Recommendations for the Master Degree in Confernence Interpreting
Thread poster: xxxJosephine P

xxxJosephine P
Local time: 02:49
English to German
+ ...
Sep 13, 2011

Hello everyone,

do you know good universities in the USA and Latin America? It is very diffilcult to find good information about the Master Degree mentioned above in Latin America. I found a the University in Monterey, California, which seems to be pretty good! But I'd like to study in a Hispanic country... Do you have experience or recommendations about this? It would be a great help!

Lots of greetings from Germanyicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2011-09-14 10:35 GMT]


 

shfranke
United States
Local time: 17:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
Consider programs at The University of Texas at Austin Sep 13, 2011

Greetings.

In addition to graduate programs offered at the Monterey Institute of Internatioal Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, CA, you might consider similar degree programs at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). I think the types of professional courses suited to your question are offered across sveral Departments there, including the Depts of Linguistics and Spanish.

California State U, Long Beach (CSULB) also offers a degree program in Spansih-English interpreting, but I don't know if CSULB also offers graduate-level prograns


My best understanding is that such degree programs concentrate on developing skills for interpreting across a number of general situations and practice areas, rather than specifically on conference interpreting.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
Arabic linguist, teacher & dialectologist
San Pedro, California


 

The Misha
Local time: 20:49
Russian to English
+ ...
I may be old-fashioned, Sep 14, 2011

but why on earth does anyone need a MASTERS DEGREE in conference interpreting? It's a practical skill that requires excellent command of both your target and source and plenty of practice time in the booth. That's it. If you don't have it, a degree is not a good substitute. Do yourself a favor and get a degree in a real-world subject, such as finance, engineering or whatever it is you want to specialize in. This will help for sure. I should know, I did it myself and never had any second thoughts.

 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Profile Sep 14, 2011

It would be a good idea to fill out your profile to see who you are, it is hard to provide any recommendations without knowing about the person. MIIS in Monterey, California (I am a native of the area and it is where I am right now though I live elsewhere) is probably the best school around, but it is expensive and living costs in this area are quite high.

There are many schools offering translation and interpretation degrees especially in Chile and Argentina, but I do not know about quality. I do know that education in Chile tends to be of good quality because I know the country. But do you know Spanish or is it your intention to learn it? Then I would suggest you concentrate on the latter, it goes on forever.

I am a translator and also a conference interpreter and I arrived without the benefit of any specific education in those fields. I did start with perfect fluency in my languages and learned through practice, practice and more practice.


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
Why the US. Sep 14, 2011

Why in the US and not in the German speaking world? In the US, interpreting is less known (even the President called for a translator when he was meeting with President Sarkozy) and thus less taught.
In Germany, there are interpreting programmes in Germersheim(FASK), in Cologne and Munich. In Austria, the University of Vienna offers an interpreting programme and the university of Graz organises the European Master. I am not sure if this takes place every year. The University of Geneva is the mother of all interpreter schools and offers German as an A-language.
All those programmes will be a lot cheaper than in the US where education is a costly commodity.
Most of their professors are practising interpreters.
If you prefer an Hispanic country, in Spain the Unversity of Salamanca has a programme at a cost of 8000 euros and the University of Tenerife offers the EMCI at a cost of 7000 euros.

[Edited at 2011-09-14 08:39 GMT]


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:49
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
In general, this is true Sep 14, 2011

Stephen Franke wrote:

My best understanding is that such degree programs concentrate on developing skills for interpreting across a number of general situations and practice areas, rather than specifically on conference interpreting.



The current thrust of many programmes is on interlingual and cultural mediation, as it has many more need-based applications (community, court and health interpreting, for ex.). This is true, at any rate, for U. de Salamanca and U. de Alcalá de Henares. U. de La Laguna in Tenerife, however (all three are in Spain), falls under the EMCI and as such specifically trains conference interpreters. A similar course (interlingual and cultural mediation) is available in NYU. The UTB course Stephen refers to is probably this one: http://www.utb.edu/vpaa/cla/ml/tio/Pages/MasterinSpanish.aspx

I'm not aware of any in Chile, but Henry perhaps refers to the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina. The availability of specialized courses may, in this case, vary from year to year. Best to get in touch with them directly for updated information.

If you look at EMCI options, you could probably get an idea, but EMCI programmes require a minimum of 3 languages (like, do you have Spanish, German and English?) The Germersheim FASK may then be of interest (for practising professionals and people wanting an introduction to the field, it holds an interesting summer course that varies language combinations handled from year to year).

[Edited at 2011-09-14 10:41 GMT]


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
Some reasons. Sep 14, 2011

The Misha wrote:

but why on earth does anyone need a MASTERS DEGREE in conference interpreting? It's a practical skill that requires excellent command of both your target and source and plenty of practice time in the booth. That's it. If you don't have it, a degree is not a good substitute. Do yourself a favor and get a degree in a real-world subject, such as finance, engineering or whatever it is you want to specialize in. This will help for sure. I should know, I did it myself and never had any second thoughts.


