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Hi all,

I know all of us have different paths and backgrounds, some people get accredited straight after uni, for some it takes a few years and overcoming some obstacles after graduation. I would like some advice from the second category ;)

I sat the EU accreditation test twice (and failed twice). The jury told me I have good potential and encouraged me to try again, however I really don't want to waste my last chance and would like to use my time wisely. I'm in no hurry and would rather wait a couple of years than burning my last possibility.

The feedback they gave me were very different on the 2 tests, I would say almost opposite, but in neither of them was there a language issue (the first time I did a good consec but had difficulty dealing with a fast speaker in sim, the second time I did a good sim but showed poor presentation skills in my consec).

To any of you has failed once or twice, what did you do in between your tests? I worked in human resources for a couple of years but would be glad to ditch it for some more exciting jobs, preferably in Germany as German is my language that gets rusty faster.

Thank you very much! :)

asked 24 Mar '19, 13:53

Oasisxxx's gravatar image


Logically you would want to try to do as much interpreting as possible rather than anything else (especially if the juries said language comprehension was not the issue). It is possible to work as an interpreter on the private market without EU accreditation. (Indeed once upon a time it was assumed that people did and that accreditation was something that required some experience).

Do you have a German B? If you don't and/or can't get interpreting work then go to a German city that has an interpreting school and offer the school speeches in your A language (EN?) in exchange for the right to be on campus and practise (formally or informally) with the students. Also you could join, and/or set up a practice group (eg. check out BIPG or PIPS on Facebook) for interpreters like you between graduation and regular work.

Working as an interpreter will help you internalise techniques, work out strategies and practise them... in difficult conditions. Communicating in consecutive will become second nature to you because you will really have communicate in the real world. And dealing with speed in simultaneous is something you have to get used to... and there's only one way to do that... get exposed to interpreting fast stuff.

The accreditation test looks like the most difficult test in the world from your perspective but if you come back to it after a few years work it will look a lot easier (because most real work is more difficult than the test, than any test).

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answered 26 Mar '19, 11:50

Andy's gravatar image



Thank you very much for your help! I think working in the private market is probably the most doable thing for me at the moment, I was a bit hesitant at first because I'd need to move and there's not much work anyway, but I see it as basically the only way to improve my skills and to control my nerves... thank you again!

(03 Apr '19, 10:16) Oasisxxx

Oasisxxx, I don't think you should be so hesitant about working in the private market. With the EU institutions, getting your foot in the door may take years, even after having passed the accreditation test. And you have to make a living in the meantime, so why not from conference interpreting? ;)

I am accredited with a pretty limited language combination (well, gotta do something about it one day), plus I never wanted to have a double domicile like some colleagues do. Consequently, despite my accreditation I don't work for the EU, and I know many colleagues in the same situation (maybe it's a PL booth thing). Nevertheless, I do work as a conference interpreter. The private market is not a terrible option :).

Plus, it will help you a lot with your interpreting skills, as Andy has rightly written. Honestly, looking back to my EU accreditation test, I think I didn't really know much about conference interpreting back then. It took a lot of time and hard work before I could feel semi-confident in the booth. As Andy has pointed out, after a few years of interpreting experience, the accreditation test will look a lot easier. And when you pass it and start working for the EU institutions, you will be able to profit from your private market experience and all the knowledge acquired in the meantime.

Last year, six years after the accreditation, I worked for the EP for the first time, and even though I am not exactly happy with how the EU worked out (or didn't work out) for me, when sitting in the EP booth, I was kinda glad I didn't end up working there as a total newbie. It is really experience that makes you a better interpreter.

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answered 03 Apr '19, 11:16

Joanna's gravatar image


edited 03 Apr '19, 11:38

Thank you very much Joanna, and sorry for replying so late.

"Last year, six years after the accreditation, I worked for the EP for the first time" --? wow! that's not very encouraging... I'm sorry that things didn't work out as expected! Was it your first day only at the EP, or at any European Institution?

As said, I was a bit reluctant to work in the private market (or better, rely primarily on the private market as a source of income) due to instability, lack of work etc... but now I guess there's really no way around it

(08 Apr '19, 16:35) Oasisxxx
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question asked: 24 Mar '19, 13:53

question was seen: 2,045 times

last updated: 08 Apr '19, 16:35 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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