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Initial training

A solid foundation in the basics can set you up for interpreting success 

Find out if you have what it takes to become a conference interpreter, where to look and what to look for in an interpreting course, and find resources to help you achieve your goals.

─── Aptitude

Are you an articulate graduate with an excellent knowledge of one or more foreign languages, good general knowledge and a liking for work under pressure? Could you make it as an interpreter? 

──      Interested in becoming a conference interpreter?

──      What it takes to be a conference interpreter: AIIC Conversations 2 

──      What is the difference between conference interpreting and other types of interpreting?

Choosing the right university is crucial. There are a number of objective criteria set out in AIIC's Best Practice for interpreting schools that you should make sure are met by your programme of choice. However, subjective criteria also play a role. 

Many interpreters choose to study in a country where their B languages are spoken. Others might want to study in the city in which they later plan to work.  

──      Search by language and location for the right interpreting course

──      AIIC best practice for conference interpreting training programmes

──      AIIC guidelines for student internships 

──      Are you interested in becoming a conference interpreter?

AIIC does not offer initial training. According to AIIC's own  best practice for conference interpreting training programmes , training should last 2 years and be at postgraduate level. Professional associations cannot offer this level of training. 

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for conference interpreter training:

──     Live for at least 9-18 months in countries where each of your languages is spoken.

──     Read the best-known literature, and descriptions of it in those languages.

──     Develop a broad general knowledge and keep up-to-date on international affairs.

──     Read, listen to and watch a wide variety of material in all your languages. Similarly, try to speak with people from different walks of life. 

──     Summarise articles you've just read or news items you've just heard: analysis is a crucial part of conference interpreting.

──     Do not try to teach yourself how to interpret. It is not necessary and could even be counterproductive.

─── Resources


──      AIIC's YouTube channel 

──      EU Commission Knowledge Centre on Interpretation 

──      A Word in your Ear (short films about interpreting)

──      SCICtrain – Training modules for interpreting students 

──      ORCIT – resources for student interpreters 

──      Interpreter Training Resources 

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