ÚTRLMiscellaneousEuropean Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI)

The European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI)

The course is organized every other year. The current course is offered in the academic year 2015-2016.

The European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI)

In 2015 - 2016, the course is subsidized by DG SCIC of the European Commission


The post-graduate EMCI course is organized by the Institute of Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Parliament. The institute is a member of the European Masters in Conference Interpreting University Consortium.

Course status

The course is an accredited post-graduate training program on a national level designed for Master graduates wishing to acquire the qualification of Conference Interpreter for European Institutions. In the same time it is a certified program on the European level: the successful graduate will obtain the Euromasters in Conference Interpreting Certificate issued by the European Universities Consortium (EMCI).

Course design

All interpreting classes are taught by either professional conference interpreters (ASKOT, ACI EU, AIIC, JTP), trainers from the Institute and/or native speakers. Student groups (both multilingual and bilingual) are rather small.

Core-course subjects

  • Theory and history of interpreting, note-taking technique, meeting/conference preparation (20 hrs, semester 1)

  • Speech delivery techniques (10 hrs, semester 1)

  • Diplomatic protocol and interpreter ethics (3 hrs, semester 1)

  • Current trends in the Czech language (4 hrs, semester 1)

  • Memory exercises, consecutive interpreting, sight translation (4x4 hrs weekly in semester 1, 6 hrs weekly in semester 2)

  • Introduction to simultaneous interpreting (40 hrs, semester 1)

  • Simultaneous interpreting (12 hrs weekly, semester 2) – taught by professional conference  interpreters and native speakers

  • Mock-conferences and video-conferences/virtual classes (4 hrs every 4 weeks, semester 1 and 2)

  • Conference interpreting in theory and practice (2 hrs weekly, semester 1)

Expert lectures:

(2-4 x 45 min a week, semester 1 and/or 2)

  • International and European institutions and organisations

  • EU institutions

  • EU primary and secondary law

  • Single market (the four freedoms)

  • Common foreign, security and defence policy

  • Common agricultural policy

  • Regional policy, structural funds

  • European monetary union

  • Schengen area, police and judicial cooperation

  • Treaty of Lisbon and other important treaties (Maastricht, Amsterdam etc.)

  • The Czech Republic in the EU (harmonisation of the law, area by area)

  • Capital market, banking system

  • Organized crime, financial crime

  • Regular and irregular migration, refugee status, asylum policy

  • Important facts about EU countries

  • Environment

  • Transport

  • Energy

  • Europe 2020

  • Healthcare system

  • Social system, pension system

  • Employment policy and unemployment, gender equality

The student must hand in 2 papers:

  1. Empirical or theoretical study on a specific issue concerning the process of interpreting (25–30 pages)

  2. Glossary of terminology covering a narrow topic of a specific field

Course schedule and duration

As a member of the European Masters of Conference Interpreting Consortium and in cooperation with EU institutions, the Institute of Translation Studies is organizing a two-semester course in conference interpreting focused on EU topics. The aim of the course is to prepare potential interpreters for EU structures, especially for the European Commission and the European Parliament. The postgraduate course is designed for all university graduates. A general structure of the course, as well as its aims, quality requirements, difficulty level and corresponding guidelines have been created by a group of universities within the Socrates programme and in cooperation with the EU.

After a pilot phase (1998-1999), the course is now offered by 11 European universities: ESIT (Paris), ISIT (Paris), Geneva, Antwerp, Trieste, Budapest-ELTE, Warsaw, Cluj-Napoca, Istanbul-Bogazici, Ljubljana, Prague-Charles University. A great emphasis is put on less widely spoken EU languages, as the EU aims to acquire a sufficient amount of interpreters within these structures. The Czech Republic (Charles University in Prague) and Hungary (ELTE University in Budapest) were originally the only two countries chosen from all the candidate countries in Central and Eastern Europe to join the group. Warsaw was included in 2001/2002 and Cluj-Napoca joined the project in 2007/2008. The Institute of Translation Studies offered the course for the first time in the academic year 1999/2000 and then again in 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2005/2006, 2007/2008, 2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.

Course duration:

  • Two-semester course, comprising 28 teaching weeks, begins on 14 September 2015 and ends on 20 May 2016

  • The working load required is approximately 1.000 hrs, distributed into a minimum of 600 class contact hrs (ca 500 hrs of interpreting classes plus 100 hrs of lectures) and 400 hrs of self-training and a 2 weeks study mobility at a partner university (2015/2016: Trieste and ESIT Paris).

