Help! Interpreting Postgraduate course, Entrance exam
Thread poster: Romina1 (X)

Romina1 (X)
Local time: 15:20
English to Greek
+ ...
Jan 18, 2008

Meeting all the criteria, languages' knowledge, experience living abroad etc, I've been selected to take part in the exams for a MA in Interpreting at a university in 2 weeks.
The exam is listening to two speeches of 2 languages, duration about 4 minutes , and then interprete them in my mother language as faithfully as possible.
Although I have studied the languages and I do translations, I have never interprete before and it seems extremely difficult to me to remember a speech like this and then produce it in a different language.
Can you recommend me some techniques on how to do it and how I could practice it?


buble  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
Spanish to German
+ ...
Some ideas... Jan 18, 2008

Well...speaking a language and having lived somewhere will not help you on hereicon_wink.gif

I can hardly remember what we had been told in the beginning of our "careers", but try those:

- get a couple of speaches from ministry websites and read throgh them, so that you will randomly know what elements a speach consists of...try to structure them into blocks containing certain ideas and understand which ideas/phrases are used repeatingly

- if you should be allowed to use paper and pen to write down something, practice listening to the radio/TV (CNN news or similar if English should be one of the languages). Get used to writing down numbers, dates and positions/titles and names

- try to work out the main topic when listening to the said and remember how many sub-points it has

- concentrate on giving back the general idea first, then add the particularities you can remember

- read through the latest political news, so that you'll be familiar with names and titles presently appearing in politics, economy and important events

However, don't expect too much of yourself here. Try to be concentrated and relaxed. That's half the rent.
Good luck to you!


italia  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
Italian to German
+ ...
Congratulations! Jan 18, 2008

First of all congratulations!
If you want to exercise you could work with the speeches you can find online on the EU site.
Here you go:
There's plenty of material of different areas you can work with:)))
I would suggest you created you own symbols.
As you explained it, you probably will be expected to do consecutive interpreting.
It would be a plus however, if you knew the area in advance in order to be able to create respective symbols, like for work, president, etc....
Good luck and keep us posted!


CMJ_Trans (X)
Local time: 14:20
French to English
+ ...
advice Jan 19, 2008

Years ago, when I was training, we were advised to practise by watching TV, essentially news programmes, and trying to translate simultaneously as we watched. It helped.

Also, read the press so that you are in the picture as regards the latest current affairs. That way, you have a fair chance of recognising the information in the speeches you have to translate.

This approach is not infallible but it is certainly not a waste of time whatever happens


mmihano4 (X)
Local time: 14:20
English to Croatian
+ ...
former EMCI student Jan 19, 2008

hi, romina

I finished the emci course and work now for the EU institutions as an interpreter.
the important thing when doing an entrance exam is to show that you understand the core of the text and that you can render as much as you can.
it would be good to try to listen to news in a foreign language on the radio, for example BBC, so that you don't concentrate much on the picture, but more on what you hear
what's your language combination and where are you going to apply?
you can write to me if you want to find out more about emci


Aymeric de Poyen Bellisle (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:20
English to French
+ ...
Notes and symbols are for later Jan 27, 2008

Hi Romina

I don't know which school you have applied for, but none of them will expect you to know how to take consecutive notes.
For the entrance exam anyway in most schools you are not even allowed to take notes, you can only rely on your concentration and understanding of the speech.

Good luck!


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