Because to participate in competitions of international institutions, it is a basic requirement and because most, if not all of your teachers are practising conference interpreters and some are members of AIIC. If you don't have a degree, you need to have at least 100 days of proven C.I.-experience.
Most C.I.-programmes are postgraduate studies. A %-age of the people in such programmes already have a specialist degree. e.g. a Chinese interpreter at the UN, who has an MBA.
Some hold on-line exercises where students are evaluated by staff-interpreters of international institutions. Those who graduate have a good basis of C.I. and such a degree justifies a higher rate.
Some are rather selective. 200 candidates and 14-18, who get in every year. In another school, there are about 500 candidates and about 30 get in.
The actual number of C.I.graduates is very low. Low offer and high demand equals high rate.



[Edited at 2011-09-14 13:10 GMT]


 

xxxJosephine P
Local time: 02:49
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wow! Sep 15, 2011

Thanks for all your replies!!!

Stephen Franke, now I have some more ideas about it. I'll look for more information about the degrees at UT Austin and CSULB and compare them as well with the MIIS.

The Misha, the reason why I'd like to do the Masters Degree in Interpreting is, that everybody at university tells us, that there's no other option if you'd like to become an interpreter one day. But unfortunately I don't know any interpreter who could tell me about his or her experiences. Thus it is good to hear (read) that there are other possibilities, too.

Henry, if I get that right you didn't do any degree in Translation or Interpreting? They always tell us, that a degree was required and furthermore that the Bachelors Degree was not quite enough. They make us worry a lot. But it also demotivates, which is a pitty.
The MIIS sounds actually really good! There might be some financial help from organizations or funds I guess.
Well, I completed my profile as much as possible now (sorry, am quite new at ProZ). I am already doing the Bachelors Degree in Translation with A: German, B: English, C: Spanish and D: Italian and I chose Economics as additional subject, at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (FTSK Germerseheim). Just came back from an ERASMUS year in Spain.
But when do interpreters start working finally? As there's a lot of practise required and completing various degrees in different areas... you won't start before 30...

Williamson, you might be right to say, studying in a German speaking country was better. But German is my mother tongue and it might help a lot with the languages someone is learning to study abroad. To me it sounds more logic to study e.g. in the USA if you learn English and not in Germany. But I'll defenetly consider what you've said.

Parrot, this sounds interesting. I'll try to find more information about all this!

Thanks again!!!icon_smile.gif


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:49
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Different strokes for different folks Sep 15, 2011

There was a time when interpreting schools worldwide could be counted on the fingers of one hand (70s and 80s). And about a generation before that (50s?), training was being supervised by some black suits with a vocation to turn into the CIA, with recruitment being done by headhunters. (This was about after the Nuremberg trials).

AIIC was a direct descendant of the chuchotage interpreters working with the League of Nations, now in an upgraded technological scenario where they no longer had to work with their backs bent. It's curious that its egalitarian principles (equal pay for equal work) were not adapted on the other side of the former iron curtain; Warsaw Pact countries never lost sight of the "need base" behind the profession, and thus never subscribed to the idea in the west that interpreting was a luxury product. To cater to the "need", the East Bloc subsidized linguistic training in exchange for its "use" value (to use Marxist terms); i.e., it was able to make its reservations on the question of wages (a model I believe the EMCI now follows, to a certain extent, with the blessings of AIIC). Now, the Eastern training model may have had its shortfalls, but it DID produce some outstanding professionals, along with a great proportion of the theoreticians and academists in the field today.

What I'm pointing out here is that Josephine no longer belongs to that period. At least, she won't have to be recruited by cloak and dagger, which may be something of a relief. This age now has facilities and infrastucture, and it's logical for her to make use of them.


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
Work as an interpreter. Sep 15, 2011

Josephine P wrote:

T
But when do interpreters start working finally? As there's a lot of practise required and completing various degrees in different areas... you won't start before 30...
Thanks again!!!icon_smile.gif


What do you understand by working. In a relation employer-employee?
You should contemplate work as freelance work. Most interpreters start as a freelancer, try to get certified by an international institution or become member of AIIC, gain experience and participate in staff-interpreter competitions. Staff-interpreters are the only ones, who can climb a career-ladder.

Without a background, which is non-linguistic in say IT, economics, law,finance... the labour-market in-between is freelance and staff is very narrow.
Normal professions for linguists are communications specialist, corporate spokeswoman, journalist or the German Auswertiges Amt (diplomacy).
What will you have to offer on this particular market after graduation as an interpreter?

You could consider Spain as an alternative to the US.
If you insist on English, the UK has 2 or 3 interpreter training programmes too.

If you want to know more about the life of an interpreter, why don't you go to the website of AIIC and contact interpreters from your country.



[Edited at 2011-09-15 09:13 GMT]


 


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