Sarah LanziConference Interpreting
What did you study prior to starting ISIT?
After specializing in literature in high school and two years in a classe préparatoire, I entered the third year of ISIT’s translation program. The classes in liaison interpreting were a real eye-opener! I did my last internship in Spain with the idea to focus on conference interpreting. During my interpreting studies, I spent as much time as possible in the countries where my working languages are spoken: the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.
Why become a conference interpreter?
An interpreter has to get things right on the first try! It’s all about efficiency: you have to know how to get to the heart of things quickly and precisely. Interpreting allows you to discover many different subjects. I like the immediacy and the multi-faceted nature of this profession. And if you work in a political context, for the European institutions for example, you are constantly at the heart of current affairs.
ISIT is one of the most renowned universities in Europe. There are many interpreting programs out there, but they don’t all open the same doors, because they don’t have the same reputation. At ISIT, you get a personalized education; the teaching staff are very approachable and always ready to listen.
Most interpreters work as freelancers. The large international organizations regularly call on those who have passed the interpreting tests. Now that I have my ISIT degree, I plan to sit the European Union and United Nations exams.
What is your advice for students sitting the ISIT entrance exams?
Learn as much as you can about conference interpreting before you apply. The ISIT and AIIC websites can help you. Steep yourself in current affairs: read newspapers, watch television, listen to the radio in all your languages, every day. Read analytical and opinion articles and train yourself to analyze text, just like in high school. It is crucial as an interpreter that you understand rhetorical structure. And most importantly, be curious about absolutely everything!