Adding a C language to your combination
Thread poster: kleiner Kater

kleiner Kater
Chile
Local time: 20:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 30, 2012

Hi

I just wanted to start a new topic so that we can share our experiences when adding another C language to our combination.

I'm about to finish my Master of Arts in Conference Interpretation (Spanish, English, German) and I recently started to brush up on my Italian, which I learned back in 1996, to add it as a second C language in the near future.

It was actually a coin toss between Italian and a more exotic language like Danish or Hungarian, but I ended up choosing Italian for several reasons:

1. I already learned it a long time ago.
2. Spanish is my A language and I guess it'll take me less time to reach my Italian skills to the point where I can actually interpret from it than if I start to learn Danish or Hungarian.
3. I may be wrong, but I suppose Italian is one of the so called core languages.

Any tips on how to add a C language? Any experiences adding C languages?

Thanks

KK.


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mjbjosh
Local time: 02:41
English to Latvian
+ ...
All things in comparison Jun 6, 2012

kleiner Kater wrote:


1. I already learned it a long time ago.
2. Spanish is my A language and I guess it'll take me less time to reach my Italian skills to the point where I can actually interpret from it than if I start to learn Danish or Hungarian.
3. I may be wrong, but I suppose Italian is one of the so called core languages.

Any tips on how to add a C language? Any experiences adding C languages?


Good! Just one minor comment -- the Italian is NOT a core language. If you want to learn an important language, learn German, or the relatively more difficult Mandarin, Arabic and/or Russian.


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gemaperez
Spain
Local time: 02:41
English to Spanish
Chinese would be a good choice Jun 6, 2012

Hi,
In my opinion, one of the best languages to learn is Chinese.

I recommend you to read this article about it


http://onlinejobson.com/what-about-learning-chinese/


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kleiner Kater
Chile
Local time: 20:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but... Jun 6, 2012

I already learned German. It's my first C language. And as far as learning Chinese goes, I'm not too sure about that. I can't afford to go to China and I'm afraid adding Chinese as my C would take me over 10 years.

It's by no means and easy language to learn for a Spanish native speaker. I do want to add a second C language to my language combination, but I don't want it to take me over a decade to do so.



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xxxLaura Ball  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:41
German to English
+ ...
Mandarin Chinese Jun 6, 2012

Given the trends in the economic climate and markets, China is set to get stronger and it may well be worth learning Mandarin - I could envisage Mandarin replacing English as the world language of commerce.

One good point worth noting is China's economic hub is in the south of China and Hong Kong - so perhaps Cantonese is worth learning for business purposes, although not as many people speak it. It is also 'easier' than Mandarin, having fewer tones.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:41
Hebrew to English
A few factual errors Jun 6, 2012

Laura Ball wrote:

Given the trends in the economic climate and markets, China is set to get stronger and it may well be worth learning Mandarin - I could envisage Mandarin replacing English as the world language of commerce.

One good point worth noting is China's economic hub is in the south of China and Hong Kong - so perhaps Cantonese is worth learning for business purposes, although not as many people speak it. It is also 'easier' than Mandarin, having fewer tones.


First of all, Mandarin won't replace English as the world's lingua franca any time soon! The reasons are vast, but this gives you a start:
http://www.edulang.com/blog/will-everyone-be-speaking-chinese-in-2030/

If you must learn a language for economic reasons, then Mandarin, not Cantonese is the wisest choice. HK was only recently British remember, I have friends born and raised in HK that speak English but can't string a sentence together in Cantonese. I just don't think that learning Cantonese is a good business move.

In addition:
Mandarin has FOUR tones (I'm not sure most people count the neutral one)
Cantonese has SIX tones.

Added to that - Mandarin from Mainland China uses the simplified characters whereas Cantonese still uses the Traditional (more complex) characters, so if anything, and if you must qualify languages in these terms, then Cantonese should provide the tougher challenge.

[Edited at 2012-06-06 21:05 GMT]


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xxxsonjaswenson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
C languages Jun 10, 2012

As far as Chinese... Unless you were raised speaking it it really isn't very useful to learn, particularly given the amount of effort needed to have it at a C level. International institutions do not use foreigners to interpret from Mandarin into their A, rather they use the Mandarin A interpreters in the Mandarin booth to interpret into their excellent English B's and everyone else takes relay.

If someone with an English or French A were really really in love with China and Mandarin they might get a Mandarin C and live in China working on the private market and do quite well. But Chinese into Spanish doesn't seem like it has much of a market, and if you don't really really love it already, there is no reason to take on such a commitment.

What language you want to learn depends on where you want to work. If you are aiming for the EU (and you have a good EU combination with German), then Italian is not bad. French would be better, but like you say, you already have a foundation in Italian and it is similar to your A so getting a C would not be as difficult. (Maybe think about French after you get Italian down, though).

If you want to work someday for the UN, then either French or Russian would be your best bet.


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kleiner Kater
Chile
Local time: 20:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I know Jun 10, 2012

sonjaswenson wrote:

As far as Chinese... Unless you were raised speaking it it really isn't very useful to learn, particularly given the amount of effort needed to have it at a C level. International institutions do not use foreigners to interpret from Mandarin into their A, rather they use the Mandarin A interpreters in the Mandarin booth to interpret into their excellent English B's and everyone else takes relay.

