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Dear interpreters,I am a freshman in applied foreign languages in France, and I want to apply for ESIT CI at the end of 2016. I want to know for me-a Chinese A, is EN B better or FR better from the market perspective ? Now I know only a little about sino interpreters' work, so if you have this information or some advices for ESIT CI preparation, they are welcome!

Dear seniors, thanks in advance!

asked 08 Mar '14, 05:19

Yuan's gravatar image


edited 24 Jun '14, 03:25

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An English B is definitely more in demand, but if you can also do a "retour" into French (even in consecutive only), it will certainly be a plus.

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answered 08 Mar '14, 05:27

Danielle's gravatar image


Thanks for your attention! You are right. But I've spent two years in France and I will still stay here for at least one year, whereas I can only study in England for one year(because of the Eurasmus). So I worry a lot about my English quality.

(08 Mar '14, 05:42) Yuan

The best thing might be to ask ESIT in advance if you can be tested for both languages and they'll tell you after the test if you can get in with a B in French or a B in English. In any case, it is a good idea for a Chinese interpreter to work on both their French and their English, as there may be work in both combinations, in particular in Paris.

(08 Mar '14, 05:55) Danielle

I saw Gaspar said:"C'est la cabine ZH qui fait un retour vers les autres langues. C'est à dire que les collègues chinois vont interpréter leur langue maternelle lorsqu'elle est parlée en salle de réunion vers l'anglais, leur langue B." So do Chinese interpreters only translate Chinese into B never C? Do they translate also B to A(is that bi-active?)?

I really want to work on both French and English, but many told me that was impossible... I don't know, I'm trying. And for the ESIT test, do they have a particular test for identifying B and C or it's during the concours?

(08 Mar '14, 07:43) Yuan

Bi-active is into your A language (mother tongue) + your B language = another active language. By definition you do not interpret INTO your C language, which is "passive". So, depending on the conference, you will be in the Chinese booth, also working back into English (OR into French, depending on your combination and on the conference). It is hard to have 2 active languages, but some of us do. If I were you, I would call ESIT to find out if they can test your B during the entrance exam or if you have to make your decision in advance.

(08 Mar '14, 08:01) Danielle

My advice would pick the language you are best at and/or like most (as your B language). You are more likely to do it well.

If you are a really equally good at and in love with both languages then you might choose on the basis of the market. (And other criteria like where you want to live, or who you want to work for - UN, Chinese ministries, business etc). But by the sound of your biography your French will already much better than your English. FR is a smaller market but there is also less competition.

This doesn't mean you should or can drop EN and stop working on it. It's pretty much essential to know EN as an interpreter these days and we don't stop working on our C languages just because they are not B languages.

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answered 09 Mar '14, 05:14

Andy's gravatar image



Thanks! I will not drop English. I just want to well allot the preparation time. Because although now I'm in France I spend lots of time on English,while my French progresses a little...😭

(09 Mar '14, 07:45) Yuan
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question asked: 08 Mar '14, 05:19

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