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I am really interested in becoming an interpreter, but as that is a profession you absolutely need a training in before you even start job-hunting, it is regrettable that with Croatian as my main/native language the only country I can study it in for a year (2 semesters) is Croatia. The two other programmes offering Croatian are in France, but they last 2 years - not that having two years to do the training wouldn't be brill - but I am in my mid 30s, and need to keep working - a 2-year programme is unthinkable. Well may the EU institutions complain that there aren't enough Croatian A language interpreters, but there are no options for those of us who want to retrain. Has any thought been given to this?

asked 24 Aug '15, 17:32

Anna%20Luiza's gravatar image

Anna Luiza

Hi Anna,

one language booth in the EU institutions can only give work to so many candidates. Three schools is more than enough to provide a steady supply. Accreditation is based on qualitative criteria, not quantitative ones. Increasing the number of schools wouldn't necessarily increase the number of successful candidates.

Not everyone who graduates makes it to the EU. In fact, it's quite a poker game. If a two year course is unthinkable, maybe so would be the rest. Playing the game is only worthwhile if you can go all in. A course in conference interpreting isn't just the average M.A. In many ways, it is like the life of a national team preparing for the Olympics. Your private life needs to be put on the back burner, your free-time during week-ends will have to be devoted to improving your foreign languages.

While having a bit more experience can be an advantage in terms of self confidence, general knowledge, oral skills, etc. a considerable part of older students I've encountered were not able to give everything they were asked to give and sacrifice for the course. And they didn't make it.

Also, bear in mind that as a beginning freelancer in Brussels, you won't be a millionaire. During my first seven months I got 20 days of work, i.e. 850€ a month (while the minimum salary in Belgium is 1,500€ gross). After two years, I am now able to make 1,400€ net on average with my EU earnings. I'm 28, can't afford to have a car and do live in a house share. And I'm one of the lucky few to have made it this far.

So in a nutshell, the question would be if you're ready to sacrifice a lot, with no guarantees of success in return, to get back to square one in matters of earnings and professional experience. If yes, go for a two years course, at least than you'll stand a better chance to get the stone rolling.

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answered 25 Aug '15, 06:01

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 25 Aug '15, 09:30

The University of Vienna has translation and interpretation programs for Croatian speakers but a high level of German is required for this program. (Information in English.) (In German.)

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answered 05 Sep '15, 19:00

ljc's gravatar image


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question asked: 24 Aug '15, 17:32

question was seen: 3,303 times

last updated: 05 Sep '15, 19:00 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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