Interpreters working at the UN are expected to recognize, understand and – in a split second - have a word in another language for any one of a myriad of issues. The range of interpretation subjects is broad, including politics, legal affairs, economic and social issues, human rights, finance and administration. Providing interpretation at meetings is the most visible aspect of their duties; to be able to provide an equivalent of most anything a delegate may say in two or more languages, interpreters spend much of their time maintaining and improving their language skills and awareness of new developments in current affairs.
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Interpreters provide simultaneous interpretation from and into the six official languages for the meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council and all their subsidiary bodies. A team for a six-language meeting requires 14 interpreters: three per booth for Arabic and Chinese (because they interpret from and into those languages), and two apiece for English, French, Russian and Spanish.
- Language Requirements: Perfect command of one official language of the United Nations. English, French, Russian or Spanish interpreters must also possess excellent oral comprehension of two other official languages. Arabic or Chinese interpreters must also possess excellent command of English or French, as required.
Skills & Requirements
Locating your assigned test centre You will be assigned a test centre on the basis of the information provided in the profile section of your application unless you are doing a remote LCE. Have the application number you were given in your acceptance notice ready. Select the LCE to which you have applied from the menu. The test centres for that LCE will appear in a new window below. Scroll through them to find the one you have been assigned (the application numbers of invited candidates are listed under each test centre).
- Should you need to change your assigned centre (for example, because you have moved to another city or country), please contact the Examinations and Tests Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.