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Language needs in Australia - German? French?
Thread poster: mmecoco
German to English
Nov 8, 2007

hi, i'm a german student, currently in the second year of bachelor degree. i was wondering which languages are needed in australia if you want to work as an interpreter. my languages are german, english and french and i'm not quite sure whether it' s "worth it" to invest time in a MA degree in conference interpreting if there is no need for my chosen languages in the place i d be working...
is it better to specialise in techniques or for example business?

well if anyone knows about the current situation in australia or how to find out about it - that d be really helpful

thanks in advance

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Angel Lai
Local time: 19:02
English to Chinese
I don't think it is so popular Nov 9, 2007

Hi, although I am not in Australia, but I heard from my friend (he is in Australia) that interpretation is not so popular in Australia. But I think you can make up your mind according to your interest. If you really love it, you can also have a try:)

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German to English
many chinese, japanese, ... Nov 9, 2007

hey thanks for your answer yeah i really couldnt't find anything decent on the net. i looked at for example and on the site of the government, they mainly search interpreters in chinese, korean, japanese, hindu, etc. thats quite difficult for europeans and most of them don't speak it or learn it.
i also heard that lots of interpreters can only work part'time or casual because its not enough work there. is it like that in the rest of the world??
well, best regards,


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Soledad Azcona  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
My 2 cents Nov 15, 2007

Hi mmecoco and Angel!

Well it is a very interesting matter that you pose here.

I really myself don't know much about the Australian market, but I can recommend you to visit Macquarie University's website. There you can find a lot of interesting articles on linguistics, translation and interpreting education and the industry. I found this article on the market for translators and interpreters in Australia
You can also find there articles on the translation industry market in Thailand, Korea, France, Japan, China and other countries.

About what you say about specializing in an area, I believe myself that it is always a good strategy -specially for translators in a quite common language pair like English-German in your case, or English-Spanish in my case.
Some argue that narrowing your working areas may reduce your chances of getting jobs, and they do have a point, specially when you are starting. When you start you don't have a specialization and one is eager to get experience, but well, you can choose an area you want to specialize form the very beginning -an area you have knowledge in, an area you like, or an area that has a lot of demand in the market- and start doing courses, going to conferences on that industry, reading stuff in that area, even volunteering job for NGO's. With time you will become knowledgeable, reliable and fast in the area, and that will make the difference over other translators in the market.
IMHO it is the best way to market yourself. Many translators say in their profiles something like "the fastest and best quality translations". Many really provide such translations in many different areas of course, but if you are specialized, the client can see that from your experience, courses, seminars, background education, hobbies, past jobs, etc, there are great chances that you really are that fast and reliable in the area. Needless to say that if with time you gain a reputation in that field and become "the" person to come to for translations or interpretations in a given area, your job opportunities will increase, and also your rates!

Moreover, as Angel wisely says, "If you really love it" is always worth giving it a try


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qiuhong huang  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:02
English to Chinese
+ ...
Well.... Nov 21, 2007

Hi mmecoco,

I'm studying Translation and Interpreting in Macquarie Univ in Sydney, but will graduate in weeks, yes soon.

Here's some info from our Department of Linguistics website which might be of some help to you.

Master of Conference Interpreting

The aim of the course is to enhance the qualifications of practising interpreters who are accredited at professional level by NAATI or have had training in interpreting equivalent to this level (eg completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Translating and Interpreting at Macquarie University with a grade of Distinction or above in TRAN822), by teaching them research and practical skills involved in conference interpreting in a simulated conference setting. The course will thus prepare students to take the NAATI conference interpreting exam and gain accreditation at that level.

Languages offered: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean each year, Auslan, French, Spanish, and Thai every second or third year, depending on the number of candidates. Further languages may be added in future as need arises.

Unfortunately, we don't seem to have German students here.

You may also want to have a look at this link to CIS (Conference Interpreting Services), especially their newsletters, which could give you some ideas about the market here.

Well, do tell if this helps you or not:-)

Good luck~

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