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A-EN / B-Korean / C-FR, ES

I am finishing my BA, taught entirely in English at a Korean university. I went to middle/high school in France, and have a Dalf C2. I don't have trouble reading French books or newspapers, but since I've been out of the country I don't consider it my B language.

I've been using English as my A language since elementary school, and want to eventually move to somewhere in the EU. My family is partly European, but I don't hold citizenship. (Shoulda woulda coulda)

My Spanish isn't anywhere close to my French, I have a Dele B1.

Although linguistic skills are important for an interpreter, Koreans are a minority in the EU I'm worried I won't have as many job opportunities.

Anyway, I will apply to ESIT, ISIT, Leeds, Bath, Manchester and Monterey this fall, all in EN-FR except for Monterey, to which I will apply EN-KO-FR.

I'm curious what the forum has to say regarding the job opportunities issue. Since, after all, there are so many polyglots in Europe already.

asked 26 Aug '13, 12:40

tchoko's gravatar image


Citizenship is only relevant to settle somewhere and to be able to move around easily in the EU or other countries. So, you should try and acquire a EU citizenship if you want to be able to accept last-minute assignments all over Europe.

Your asset is your Korean B, provided it is strong. You will be required to do a bilingual Korean booth (EN-KO), as there are very few professional Korean interpreters based in Europe. There is definitely a market, in particular if you can activate your French and do a bilingual booth FR-KO, as well as EN-KO. If your Korean is still a relatively poor B, you may want to consider doing your M.A. in conference interpreting in Seoul. There are a couple of good schools there (see the AIIC website). But I guess your Korean is good as you've lived there all along, right?

You may also want to have a look at the AIIC list of Korean interpreters and talk to those based in the EU. I’m sure they’ll be able to give you some valuable advice.

Good luck!

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answered 26 Aug '13, 14:29

Danielle's gravatar image


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question asked: 26 Aug '13, 12:40

question was seen: 3,908 times

last updated: 26 Aug '13, 14:44 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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