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Hello everyone, I am just starting out as an interpreter with the following combination: Fr, De and Ru (C) > Eng (A). I am trying to get some volunteer work but I am finding that most places want you to do a retour (mainly into French). My knowledge of French is passive and I don't really want to try and add a French retour at this stage. Anyone know anywhere that will let you interpret in one direction?

Thanks in advance.

asked 12 Feb '15, 10:46

intbooth's gravatar image


edited 14 Feb '15, 04:02

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

Hello, thanks for your replies and info. I want to volunteer to get more mic time. It's very different going out live!

@ Anyuli: thanks! Where can I work though other than international organisations? Anywhere on the private market where you don't need a retour?

Thanks again.

(16 Feb '15, 03:26) intbooth

Working on the private market is very hard without a retour.

(16 Feb '15, 21:31) Anyuli Ináci...

Hi, if you were properly trained, i.e. graduated from a post-graduate or masters programme in conference interpreting, why would you want to give away your services for free rather than earn money by doing the job you were taught?

Make sure you don't volunteer for the wrong reasons. If you feel like you couldn't do a good job and wouldn't deserve to be paid, you shouldn't offer below par services for free either.

Faut-il faire du bénévolat pour débuter ?

It is very easy to set a bad example e.g. going into a market you don't know to volunteer and thereby killing the market for you local colleagues.

Is pro-bono conference interpreting frowned upon?

If you wish to acquire more experience, the first training listed here still accepts EN booth applicants.

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answered 12 Feb '15, 11:20

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

Hello - you do have an ideal language combination for the UN or the EU; but to answer your question, it isn't the most useful combination for volunteering. As you have already noticed, people either want a retour into French (which reflects what the private market wants as well), or else want English, French and Spanish (Emmaus International, Amnesty International, etc.). I have had only a very few days of volunteer work ever offered to me with EN, RU and FR, though in at least one case I had to have a RU retour, at least in consecutive, as I was accompanying one person to several meetings, and all communications went through me.

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answered 16 Feb '15, 06:51

JuliaP's gravatar image


Your language combination sounds really good. With that combination, you should be able to get work without having to do retour.

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answered 14 Feb '15, 10:08

Anyuli%20In%C3%A1cio%20Da%20Silva's gravatar image

Anyuli Ináci...

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question asked: 12 Feb '15, 10:46

question was seen: 5,384 times

last updated: 16 Feb '15, 21:31 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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