The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Interpretation, Florika Fink-Hooijer visited NUI Galway recently where she met with staff and students of the MA/PDip in Conference Interpreting, currently being taught at the University.
Mrs Fink-Hooijer spoke to the multilingual MA class at NUI Galway on issues related to multilingualism in the EU, and future career opportunities in conference interpreting for graduates of the programme.
Emphasising the importance of interpreter training, Mrs Fink-Hooijer said: “The primary responsibility for training conference interpreters lays with the universities of member states. NUI Galway, and in particular Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, is the only Conference Interpreter training course provided on the entire island of Ireland and the only source of Irish language interpreters in the world, so its activities should be nurtured. The solid relationship between NUI Galway and the Directorate General for Interpretation allows us to build up interpreting resources for Irish and indeed English.”
Cooperation with the Directorate-General for Interpretation began in 2008 and they provide regular teaching support from experienced staff interpreters and trainers from the institutions. Every year students of the MA in Conference Interpreting visit the institutions in Brussels for practical work experience, in real meetings, in a dummy booth.
During her Irish Visit, the Director-General met with officials of the Irish Government to discuss Irish as a full official and working language of the EU. The EU has always considered cultural and linguistic diversity a richness and a strength and as something to be safeguarded. Reliable interpreting services are essential to the institutions and NUI Galway is committed to providing the requisite skills to their graduates to enable them to avail of these opportunities.