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.
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?
── What it takes to be a conference interpreter: AIIC Conversations 2
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.
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.
── A Word in your Ear (short films about interpreting)
── SCICtrain – Training modules for interpreting students
── ORCIT – resources for student interpreters
Photo: Green Chameleon/Unsplash