I have a B.A in English. I would like to become an interpreter. Any suggestions?
My mother tongue is Bengali which is spoken in Kolkata, India. I can speak and write English and Hindi. I am a beginner and I would be grateful for suggestions as to how to become an interpreter. For instance, is Chinese a good additional language to learn or which other language would you suggest?
Edit: There are two variations of interpreting: conference/simultaneous interpreting and consecutive/liaison interpreting. I would be grateful if you could point out which will have greatest demand in future as well as generates good earnings. Is freelancing also a good option for big earnings?Thank you
Here are some links to pages which might answer your question :
If Bengali is your best language then you should investigate the interpreting market for different languages into and out of Bengali. For example English-Bengali. But this may be a non-existent market, at least for conference interpreting given how many Indians speak good English. If there is a market for this combination I would think it is for liaison interpreting. (NB liaison interpreting can also be simultaneous, with whispered without equipment or with portable equipment like this )
Bengali-Chinese is an option, but Chinese is an awful lot of work to learn (5-10 years) and I fear that when Chinese visitors come to a place where Bengali is spoken they will most likely work through English, with or without an interpreter. So Chinese would be spoken, interpreted into English and then another interpreter would interpret English into Bengali. (Or English-speaking Indians do without the second interpreter :( )
If your English is also (educated) mother-tongue standard then you have more options. The Indian Parliament uses interpreters (mostly between Hindi and English - have a look at this page) but it looks like the other languages are used rarely and they didn't include Bengali when this document was written (2004).
And there's an interpreting market into and out of English from almost any major language. French, German, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, to name but a few. You can take your pick.
Other than that Gaspar has pointed you in the right direction re. reading matter.
answered 29 Aug '14, 14:07
If you are looking for big earnings, conference interpreting may not be the right profession for you. Consider a career in finance, management, or corporate law instead.
answered 09 Apr '15, 12:58