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Hi all! With the closing of Manchester's program, it seems to me that there are fewer options for English As out there. I am an English A with experience as both a translator and a court interpreter; I'm looking to enter the field of conference interpreting.

My language combination can be any of the following: English A, Italian C, French C, Spanish C, Dutch C, though I realize it will be hard to find a school offering all of my Cs. If possible, I can knock off Dutch and Spanish and concentrate solely on Italian and French as far as schooling is concerned. Conversely, I am confident enough in my Italian that I could possibly test for it as B, which begs the question: once graduated, must you stick with a combination forever? If I graduate English A, Italian B, French, Spanish and Dutch C (assuming it's even possible) would I only be able to test for those languages/in that combination? I'm a little in the dark re: combinations and their effects on testing.

What are my options as far as CI schools go? I am quite happy translating and earn a good income, so prestige isn't as important to me as, say, practical knowledge and practice. I'm open to living anywhere in Europe.


asked 25 Sep '14, 17:44

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edited 19 Nov '14, 12:06

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With the closing of Manchester's program, it seems to me that there are fewer options for English As out there.

I wasn't aware of Manchester closing. They still graduated students this summer. Aren't you confusing it with Westminster?

Off the top of my head, I'd say Leeds and Bath in the UK. The former is mentioned a dozen times on, just type Leeds in the search bar. And there's also the fact sheet in AIIC's school directory.

If you're willing to go to Paris, ISIT and ESIT have both and excellent curriculum and reputation.

My language combination can be any of the following: English A, Italian C, French C, Spanish C, Dutch C

You might have translated from all those languages. But do you understand a Flemish accent as well as a Dutch accent and do you know the culture of all the countries where the languages you mention are spoken? With no time to look up things, you'll have to rely much more on your language and cultural knowledge.

If you want to work for the EU, FR C is prerequisite. You also have to have either NL C or IT C (source: language profiles in demand in 2014). While your combination can change after graduation, it would still be advisable to study the priority languages during your initial training and add the other languages later, by practising on your own and asking to be tested by the EU services (test d'adjonction)when you feel ready.

On the private market, your language combination will solely depend on what languages you say you have, not what is written on your diploma. But if you offer your services and your languages aren't up to par, there go your professional reputation and chances to get hired again.

My advice would be to try studying FR C & IT C. As these languages are more likely to be offered on a course and your Italian being your strongest foreign language, meaning you won't have to spend valuable time to improve your language skills and will be able to focus on learning conference interpreting techniques.

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answered 26 Sep '14, 02:58

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Gaspar ♦♦

Thanks for your response! You are right; I indeed meant Westminster. Mea culpa.

Yes, I'm pretty sure that I am capable of having passive Dutch. I have a degree in law from a Dutch university, which I took in Dutch, and after having lived in the Netherlands for four years and married a Dutchman I would equate my Dutch to be that of an educated user. I would definitely want to continue studying it, though, as I feel I have a solid base and need the CI skills to back it up.

I wasn't aware of a test d'adjonction, so I'm very relieved to know that I could always test for another language at a later date without having had to study CI with it formally.

I will take your advice and seek out a program with French and Italian. So just to recap, I'm left with:

  • Bath
  • Leeds
  • ISIT
  • ESIT

My only options are either the UK or France?

(26 Sep '14, 10:08) moscerina

Monterrey (California), Paris (both ESIT and ISIT) and Geneva have excellent reputations. Moreover, they seem to be more selective when it comes to entrance exams. If you want to aim at the EU, studying in Europe would probably be best. I'm not aware of any renowned course tailored for English As outside of France and the UK.

But when it comes to teaching English natives, Andy is the one to be asked for advice. I guess he'll chime in soon. :-)

(26 Sep '14, 10:25) Gaspar ♦♦

Thanks again. Monterrey is out for two reasons--it's prohibitively expensive (!) and located in the US. So it seems I'm down to the UK, France or Geneva. Doesn't sound too bad!

Andy where are youuuuu? :P

But re: Bath vs. Leeds--I'm concerned that Bath's program is not enough Conference-based. Is that true?

