How do I become an interpreter?

conference interpreting training

People do not become interpreters overnight just like they don’t become surgeons overnight.

Interpreters complete a specialised course of study.

Interpreting programs often last three years.

Students can choose from one of two specialisations:
- translation (written communications)
- interpreting (verbal communications).

Warning! A translation degree is not the same thing as an interpretation degree!

conference interpretation training

Before you can apply to sit the entrance exam at an interpreting school, such as ESIT or ISIT in Paris or FTI in Geneva, you must first fulfil the following requirements:

  • Flawless mastery of your native (A) language;
  • Excellent mastery of an active foreign (B) language;
  • Perfect comprehension of a third (C) language;
  • Well-rounded education;
  • University degree.

Additionally, you must show proof that you have spent a significant amount of time abroad in countries where your foreign languages are spoken.

Once you pass the entrance exam, you can begin your studies of simultaneous and consecutive interpretation techniques. These programs last between one and three years.

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