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I'm considering doing an MA in interpreting. I have a degree in economics, which I think would be good, and have good command of Spanish and German. But I hear that more and more conferences are English only or designate English as the exclusive floor language. Does this mean that I would be starting a career without much of a future?

asked 12 Oct '11, 21:54

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

I agree that if interpreting is what you really want to pursue, you should go for it. As an EN booth interpreter with experience in several markets, I would say that a lot depends on where you live. I have found that the EN booth can be more in demand in non- English speaking countries as many conferences and seminars have a heavy local component, i.e. a few keynote speakers may address the gathering in English, but other talks will be in the local language. And there are organizations that do not rely on English, e.g. the OAS is based in Washington, but many delegates and employees are Spanish speakers and the EN booth works a lot. And today we hear much about there being a scarcity of EN booth interpreters, so the future may not be as bleak as some would paint it.

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answered 17 Jan '12, 14:20

Luigi's gravatar image


As far as I know there's a great deal of demand (or at least there used to be) in the EU for English mother tongue interpreters. It's mainly due to the fact the EU are facing a massive wave of retirement among their English interpreting staff

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answered 03 Jul '12, 09:27

Exceed's gravatar image


These days, no matter what career you start, you should be prepared to re-train at some point of your career. So if you're interested in interpreting, just go for it!

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answered 24 Oct '11, 23:46

Sirpa's gravatar image


:-) you may want to consider doing what to most other free market booths is well nigh a must, ie develop a B language, at least retour, and man bi-active EN+whatever booths; even all-EN floor requires questions to be interpreted back into EN and everywhere the winning combination seems to be active national language+active English, so why not?

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answered 18 Nov '11, 20:05

msr's gravatar image


I spoke to various people in the EU English interpreting/translation departments over the past couple of weeks at conferences and they are all crying out for English native speakers - you just need to have French/German as well.

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answered 20 Jul '12, 07:37

nkthorne's gravatar image


It would be more accurate to say that they are crying out for junior English native speakers willing to relocate to Brussels and have the EU as their sole client. There are plenty of experienced English booths out there outside of Belgium who are no longer recruited. Senior interpreters are much less pliant and cost more.

(20 Jul '12, 07:44) Vincent Buck
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question asked: 12 Oct '11, 21:54

question was seen: 6,772 times

last updated: 20 Jul '12, 07:44

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