Which country is better for an interpreter?
Thread poster: Mariam Moaz

Mariam Moaz  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 23:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jan 30, 2017

Hi colleagues,

How are you?

I wonder which of the following countries would be better for me as an interpreter: Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, other Gulf countries ...

My native language is Arabic. I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese (still need to perfect them anyway). I also speak some Italian and French. I started to learn German a couple of months ago. I'm not an interpreter yet, but I'm planning to study for a master's in interpreting. I am willing to perfect any of my weak foreign languages or learn Turkish for the sake of living in a good place for me as a future interpreter.

I need your opinion/advice. I need to know how the interpreting market is in those countries. I have searched on the internet and found that UAE must be the most appealing. Is that impression correct?

Thank you.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:14
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Beware of spreading your skills too thinly Jan 31, 2017

Mariam Moaz wrote:
I wonder which of the following countries would be better for me as an interpreter: Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, other Gulf countries ...

I haven't any idea, but bear in mind that as an interpreter you can only take on one assignment at a time. You don't need to be in a place that needs 10 court interpreters on a given working day, as well as another 30 in hospitals, police stations and immigration offices, plus a couple of hundred in various business settings: conferences, meetings, telephone calls, guides...

Surely, questions that are more to the point would be these:
- Can you legally move to any of these countries and take up work there?
- Can you legally work in the various official circles (courts etc) that interpreters normally work in?

My native language is Arabic. I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese (still need to perfect them anyway). I also speak some Italian and French. I started to learn German a couple of months ago. I'm not an interpreter yet, but I'm planning to study for a master's in interpreting. I am willing to perfect any of my weak foreign languages or learn Turkish for the sake of living in a good place for me as a future interpreter.

I imagine you already know that to be an interpreter you have to have a really high command of both languages. "Getting by" in a language just isn't good enough. Your output can be a little less polished than that of a translator, polish being traded in for speed, but it still has to be totally accurate and understandable, and of course the output will need be in your B language as well as your A one (something I'm glad doesn't happen in translating as I certainly couldn't guarantee to write perfect French). So, your "some Italian and French" probably isn't worth anything professionally, and your German certainly isn't. You should be thinking in terms of several years of intensive study - preferably living and working in it rather than sitting in a classroom - to have any hope at all of using a language as an interpreter. I'm sure that will come across very clearly in your training.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:14
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Qatar Jan 31, 2017

Qatar looks good. I have clients there, at the Italian University. Not only is there a lot of money sloshing around; as compared to other Gulf states Qatar is very liberal, with a sybaritic lifestyle, and there are large numbers of foreigners living and working there, or flying in and out, who presumably require interpreters on a regular basis. There are also major international events and conferences. Go for it (if you're good enough and can perform under pressure without making mistakes)!

[Edited at 2017-01-31 16:46 GMT]


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Mariam Moaz  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 23:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much, Sheila Jan 31, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I haven't any idea, but bear in mind that as an interpreter you can only take on one assignment at a time. You don't need to be in a place that needs 10 court interpreters on a given working day, as well as another 30 in hospitals, police stations and immigration offices, plus a couple of hundred in various business settings: conferences, meetings, telephone calls, guides...


Actually, I didn't get that point well. Sorry. Do you mean I should concentrate on only one type of interpreting? That's what I'm planning to do exactly.

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Surely, questions that are more to the point would be these:
- Can you legally move to any of these countries and take up work there?


I think I can do so. I guess anyone with the appropriate skills can do. Don't you think?icon_smile.gif
I personally know a couple of people who have moved to UAE despite the fact that they don't have those extraordinary skills. In fact, one of them even have fewer skills than I do apparently.icon_smile.gif

Sheila Wilson wrote:
- Can you legally work in the various official circles (courts etc) that interpreters normally work in?


I'm not sure of this part, but I am not interested in court interpreting. So ... I guess that's is not necessary when you work as a conference interpreter, is it?

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I imagine you already know that to be an interpreter you have to have a really high command of both languages. "Getting by" in a language just isn't good enough. Your output can be a little less polished than that of a translator, polish being traded in for speed, but it still has to be totally accurate and understandable, and of course the output will need be in your B language as well as your A one (something I'm glad doesn't happen in translating as I certainly couldn't guarantee to write perfect French). So, your "some Italian and French" probably isn't worth anything professionally, and your German certainly isn't. You should be thinking in terms of several years of intensive study - preferably living and working in it rather than sitting in a classroom - to have any hope at all of using a language as an interpreter. I'm sure that will come across very clearly in your training.


Yes, of course I'm aware of that. That's why I said I was willing to learn a new language or improve and perfect the ones I'm a beginner/intermediate in. I don't claim being able to work in interpreting with bad languages. hahaicon_biggrin.gif

And yes, I know it will take me at least 3 years .icon_smile.gif

Thank you for you answer.


[Edited at 2017-01-31 17:38 GMT]


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Mariam Moaz  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 23:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Glad to know that Jan 31, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

Qatar looks good. I have clients there, at the Italian University. Not only is there a lot of money sloshing around; as compared to other Gulf states Qatar is very liberal, with a sybaritic lifestyle, and there are large numbers of foreigners living and working there, or flying in and out, who presumably require interpreters on a regular basis. There are also major international events and conferences. Go for it (if you're good enough and can perform under pressure without making mistakes)!

[Edited at 2017-01-31 16:46 GMT]


Thank you so much, Tom, for your advice.

I didn't know Qatar was so good for interpreters. Valuable information!

Thank you.icon_smile.gif


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:14
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Conferences in Qatar Feb 1, 2017

Conferences in Qatar:

http://10times.com/qatar/conferences


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Mariam Moaz  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 23:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much Feb 2, 2017

Thank you so much, Tom, for this interesting resource. I appreciate it.
Thank you.


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