Language combinations and market demand
Thread poster: vasylmt
Feb 16, 2012

Hello, Prozians,

1. I have already had my degree at translation and interpretation and I plan to continue my studies at ETI. My combination is Russian French English ABC respectively.

Is it easy to find job as interpretor with such a combination? (in France or internationally)

2. Even though I'am not French I have a very high linguistic level in this language (I am almost as proficient as native speakers). If I apply for Master in interpretation can I choose this language as my A one?

Thank you in advance.


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
The proof of the pudding Feb 17, 2012

I know a Croatian who grew up in France, is a student at ETI and has French A, Russian and German C. (and could add Croatian B). You can choose French as A, but you'll have to pass the tests.

 

xxxsonjaswenson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
combinations Mar 1, 2012

anyone can apply with any combination, but be forewarned that the standards for an A are exceedingly high.

there are cases here and there of people with exceptional B's turning them into A's. the issue is not so much what your "mother tongue" is or what language you grew up speaking at home, but that you are able to handle the language with the skill and flexibility to interpret into it from your other languages, without calques, lapses, or other issues. It also depends on how "not French" you are- did you move to France as a teenager and finish high school there but still have a slight accent? you might indeed be a French A if something like this is the case.

since the admissions process for ETI is totally anonymous and graded per language direction rather than as a whole, you don't really have anything to lose if you attempt to be admitted with a double A for the written exam, but just be aware of how good your French needs to be and do not be alarmed if you are "downgraded" to an ABC.

to be honest, an interpreting MA is extremely demanding, and I would recommend the easiest combo possible for your studies. If you have the level needed you can always upgrade once you finish, and the market and your colleagues will decide for you.


 

xxxsonjaswenson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
ABC Mar 1, 2012

I forgot to add, that Russian A, French B, English C is indeed a good combination. Obviously the UN would love you, and you would probably get decent work in France on the private market. I do not know anything about the Russian market, but there is certainly work for you there in some capacity.

 

vasylmt
TOPIC STARTER
reply + question Mar 2, 2012

sonjaswenson wrote:

I forgot to add, that Russian A, French B, English C is indeed a good combination. Obviously the UN would love you, and you would probably get decent work in France on the private market. I do not know anything about the Russian market, but there is certainly work for you there in some capacity.




Hi, thank you for ur answer, it is precious.

It's my first year in France, but I am student in a French university, I face the same academic level as the natives do and in few months I will have degree in French litterature. As u understand I am "French" to some extend.

Could you please answer some more questions...

So if I have choosen a combination and they think that my level is not good enough for ABC they can suggest, for an example, an ACC?

What level do they expect u to have? People to whom I have already spoken say that the level is really high, but it seems logical to suppose that if there is a two year Master course (which includes many subjects) and two of three languages u choose are usually foreign, hardly a student can be really perfect. If u have any exam text samples feel free to tell me.)


 

xxxsonjaswenson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
ABC Mar 10, 2012

Sorry for the delay, I didn't see your reply.

First of all, if you are a Russian who grew up in Russia going to Russian schools and living with a Russian-speaking Russian family, your A language is... Russian. Even if you have been studying French at school (in Russia) since childhood and are attending a French university taking regular classes, I'd strongly advise against attempting to claim you have a French A. You do not have a French A. Maybe you have a French B. Maybe.

We choose our B and C languages, but our A's choose us. There is nothing you can do about changing your A.

The level needed for a B is also very high. Even if you are attending a normal French university with French classmates and held the the same standards, you might not have a B at this point.

A MA in Conference Interpreting at any university or school is to study CI, not to perfect your languages. You are expected to have the level necessary for an A, B, and C as the case may be when you start your MA, not by the time you finish. If you want to perfect or work on your language level, go do that first, before beginning CI school.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with an ABC or even ACC with Russian A. If you do your studies with ACC you can always 1. work on getting your B up to par after you finish to get more work on the private market (again, this is pretty standard for recent CI grads including myself) or 2. Work on your ACC really hard and take a UN or EU freelancer test*. (The UN and EU do not use B languages except for "exotic" A's such as Estonian or Hungarian. Everyone else only works into their A).

*I know Russian is not an EU language but I hear that there is some work with it, you'd have to find a more reliable source for more info on this matter.

For more information on language combination classifications please see this forum for a really good explanation on it:

http://interpreters.freeforums.org/a-b-and-c-languages-read-before-you-post-t336.html

Hope that helps!


 

xxxadpb
France
Local time: 03:44
English to French
sonjaswenson is right! Mar 25, 2012

I just wanted to second what has been explained above.
You seem to think that attending the same university course as native French speakers makes you comparable to them, but don't forget that the vast majority of interpreting students hold one or more degrees they earned abroad just like you, and yet do not even have any active language other than their A.
Unless you were raised and educated in French from your early years, I doubt that it could ever be an A. And there is nothing wrong with that!


 


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