Time schedule

Semester 1

  • Teaching weeks: 14 September 2015 – 22 December 2015; 5–13 January 2016 (16 weeks)

  • Interim exams: 14–16 January 2016 (consecutive interpretation from A into B, B into A, C into A, sight translation into A)

  • Jan – Feb: student mobility at a partner university (not included in the course fee) – 2 weeks

  • February: 3-day excursion in Brussels (travel expenses and subsistence are not included in the course fee; students can obtain a reimbursement from the grant.

Semester 2

  • Teaching weeks (13): 22 February – 20 May 2016

  • Deadline for handing in papers: early June 2016

  • Final exams: 15-17 June 2016

Time-table (tentative)

  • Mo and Wed: 3.00 – 4.30 pm, 4.45 – 6.15 pm, 6.30 – 8.00 pm

  • Tue and Thu: 1.15 – 3.45 pm, 4.00 – 5.30 pm, 5.45 – 7.15 pm (Tue till 8 pm in Semester 1)

  • Fri (fortnightly): 2.00 – 6.00 pm (mock and video conferences, expert lectures, rhetoric skills)

  • Sat (exceptionally): rhetoric skills, guest lecturers

Total number of hrs: odd weeks: 22 hrs (16 hrs of interpreting), even weeks: 26 hrs (22 hrs of interpreting)

The timetable is only provisional and can be subject to changes.

Conditions, applications and entrance requirements

The 2015/2016 course will be opened for a minimum of 8 up to a maximum of 24 enrolled students with the following language combinations (the student need to successfully pass the written and oral entrance exams):




B or C


B or C


B or C


B or C



Minimum requirements for language combinations:

A-C-C (with English as one of the C languages)

Other possible language combinations:

A-B, A-B-C, A-C-C-C

All candidates need to have English in their language combination (minimum as C).

A minimum of 3 students enrolled for an A or B language and a minimum of 2 students for a C language is a precondition for instruction running in this language.

(AIIC denomination: A = native competence, B = proficient active foreign language competence, C = proficient passive foreign language competence):

Admission requirements

The course is accessible to any Master-level degree holder (within a pilot project in 2015/2016 - for the best MA second-year students of Interpreting study programme from the Institute of Translation Studies – they join the course at mid-October). The prerequisites are the following:

  • Linguistic and cultural proficiency in the working (A, B, C) languages

  • Interpreting aptitude

  • Oral, psychological and other relevant dispositions

  • General knowledge, insight into current international affairs (esp. political and economic situation in Europe)

Entrance exams:

Dates: 10 June 2015 (9.30 am) – Written Test; 11–12 June 2015 – Interview

Test: dictation (B), translation (A-B, B-A, C-A), summary (B-A or C-A), knowledge: general+ culture specific (B,C language area), EU specific; A competence in Czech.

The written test is eliminatory.

Oral exams: linguistic, communicative and culture competences, interpreting aptitude, exposés on a specified topics in languages A and B (3 minutes), consecutive interpretation without note-taking of spoken discourse in relevant combinations (A-B, B-A, C-A:  2,5 minutes), discussion (relevant and current socio-economic and political issues)

Final exams and certificates

Dates: 15-17 June 2016

Final exams

The student’s professional output level in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in relevant A-B-C languages is assessed by an international jury composed of EC, EP and EMCI representatives as well as accredited conference interpreters, staff trainers and native speakers.

  1. Consecutive interpreting (A-B, B-A, C-A):  6-8 minutes

  2. Simultaneous interpreting (A-B, B-A, C-A):  12-15 minutes

  3. Simultaneous with text (B-A or C-A): 10 minutes

  4. In viva defence of the 2 papers

On a successful completion of the course (incl. final exams), the student will be awarded:

  1. Retraining Certificate in “Konferenční tlumočník pro evropské struktury” (Conference interpreter for European institutions) issued by Charles University in Prague

  2. Euromasters in Conference Interpreting Certificate, issued by the European Universities Consortium (EMCI) in order to foster qualified and high quality interpreting in the European region

Course fees

  • Entrance exams charge: 1,400 CZK

  • Tuition: 75,000 CZK (payable in two semestral instalments)

  • Final resit exams (1 possibility of retake: December/January – all the exam) charge: 2,200 CZK

The students can apply for a study bursary from the European Commission and the European Parliament after having successfully passed the entrance examination and being accepted to the course. More information is to be found at the following address:

Application and deadlines

The filled in application form and required attachment (a copy of your MA diploma) should reach our office by post, fax or e-mail by 15 May 2015 at the following address:

Univerzita Karlova v Praze

Filozofická fakulta

Ústav translatologie

Prof. PhDr. Ivana Čeňková, CSc.

Hybernská 3, 110 00 Praha 1

Czech Republic

+420-221 619 512

E-mail: ,

Course Director and inquiries

Prof. PhDr. Ivana Čeňková, CSc.


Tel. +420-221 619 512 (secretariat)