(26 Sep '14, 14:02) moscerina

Thanks Gaspar! :) Moscerina, the schools already mentioned by Gaspar here all have great track records and there's not much to add to what Gaspar's told you. The problem outside the UK is to find native-speaker interpreters into EN for all your languages. So in Italy you'll have no problem finding a native EN who teaches IT into EN but FR into EN might be less obvious (because the EN natives in Italy will all be IT specialists). The reverse applies in France. Indeed, I just checked AIIC's Schools Directory ( ) and the 2 schools listed in Italy don't offer FR into EN at all.

(26 Sep '14, 15:35) Andy

re your combination... if you want to do IT B then you should definitely go to Italy. But then you'd be aiming at the Italian market. If you want to work in Brussels then you won't need at IT B but you will need NL or ES. (Tough call as to which. I would say NL as you can learn it in Brussels and IT ES FR is a bit too common in the EN booth.)

(26 Sep '14, 15:45) Andy

Hi Andy! The elusive Andy finally steps in... :P Thanks so much for your answer.

From what I gather, there aren't many English As with Dutch as a C, so I will definitely focus my efforts on Dutch. It seems to me that there is only one school out of those mentioned in this thread which not only offers Dutch but also offers ACCC--ISIT.

I think it might be best for me to go English A, French C, Dutch C, Italian C and always test for Spanish at a later date. Thoughts?

(28 Sep '14, 08:48) moscerina

One more thing; I definitely don't want to only work on the Italian market, but I am not opposed to freelancing in Italy. I lived in Italy and would love to live there again, but probably not permanently.

Just checked ISIT. They say "ABC, ABBC, ACCC ou toute autre combinaison plus riche ; dans ce cas, l’anglais et le français, toujours obligatoires, peuvent être des langues A, B ou C." Does this mean they even offer ACCCC? I feel like that would be way too much to learn just starting out, but in a way it would also make me feel comfortable to have that practice in Spanish as well.

(28 Sep '14, 08:54) moscerina

Don't know the exact rules at ISIT. You'll have to check with the school.

(28 Sep '14, 09:35) Andy

Like I said, I think that's the way to go.

(28 Sep '14, 09:38) Andy

Thanks for all your help. I sincerely think so as well, and I'll inquire about an ACCCC combination. As I get older, I'm really thankful that I was that dorky kid who dove headfirst into learning languages while everyone else was playing dodgeball!

(28 Sep '14, 10:07) moscerina

Hi Moscerina, the Bath school is excellent, and has a lot of graduates in the international organizations (I personally know of several working as F/L and/or staff in the UN, EU and NATO). It is very much conference based, and only teaches C>A unless you happen to work with Russian, Chinese or Japanese, and then the market requires an A<>B combination so that's what they teach. And, like most UK schools that I know of, they also teach PSI interpreting along with conference interpreting, which ensures that graduates with good marks will have access to work immediately if they stay in the UK.

As you are focussing on working in the institutions, ISIT might be your best bet, as many of your teachers work in various organizations, and you will make some valuable contacts.

(09 Nov '14, 20:22) JuliaP
showing 5 of 11 show 6 more comments

Hi. Don't forget La Laguna in Tenerife! They have been offering English A for some years now. French, Italian and Spanish C are offered and you might even have a go with Dutch.

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answered 17 Nov '14, 18:57

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Judith Dordas

Are English A students taught by English A trainers at La Laguna?

(18 Nov '14, 08:45) Gaspar ♦♦

According to (last update: July 2013), FR, IT, ES, DE, PT > EN are all taught by native speakers (English A trainers, that is).

Michelle Hof is a trainer at La Laguna and she's an English A (and has Dutch as her C).

(18 Nov '14, 16:38) Joanna

Your best bet is probably aiming for one of the Parisian schools or GVA. Monterrey is solid for English As, but yes, it is far and expensive. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, though, I hear the beach there is very nice!

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answered 11 Nov '14, 09:02

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question asked: 25 Sep '14, 17:44

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