There are two types of conference interpreting: consecutive and simultaneous. In consecutive interpreting the interpreter listens to the speaker, takes notes and renders the speech in the target language once the speaker has finished. In simultaneous interpreting the interpreter sits in a booth overlooking the meeting room. The speeches given are interpreted simultaneously and relayed to delegates by means of the sound equipment. Both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting are taught.
You must have a university degree, a thorough understanding of two or three passive (C) languages and an excellent command of your mother tongue (or A language). We also consider applications from those with a second active (B) language, with or without a C. Aspiring interpreters should also have a broad general education, analytical skills and an interest in current affairs, along with flexibility, stamina and the ability to work under pressure.
MA Conference Interpreting Techniques
European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI) Certificate awarded with either qualification
The Postgraduate Diploma was founded in 1963 by a former Chief Interpreter at UNESCO. Since 1998, the University has offered the MA. It is now the leading course of its kind in the UK and is one of the very few British courses recommended by AIIC. The Campus, located in central London, possesses first class interpreting facilities, and is within easy reach of the city's many cultural facilities and attractions.
There are two types of conference interpreting: consecutive and simultaneous. In consecutive interpreting the interpreter listens to the speaker, takes notes and renders the speech in the target language once the speaker has finished. In simultaneous interpreting the interpreter sits in a booth overlooking the meeting room. The speeches given are interpreted simultaneously and relayed to delegates by means of the sound equipment.
Both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting are taught. The curriculum covers memory exercises, sight translation, note-taking techniques, mock conferences, glossaries for technical meetings, booth etiquette, voice coaching classes, presentational skills (you are recorded on video) and guest speakers. You normally work in small groups, but also meet together regularly for whole group sessions. During some of these sessions, you take turns to make 15-20 minute presentations in your active language which are interpreted by other students. The majority of course tutors are practising interpreters and members of AIIC. The course has excellent contacts with the professional world. The MA forms an extension of the Postgraduate Diploma and allows you to undertake a research project in conference interpreting. MA students follow the same curriculum as Diploma students and have to pass the Diploma examinations in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. In addition, MA students take the following modules: The European Union: Procedures and Perspectives, and The Theory and Practice of Interpretation.
European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI)
The University is the coordinating institution for the EMCI consortium, which was set up by 15 universities in May 2001. The consortium is supported financially by the European Commission (DG SCIC) and the European Parliament (Directorate for Interpretation). In addition to the University's Postgraduate Diploma or MA, successful graduates will be awarded the EMCI Certificate.
Language combinations of up to six mother tongue (A Language) groups form part of the course each year. Language combinations change in line with market demand. In addition to EU languages the course now offers Chinese.