Can I land a language job if I only speak 2 (not 3) official UN languages?

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attaboy
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Can I land a language job if I only speak 2 (not 3) official UN languages?

Post by attaboy » 09 Sep 2018, 13:52

Hi all,

I am hunting a Fixed Term International Professional language job (translator, interpreter, reviser, editor, etc.). I have noticed that these jobs typically require an applicant to be fluent in 3 UN official languages. The wording in the description usually goes like this: "For the position advertised, fluency in Russian, which must be the candidate's main language, is required. Knowledge of at least two other United Nations official languages is also required.".

My question is, do I have a chance with only two fluent official languages? Does anyone know of any UN language positions where people work with only two? Thanks!

FromKadugli
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Re: Can I land a language job if I only speak 2 (not 3) official UN languages?

Post by FromKadugli » 12 Sep 2018, 07:16

I'm not an expert. But my take would be that you should meet the requirements outlined in the job description. However, I wouldn't know what "knowledge of" requires? I mean I speak some words Chinese - I would hardly consider myself proficient but I guess I could claim I have some knowledge?!?

UN linguist
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Re: Can I land a language job if I only speak 2 (not 3) official UN languages?

Post by UN linguist » 29 Sep 2018, 18:33

The short answer is no. Even if you are in a language post that only actually requires your mother tongue (as a monolingual editor, for example), you still have to have two ‘passive’ UN languages. To join the organization as a linguist through the language competitive examinations, you need three of the six official languages, one at mother tongue level and two at ‘passive’ level, which in practice means bilingual level, from which you translate.

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