Thursday, June 16, 2011

Become a freelance interpreter with the European Institutions

Freelance interpreters routinely work alongside staff interpreters in meetings served by the interpreting services of the European Institutions. For freelances there is no nationality requirement and all languages worldwide may be considered.
Accreditation as a freelance interpreter is obtained by passing an inter-institutional interpreting test. To be eligible for such a test, you must:
  • Hold a recognised university degree in conference interpreting or
  • Hold a recognised university degree in any subject and a postgraduate qualification in conference interpreting or
  • Hold a recognised university degree in any subject and have documented experience in consecutive and simultaneous conference interpreting.
If you think you are eligible for a test, you should complete an on-line application form and also submit copies of your CV, degrees and/or diplomas and, where relevant, proof of sufficient experience. You may apply at any time.
Once you have done this, you will be sent an acknowledgement of receipt with a reference number.
Tests are scheduled as necessary. An indicative calendar (see 2011) is set up every year, but can be subject to modifications at any time. As soon as a suitable test is planned, a selection committee will examine your application. You will then be notified that:
  • your application has been accepted and that you are being invited for a test, or
  • your language profile is interesting but not a priority. You will therefore not be invited to a test in the near future. However, your application will remain on file. There is no need to re-apply, or
  • your language profile is not in line with our requirements. Consequently your application has not been accepted.
Please note that participation in a test is upon invitation only.
The EU institutions are particularly interested in candidates working into or from the languages of the member states which joined the EU in 2004 or thereafter, or countries currently engaged in accession negotiations. There is also a limited need for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and other non-EU languages. As far as in Balkan languages Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are concerned please check with the following text. Read more.
Also watch these behind the scenes videos trying to give a response to these frequently asked questions from candidates, universities and interpreting schools:
  • What is the test about? What kind of level do the candidates need to have?
These videos (part 1, part 2) also show how the panel arrives at its conclusions. See: Europa. Source: