited 30 Jun '13, 13:05

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Dear Valar,

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a professional conference interpreter, I would recommend you to sign up for a University Program in Conference Interpreting at an Interpreting School. This way you'll find out in the first place if you have the required personal traits to become an interpreter and, secondly, you will learn to master the conference interpreting skills through systematic training (concentration, speech analysis and memory, note-taking, consecutive technique, simultaneous technique, how to enter the profession and how to work professionally, etc.).

As for your choice of school: With your language combination your choice is limited. There's only one school (listed in the AIIC's schools directory) that will cover your languages: It is the SDI in Munich (Hochschule für Angewandte Sprachen). Please check this link.

You do not need to have a Degree in Languages for your MA program. As far as I know, it's OK if you have a Degree in other area/specialization as log as you have the required language entry level. But this varies from school to school and from country to country so please ask SDI about their specific/further entry requirements for their Chinese MA program.

I strongly recommend you to check out VEGA's website. Here you will find many useful tips and advice for students wishing to become conference interpreters (also in German and Chinese). VEGA is a world-wide network within AIIC of professional conference interpreters dedicated to helping budding and junior interpreters pursue their career.

I represent Germany within the VEGA network and I am the Germany’s outreach designated contact point for young interpreters and students, so please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions now or in the future. I can answer you per e-mail or we can chat on the phone/skype. My e-mail address: c.portugal (at)

Good luck!

Conrado Portugal

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answered 24 Jun '13, 13:07

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edited 24 Jun '13, 16:46

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Hi Valar, you will find detailed information on the MA in Conference Interpreting at the SDI University of Applied Languages in Munich here: If you need more information, contact me by mail Klaus.Ziegler (at) I am head of the interpreting department at SDI.


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answered 26 Jun '13, 03:49

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Chose a good programme in China, work on Chinese-English conference interpreting, then add German as you start working. Anyone working with Chinese, must be good in both A and B languages, as the Chinese-foreign language market almost always involves retour - interpreting into the B langauge, which ever that may be for you.

BTW, it is professional conference "interpreter" you want to become, not "translator" ;)

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answered 16 Nov '13, 11:36

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These pages may also be useful - but aren't language combination specific

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answered 24 Jun '13, 13:33

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question asked: 24 Jun '13, 01:18

question was seen: 10,457 times

last updated: 16 Nov '13, 11:36

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