The European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI)
The next EMCI module is offered in the academic year 2021/2022.
As from 2017/2018 the EMCI programme is changing its format and is now open to MA-level Interpreting students at the Institute of Translation Studies (ÚTRL) at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague.
The EMCI programme is organized by the Institute of Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, member of the prestigious European Masters in Conference Interpreting Consortium in cooperation with the Directorate-General for Interpretation (DG SCIC), and the Directorate-General for Interpretation and Conferences (DG LINC) of the European Parliament. The course aims to prepare interpreters for European institutions, particularly the European Commission and the European Parliament. In 1997, a group of universities designed a project in the framework of the Socrates Programme and in cooperation with the EU which laid the foundation of the EMCI training programme, defining its key principles, aims, as well as levels of difficulty and quality requirements.
Following a pilot phase (1998/1999) the EMCI programme has run now in parallel at 16 European universities (Paris ISIT, Paris ESIT, FTI Geneva, Forli/Bologna, Trieste, ELTE Budapest, Warsaw, Cluj, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Madrid, La Laguna, Leuven/campus Brussels, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Prague). Special attention is paid to less widely used and less taught languages as the EU is interested in recruiting qualified interpreters for its institutions. The Czech Republic (particularly the Institute of Translation Studies, Charles University) and Hungary (Budapest University) were the first members to become members of the Consortium in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2001/2002 they were joined by Warsaw and in 2007/2008 by Cluj. The first EMCI postgraduate programme at the Institute of Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague took place in the academic year of 1999/2000. Further programme cycles opened in the academic years of 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2005/2006, 2007/2008, 2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.
In 2016/2017, the Institute of Translation Studies was granted a new accreditation for its MA programme in Interpreting by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Within the new accreditation, there are two new groups of optional subjects accredited with ‘EMCI Conference Interpreting for EU institutions and international organisations’ being one of them. Each of the specialized programmes is offered once in two years.
First-year MA students of Interpreting majoring in English, French, German or Spanish – together with Czech (i.e. EU languages) at the Institute of Translation Studies in 2020/2021 may opt for EMCI specialization for their second year in 2021/2022. An essential prerequisite for enrolment in the specialized training programme is the meeting of all credit requirements for compulsory courses in the first year of study including timely accreditations of Consecutive Interpreting I. and II. and Simultaneous Interpreting I. rated as excellent or very good in the examination period in May/June 2021, submitting the application form together with a covering letter to the Programme Director and having references from teachers of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. Candidates must demonstrate a high-level language and cultural competence in their native language and their respective foreign languages, interpreting aptitude, oral, psychological and other aptitudes for interpreting, they must have good general knowledge and be well-versed in national, international and particularly European policy and economic matters.
Teaching consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, sight translation and simultaneous interpreting with text:
Consecutive (V. and VI.) and Simultaneous Interpreting (IV. and V.) will be taught by professional conference interpreters in multilingual as well as homogeneous groups, and wherever possible, in the presence of native speakers. There will be additional 0/4 taught hours per week (in addition to the compulsory course lessons) per language, plus sight translation into one’s B language (0/1) and simultaneous interpreting and simultaneous interpreting with text into one’s B language (0/2). Besides that, regular mock conferences (0/4), multilingual videoconferences with interpretation will be held in cooperation with DG SCIC EC and DG LINC EP or partner universities (0/2).
Expert lectures in English (2/0 in the winter semester) and topics for the course (weekly):
Interpreting will be taught following the thematic areas above. In the course of the two-year programme, students must take the following modules: Introduction to Economics and Law, International Relations, Conference Theory and Practice, Theory of Interpreting, Introduction to Note-Taking (N/A for our former BA graduates), Public Speaking. They may go on a study visit to EU institutions where they can practice interpreting in dummy booths during EC and EP meetings. In addition to that, students may spend two weeks at partner universities participating in the teaching and learning process.
Self-study and peer-evaluation are an integral part of the training course. Assessment by trainers and interpreters is carried out within the I-coach module of interpreting (electronic database) 0, I, II, and III.
Scope and Nature of EMCI:
Two semesters (4 semesters in total), 26 + 26 training weeks – the total of approximately 1000 teaching hours for the full two-year programme; out of which taught classes to constitute at least 650 hours (at least 370 interpreting hours for one language combination, almost twice the number for two language combinations, around 130 hours of expert lectures and seminars), about 350 hours are allocated to self-study (including revision and study placement at partner universities if relevant).
Minimum language combination requirements: AB or ACC.
The EMCI programme in a given language combination is open to admission if at least three students of the Institute of Translation Studies with the same language combination submit a binding application to enrol (i.e. English – Czech: min. 3, French – Czech: min. 3, German – Czech: min. 3, Spanish – Czech: min. 3). The maximum number of students per language combination is 6, for English: 10).
Students having only one foreign language must have attained level B in the language (active foreign language), i.e. A-B language combination.
A, B, C categories of languages are distinguished following the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC): A = active language equivalent to a native language, B = active language from which and into which the candidate can provide a quality interpretation, C = passive language out of which the candidate can interpret.
Passing the entrance examinations to the first year of the MA programme at the Institute of Translation Studies:
1) written examination: translation from and into the candidate’s A and B languages; from C into A, summing-up of text, a general knowledge test, EU background as well as knowledge of areas where the candidate’s languages are spoken. For entrance exams in 2021/2021 (due to the Covid 19 restrictions) – the written part is exceptionnaly only for English, other languages have only the oral part:
2) oral examination: interview aimed at assessing language, communication and cultural competence as well as interpreting aptitude: an oral presentation on a general topic in the applicant’s B language, consecutive interpreting without or with notes (approximately 2.5-3 mins.): reproduction of an oralized text A/B, B/A, C/A, sight translation into A language, assessment of general awareness of current political and economic affairs and basic knowledge of the theory of interpretation.
Professional competence in all types of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in both directions (from A into B, B into A, C into A) on a professional level (consecutive interpreting of at least 6–8 minutes, simultaneous interpreting of at least 12 minutes), simultaneous interpreting with text (min. 10 minutes) tested by an international assessment panel. The panel comprises representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, EMCI Consortium universities, and accredited conference interpreters. The EMCI examination does not serve as a substitute for the State (final) MA examination.
Following the course completion and having passed the Final Exams the students will receive an „Euromasters in Conference Interpreting Certificate“ – issued by the EMCI Consortium of European universities, the Certificate indicates language combinations. Certificate grants the alumni good career prospects in the whole of Europe. The certificate is not a substitute for an MA diploma.
Attention: for successful completion of their MA studies the students must earn all the credits for compulsory subjects necessary and get a sufficient number of credits for the first group of optional subjects, pass the final MA examination and defend their thesis.
EMCI Course Director:
Prof. PhDr. Ivana Čeňková, CSc.
Mgr. Lukáš Klimeš
All students interested in enrolling in the course should contact Mr Lukáš Klimeš (by e-mail or in person) at the secretariat of the Institute of Translation Studies by no later than 23 th April 2021 quoting their name, language combination and contact e-mail.
Applications (‘applying to enrol in the EMCI module with the following language combination…,’ accompanied by a covering letter and reference from teachers of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting) to be sent by e-mail to the course director by no later than 25th June 2021 (firstname.lastname@example.org).