If someone with an English or French A were really really in love with China and Mandarin they might get a Mandarin C and live in China working on the private market and do quite well. But Chinese into Spanish doesn't seem like it has much of a market, and if you don't really really love it already, there is no reason to take on such a commitment.

What language you want to learn depends on where you want to work. If you are aiming for the EU (and you have a good EU combination with German), then Italian is not bad. French would be better, but like you say, you already have a foundation in Italian and it is similar to your A so getting a C would not be as difficult. (Maybe think about French after you get Italian down, though).

If you want to work someday for the UN, then either French or Russian would be your best bet.


Thank you. I couldn't agree more with what you said. I really don't like Chinese at all. I don't like the culture, I don't like the language. I just don't see myself having anything to do with Chinese.

By the way, I already started brushing up on my Italian.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 02:41
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Chinese Jun 10, 2012

By the time you learn Chinese (a decade by any reasonable estimate) the Chinese bubble may well be bursting, so I would advise against that.

Italian is obviously a logical choice. I have an English B and a Spanish C and I'm learning Italian for similar reasons ("major" language that is easy to learn for someone who already speaks Spanish).
Whether or not Italian makes good business sense to you depends on whether you want to work for the European institutions, other international institutions (UN etc) or the private market.

P.s. be warned that Hungarian is a devilishly difficult language. I've seen numerous foreign colleagues struggle with it (and I've seen some pick it up with ease, though not without effort). Romanian - a romance language - might be easier, while Polish, though difficult phonetically, might be more marketable.

My opinion is that learning a new language requires such a huge investment of time and effort that you shouldn't pick based on business grounds alone. Pick a language/culture you have a keen interest in or you will abandon the project long before it bears fruit.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't know if it's obvious but... Jun 10, 2012

The so-called "majority" languages got there like Latin: through a long history of serving as lingua franca. I mean, it doesn't refer to a majority of nationals or even native speakers. Just users.

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ParlInt
Local time: 02:41
What is a core language? Nov 20, 2012

I would argue that there is no such concept, independent of where you live and work. To argue that Italian is not a core language is ridiculous...what if you live and work as an interpreter in Rome? To the European institutions it certainly is a core language (one of the top priorities at the EP in the English booth at the moment), and it is also frequently spoken.

To put it bluntly, there are many factors influencing how sensible it is to learn a given language...I think Farkas' advice is definitely best. Learn the language which you think will bring you most pleasure, and then you'll have more motivation, which ultimately drives success more than anything else.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The dangers of diffusion Nov 21, 2012

In the end, knowledge acquisition and expansion--whether in reference to foreign languages or anything else--is all about mathematics. If you devote more time to A, then you will have less time to devote to B, C, and D. This also implies that your knowledge and skills in B, C, and D may well stagnate, if not deteriorate. More depressingly still, this reality obtains within a context in which disposible time for A, B, C, and D is very limited indeed (allowing for indispensible activities such as sleep, work, eating, minimal leisure, and following one's favorite football team).

I would tend to think that, unless someone is under 30 years of age (preferably, well under) he or she had best banish all thought of mastering a currently unknown foreign language at the level required to be a viable professional translator or interpreter. The only really sensible option at that point is to either build on the foundations already established in current language pair(s), or to find some other revenue-generating activity to replace or complement translation work.


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Andrea Brocanelli  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:41
Member (2011)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
about the degree of knowledge of a C-language Nov 23, 2012

Good afternoon everybody!
I just would like to express my opinion about the degree of knowledge of a C-language to accomplish the task of C.I. Many have argued it’s need to have a full/perfect passive knowledge of the C-language: full stop. But let’s try to redefine the definition of “full knowledge”: if we assume that a fully comprehensive understanding (including diamesic, diastratic, diachronic, diatopic and diaphasic variations) = bilingual, assuming that none is a sort of “supreme being” - which is to say that what I try to express is conceived within a normal human skills repertoire, it’s clear how the fact of possessing a complete reference mold (including culture-bound issues embracing long time spans, idioms etc.) for five or more languages seems to be pretty impossible: we should have had many lives at once or claim the theory of parallel universes. By the way, I think it actually is utterly possible to accomplish C.I. tasks from 6… 7… 8… passive languages, but then it’s matter of state-of-the-art strategies (as well as the knowledge of the “conferencish” pidgin) enabling the interpreter to insure a decent, smooth delivery even in case of lack of understanding of a particular speech segment, maybe because it’s related to a deep culture-bound issue (for example: an idiom related to a 70’s spanish washing-up soap advertisement or the sudden recall to a local character unknown to the interpreter) or a particular structure/ variety/ expression never heard before (I also would like to put the stress on the fact that success is also related to the conditions in which the interpreter is supposed to work, but this is a different kettle of fish I don’t want to handle in this short post). This contribution is intended to have a cheering-up spirit, I just would like to say that focusing on C.I. techniques is quite as important as the language master, in order to achieve this satisfactory sensation of “closure of the circle” in any C.I. delivery from any C-language.
Have a nice weekend!


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