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Is anyone attending the UoM's Conference interpreting courses or applying for next year? Or has anyone graduated with that degree? If so, what are your thoughts on the quality of the training and the course's reputation? Especially in comparison with other UK degrees in conference interpreting (London Metropolitan? Bath, Leeds?) I am French A, English B. I have passed the aptitude test for Manchester but I'm currently torn between UoM and London Met. The latter seemed slightly better (from what I read on forums…) until it was pointed out to me that London Met ranks among the worst universities in the UK… Which certainly got me thinking!! If anyone could contribute with their experience or advice, I would be infinitely grateful, Cheers!

asked 31 Mar '14, 15:10

Pindakaas's gravatar image


edited 31 Mar '14, 15:22

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Gaspar has made some very salient points. My take on it is this:

  1. For all the reasons mentioned by Gaspar, I think on balance you are better off training in France or Belgium.
  2. However, your English is likely to improve much more if you spend a year in the UK; and you may have other reasons to want to study there.
  3. If you are determined to study in the UK, in trying to choose between UoM and London Met, you should consider the following:
  4. The reputation of the university as a whole is not necessarily relevant, in my opinion. What is important is the reputation of the course. Reputation is a slippery question, because it is both subjective and objective. You can of course gather opinions from current and ex-students (this information can be difficult to assess). You can also contact potential employers and find out how many graduates of these courses they employ.
  5. The most important questions for you to ask (contact the course leader in each university) are: who would be training me? What is their experience? What are their qualifications? What is their language combination (i.e. will you be trained by a French A in the UK, or a French B, or (!) a French C?)? How many of your trainers cover my language combination (i.e. would you be trained by just 1 person for the whole year? You need feedback from a variety of perspectives, not just one)? How large are your language groups (if there are only one or two students with your combination, you might get very personalised teaching, but it is harder to practise with others outside of class, and the group is less dynamic)?
  6. I can't give you much insight into the quality of teaching at LondonMet, although it is certainly an enthusiastic course, interested in new technologies and in sharing practice material, teaching, and experience with other universities.
  7. As far as UoM is concerned, it is a young and small course, but there are some excellent trainers there. The question is: who would be teaching French A?
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answered 01 Apr '14, 06:28

Zest's gravatar image


Simply to contribute to the discussion on Manchester.

I have just graduated (English A).

The course is given by interpreters who have been/are both staff and freelancers at the EU and UN. Most of them combine teaching and interpreting and have a good idea of the market. They themselves trained and taught in Bath and Leeds - it's a very small world - and also provide EU B enhancement courses.

In terms of extras, we had visits by people from the Parliament and the Commission as well as EU and UN Heads of Booth and other well-known trainers. We had the chance to go several time to the IMO London, EU and UN. Contacts are well-established.

It is a new course but I believe it has made a good start. I know ex-students who work in Geneva and I myself hope to within the very near future.

As a final note, if you have any comments please say or send me a message! I'm a firm believer that there is no one course for everyone - native speaker trainers are important as is your B or C language level.

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answered 02 Oct '14, 05:45

vidboy's gravatar image


Hi, I would like to ask you a few questions about the Manchester programme, would that be fine with you? If so, what is your email? Apparently there's no private messaging on info.interpreting...

(13 Jun '15, 13:09) Pindakaas

ESIT, ISIT, ETI - they all offer great quality of interpreting education. I would definitely not worry about ISIT being a private school. What's important is that it is well-known among interpreters and interpreters' recruiters and that it offers language pairs which might not be available anywhere else (but that's probably not that much of a problem for you). In any case, if you can afford ISIT, go for it! (I would first try to get into ESIT, though). And if you still have any doubts about 'buying' your diploma - have a look at statistics, including the number of students passing aptitude tests and then final exams.

Have a look at the AIIC directory of interpreting schools: - this will show you what the relevant criteria are that you should consider while choosing a school, and it will provide you with the above-mentioned statistical data.

As far as C languages are concerned - it is great that you know and learn so many languages. However, for the purpose of getting an interpreting education I would definitely focus now on my strongest Cs (Italian and Dutch in your case, if I understand correctly). By the way, according to the AIIC directory, Dutch into French is offered by ISIT but not by ESIT.

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answered 01 Apr '14, 04:47

Joanna's gravatar image


edited 03 Apr '14, 05:04

I have no doubts about my english being up to B-language standards

Quel est ton parcours au juste? Où as-tu fait tes années de collège et de lycée? Comment as-tu appris l'anglais et quelles études as-tu accomplies jusqu'à maintenant?

Si le but du jeu est de consolider ton retour, rien ne vaut des etudes non-linguistiques en region anglophone. Economie, droit, you name it. Une ecole d'interpretation ne t'enseigne que la technique et t'enrichirait moins que des vrais cours magistraux, travaux ecrits et consorts.

(01 Apr '14, 05:22) Gaspar ♦♦

Document a lire pour comprendre le niveau requis pour travailler avec un B.

(01 Apr '14, 05:29) Gaspar ♦♦

Having just come back from teaching a master class at Manchester, I was impressed. The instructors I met were working interpreters, from various markets. The group this year was not huge, which meant that we could give more attention to each student. I was also able to observe an entrance exam, and see exactly what the program is looking for - so if the group is small, it is because the examiners are careful to take people with potential, not because there is no demand. Moreover, it seems to be one of the few courses that does not require translation as well as interpretation if you want a degree in conference interpretation

What really impressed me was their policy on dissertations. As the program is part of a university, students are required to write a paper. The interpreting program has made this paper a very practical exercise that will help the student with their future work.

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answered 18 Mar '15, 05:34

JuliaP's gravatar image


Salut Pindakaas, tu as mentionné être en Bachelor à l'ETI de Genève, est-ce que tu peux m'en dire plus sur le Bachelor ? Je suis en première année de licence d'allemand à Nantes et j'hésite entre le Bachelor de Genève et celui de l'Université de Zürich pour l'an prochain. Peut-être en privé plutôt. Merci :)

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answered 08 Oct '14, 17:10

Florian's gravatar image


L'école de Genève a une renommée mondiale. Zurich est moins réputé et je ne suis pas sûr que le programme soit adapté pour des non-natifs en allemand.

(09 Oct '14, 08:55) Gaspar ♦♦

Zürich propose bien des cours avec une Grundsprache französisch. Après tu mentionnes la renommée, mais je ne parle ici que des bachelor, pas des master CI.

(09 Oct '14, 13:19) Florian
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