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Hi all,

I’m after some advice and hoping someone out there is going to be my lovely shining knight of information. My soul-searching could do with some external input.

I’ve always entertained the thought of becoming a conference interpreter but don’t know whether I’m really cut out for it. This spring I sat the ETI entrance exams and unfortunately fell just short (3.5) on a couple of the tests. Which leads me to ponder the following:

  1. Would I find work in Switzerland with EN A, DE C and FR C? My Russian is basic and rusty though could be improved.
  2. Am I capable of making it? Failing the entrance exams made me hesitate for a few seconds and then become defiantly stubborn about making damn sure I do succeed!
  3. If so, where should I apply? Is it worth giving it another go at Geneva or trying other CI courses next year?

Although I was brought up in the UK, once my A Levels were done I moved to Switzerland. I’m now coming to the end of my Arts BA (EN, FR and DE) here. I’ve amassed a variety of professional experience – journalism, freelance translation work, teaching English, working as a multilingual tour guide etc., which I thought would have proven useful. Perhaps it’s still all too little for the interpreting MA and/or I’m too young?

Incidentally, a friend of a friend works in Geneva as a FR-EN UN staff interpreter – I’m hoping to speak to her as soon as my finals are done and dusted…

asked 27 May '14, 08:34

rosegarden's gravatar image

rosegarden
10113

edited 24 Jun '14, 03:24

Nacho's gravatar image

Nacho ♦
73381532


Do speak to your friend (she probably has more than just English and French to be a UN interpreter) and she'll explain the kind of language and other skills you need to become a conference interpreter. She may even be able to let you sit with her at a conference and watch her in action. You'll see if you are cut out for it.

Why did you fail the ETI entrance test? Was it one (or several) of your languages? Was it your general knowledge of global issues? Do find out and once you're clear about that, work on these weaknesses during a year, go and live in France or in Germany (a rusty and basic Russian is worth nothing and you'd need quite a few years there to master the language)- and give it another go at Geneva, which is an excellent school.

Hope this helps!

permanent link

answered 28 May '14, 11:53

Danielle's gravatar image

Danielle
2.7k5712

Do speak to your friend (she probably has more than just English and French to be a UN interpreter) and she'll explain the kind of language and other skills you need to become a conference interpreter. She may even be able to let you sit with her at a conference and watch her in action. You'll see if you are cut out for it.

Why did you fail the ETI entrance test? Was it one (or several) of your languages? Was it your general knowledge of global issues? Do find out and once you're clear about that, work on these weaknesses during a year, go and live in France or in Germany (a rusty and basic Russian is worth nothing and you'd need quite a few years there to master the language)- and give it another go at Geneva, which is an excellent school.

Hope this helps!

permanent link

answered 28 May '14, 11:53

Danielle's gravatar image

Danielle
2.7k5712

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question asked: 27 May '14, 08:34

question was seen: 2,305 times

last updated: 28 May '14, 11:53

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