Notes: Conference Interpreter
My name is Ross Noble and my current role is as a Conference Interpreter working for the European Commission.
The qualifications I hold are a MA in Conference Interpreting, ESIT, Paris as well as a MA (hons) in Languages, Interpreting and Translating from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
What languages do you speak?
I speak French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
What is your experience with languages?
I studied French to Advanced Higher at school and, after a gap year at a French high school, I picked up Spanish ab initio at undergraduate. I spent every holiday I could abroad whilst studying and working during university and then did Erasmus in Geneva and Barcelona.
My first job, as an in-house translator, took me to Madrid where I started Portuguese evening classes. Later I embarked on an adventure by moving to Berlin to learn German from scratch while working as a freelance translator.
How do languages impact your current job?
I simply wouldn’t have my career without languages, not least because all EU staff are required to speak at least one foreign language and encouraged to learn more. In my specific case, I work in multilingual meetings, interpreting the proceedings into English for the UK and other English-speaking delegates. It’s a unique and sometimes stressful job, but it gives me the chance to use all of my languages every day and to learn about varied and interesting topics --I love it!
What advice would you give to anyone about learning a language?
Return to Job Profiles
- Pick a language you love and work hard at it
- Take every opportunity to spend time abroad - they have summer jobs in France, Spain, too
- Get to know the exchange students at your university. They need your help with English as much as you need theirs!