how to get started in conference interpreting
Thread poster: xxxgetting

English to French
Feb 17, 2002

Hello! I would like to know how to get started in conference interpreting. I have a degree in translation+interp. and I have just finished a master in conference interpreting. I have only worked as a freelance tranlator for a publisher so I have no idea how to get started as a conference interpreter. I live in Paris but I\'d be ready to travel to the Netherlands or to Germany if the congress is held there.

Should I look for agencies at random in internet and send them my CV? Should I have a look at the yellow pages?

Could you recommend me any reliable interpreting agencies all around Europe?



Conrado Portugal
Local time: 21:26
German to Spanish
+ ...
Getting stablished as a conference interpreter Feb 17, 2002

Dear colleague,

Since you have a masters degree in conference interpreting you probably know by now practising conference interpreters,e.g. your interpreter teachers at school, that can give you some more piece of information about getting stabished.

First of all: be patient, since you assignment won\'t come as soon as you may wish. There are some months during the year (May, Juni, Spt. Oct.) in which the work load for established conference interpreters is such that there are always need of new fresh-graduates conference interpreters; you chances during these months are much higher, so you should start right now writing people and agencies telling them you are there.

Sencondly you need to decide where you\'ll have your professional address depending both on your language combination and market you are targeting: EU institutions, UN agencies, privat market. This is a very important question, since you cannot change your professional domicile every month and it decides if you get the assignment or not and also about the travelling fares and other allowances that must be paid to you. Of course, there are some locations that are more attractive than others.

If you decide to get stablished in Paris, you could start writing to the Sécretariats of interpreters, you may approach them and find out which way you may join a Sécretariat, since I heard most work in Paris is organized thru this interpreters cooperatives, I\'m sure you know better than I do, how it works in Paris.

You may become an aiic-precandidate, in the aiic website you can get more information: There you will find out what aiic stands for, working conditions, code of ethics etc that I strongly recommend to you and to all the colleagues working or wishing to start out working as conference interpreters and prospective ones.

From my experience I can tell you that sending your CV has only limited success; you usually get your first assignment thru a collegue that recommends you to another one or getting known by other colleagues working in a conference. So it is about a good and qualitative delivery on the spot and a fair common sense for human relations, good preparation, intelectual curisioty and team spirit

Good luck and all the best

Conrado Portugal


Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:26
German to English
+ ...
One possibility Feb 17, 2002

I stumbled into this one:

Go to a conference center, find the management, ask for a way to put your name on their display board at the conference center. Also ask for their website.

Good luck,



English to French
thank you Feb 19, 2002

thank you for the useful info. i\'l follow your advice!


Eric Dondero
United States
Local time: 14:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Does multilingual abilities help? Feb 20, 2002

I\'m an American multilingual. I speak over 20 languages and can communicate in another 20 more. Are there any sorts of conferences and events where I could use my skills?

I work in the Houston area.


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