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Hello everyone,

I am starting a Master's degree in Conference Interpreting at the end of the month. At the end of my interview, the panel recommended I add another passive language to my combination (current combination is English A, French/Spanish C). As my ultimate goal is to work as a freelancer for the EU I am considering German, Polish or Italian. Italian would be the easiest to add as I already speak two Romance languages and understand the language fairly well without having formally studied it. Polish and German would be more of a challenge as they are completely different languages from the ones I already speak but they seem to be more in demand in the EU. With all this in mind which language would you advise me to learn?

asked 07 Sep '15, 10:04

opentointerpretation's gravatar image


edited 07 Sep '15, 10:31

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

Italian isn't a priority language in the EN booth.

DE is often required (i.e. gives you work).

PL is less often required than DE, but there's also fewer people having it as a C in the EN booth.

I'd go for DE.

See also:

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answered 07 Sep '15, 10:25

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 07 Sep '15, 10:28

Hi Gaspar,

Thanks for your quick response and for retitling my post.

I've been thinking more and more about German lately, especially given the pivotal role Germany is playing in the world at the moment. There are also lots of learning resources for German which do not exist to the same extent for Polish.

(07 Sep '15, 10:44) opentointerp...

At the risk of depressing you I would say the following... Gaspar is maybe right that German just edges it (though I myself have done all right out of PL as a third language). However, by the time you start you will need a 4th language as well. Make that one PL! (And I'll be happy to give you any tips on learning resources, if mine aren't out of date)

Also be aware of what you are lining up. It will take you 5 years, with at least 1 in Germany or Austria to learn German decently. So your ideal would be something like 2 years of studying interpreting, 2 years getting into the profession (whilst all the while learning German) and 1 year in Germany.

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answered 07 Sep '15, 13:13

Andy's gravatar image


edited 07 Sep '15, 13:19


Hi Andy, Thanks for your honest (yet mildly depressing) answer which confirms more or less what I had been thinking. I've been toying with interpreting for so long that I feel I just need to commit to it and try to make it work. If it doesn't, I'll go back to what I'm doing at the moment and put it down to experience. I know I've got a hard road ahead of me but I'm ready for it. German seems to have the edge so I'll be signing up for classes later in the week. Thanks for your input.

(07 Sep '15, 14:37) opentointerp...
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question asked: 07 Sep '15, 10:04

question was seen: 2,020 times

last updated: 07 Sep '15, 14:37 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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