First-time posters: please review the site's moderation policy

Hi! I'm Luisa, I'm italian and I graduated last year in interpreting and translating with working languages italian, german, french. I'm thinking about doing my master in interpreting at ISTI in Brussels, but I saw that there is no way to have another A language than french. So all interpreting courses would be towards french (ex. italian-french, english-french), as I were a french native-speaker. I spent a year in Belgium as an erasmus student, but of course my french isn't perfect. Do you think that I could try to do that (with a lot of effort of course) or would it be a kind of suicide? Is there anyone who did the same thing?

And do you know any french-speaking university which offers the possibility tho have another language (italian for example) as A language?

Thank you very much for helping.

asked 09 Apr '14, 15:01

luisap's gravatar image


edited 24 Jun '14, 03:25

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

As Gaspar has already pointed out, it doesn't really make sense to study CI in a program for speakers of another A language. Check the AIIC directory of schools to find out whether there are other possibilities for you in French-speaking countries. From what I've seen (but I've only had a very brief look at it), both ISIT and ESIT in Paris offer interpreting into Italian (but I don't know whether this is the case for all your language pairs).

permanent link

answered 09 Apr '14, 19:47

Joanna's gravatar image


edited 09 Apr '14, 20:23

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck


Joanna & Gaspar are right. Don't bother, do find another school in a FR speaking country that DOES offer interpreting into IT

(12 Apr '14, 02:11) Andy

would it be a kind of suicide?


Is there anyone who did the same thing?

As far as I know, there are a few IT A students this year, who will inevitably fail their final exam into FR.

The pass rate at ISTI is about 30%. 60% of the (French native!) people who fail do so because their A language isn't good enough or below par because of the stress. If most of them can't make it, you don't stand a chance. At all.

Good Italian schools don't admit people with only 2 C languages: It is because such language combinations don't allow to get any work. If you have only two C languages, then there's simply no point even thinking of studying conference interpreting right now.

If your situation allows, take four years and learn a third foreign language if you want to work for the EU, or get your English to B level if you want to work for private clients. Once you'll have the right languages, you'll be able to consider a masters degree in conference interpreting... in Italy.

Unfortunately, Belgian universities have the legal obligation to admit anyone for these studies, even those who don't stand a chance. Some people see it as a great opportunity to do what they'd like to do, without listening to the numerous warnings voiced by professional conference interpreters about the inevitable outcome of such attempts to try nevertheless. Don't fall into that trap. You'll lose valuable time and will end up disappointed.

permanent link

answered 09 Apr '14, 15:14

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 09 Apr '14, 16:03

Gaspar, to be fair, she might have three languages into Italian (FR, EN, DE) or at least be close to this. I am under the impression she just wants to study in a French-speaking country (but studying conference interpreting abroad is hardly possible for some language combinations. Not that hers is necessarily one of them - I wouldn't think so.)

(09 Apr '14, 20:00) Joanna

Maybe I was too specific. I should add that with any language combination, I would first opt for a school which has admission exams, to get a first impression of what the requirements are to be able to do the job some day. In other words, I wouldn't have chosen ISTI for IT A, even back when that stream still existed.

(10 Apr '14, 02:34) Gaspar ♦♦

Thank you. By the way, Gaspar, I have three languages (french, german, english) and in another comment (I don't know why it doesn't appear here, but I received it by email) you wrote that I should ask myself why good italian schools didn't admit me. I didn't try in any italian school because I'd like to study abroad as I think it's the best way to improve language skills. So thank you for answering and for being honest, but there is no point to be so rude. Thank you too, Joanna.

(10 Apr '14, 10:26) luisap

Apologies, I jumped to conclusions regarding your language combination and edited my message shortly after posting it. It might be worth getting your language level assessed to make sure all of them are strong enough to be C languages before you start a course.

I didn't try in any italian school because I'd like to study abroad as I think it's the best way to improve language skills.

The language you should cherish the most during your training is your A language. Being a foreign speaker in a school makes things usually even more challenging than they already are, one of the reasons being that there will be only so many native trainers available to evaluate your performance.

Spending a year in the countries of your C languages before you start an MA in CI might be worth a thought.

(10 Apr '14, 10:52) Gaspar ♦♦

Gaspar's comments about needing 3 C languages are true for the EU. However there is also a private market in Italy which requires A-B interpreting rather than lots of C languages. However, it is very competitive. EN is presumably the biggest market. You could maybe ask a different question here about market prospects in Italy, or with IT + a B language.

(And Gaspar and Joanna are both right on your main question)

(12 Apr '14, 02:15) Andy
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 09 Apr '14, 15:01

question was seen: 184,685 times

last updated: 14 May '14, 23:45 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

about | faq | terms of use | privacy policy | content policy | disclaimer | contact us

This collaborative website is sponsored and hosted by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.