Any help welcome please!

#1
Hiya,
I'm currently serving in the Signals and have been for 5 years. I recently took an MLAT and passed with a mark of 123. When I got the report through it basically said with that score I could become an interpretor. I'm a little unsure where to go from here,because I know it is a very intense course. I would like to know from anyone on the Int Corps what the quality of life is,what kind of stuff I would be doing both on the course and (if I pass) what I would be doing from there. I know it would probably be a lot easier to go through my RCMO,but that could be difficult as I'm currently in the middle of Norway! Also,you dont get the real deal off RCMO's,or at least I dont feel that you do. Any info on life and tours in the Int Corps would be gratefully received so that I have a heads up before pursuing this further.
Thanks!
 
#2
Hi,

I think a lot of how your career will pan out depends of which language you choose to do/get told you're doing. If you did an Arabic diploma course, you would more than likely be backwards and forwards to Iraq for the next few years, as you would be to Afghanistan if you did Pashto, maybe even Farsi. There are also still a few UK based posts for all languages. DSL Beaconsfield run courses in Urdu, Dari, Turkish, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, amongst others.

I left DSL in March after a 15 month dip course, it was pretty tough going. You have to keep yourself motivated from day one, right up until the end. Every night you can be expected to learn up to 50 words. Expect to do at least 3 hours of self study every night, this can be revising flashcards, translating newspaper articles, watching foreign news channels. Working hours depend on which language you do, eg the Arab linguists work full days there (8.30-4.00 mostly) whereas Spanish/French work approx 6 hours a day, Turks work 4-5. This may be due to class size however. Turkish courses only have 1-2 students a year, French/Spanish have about 6-8 in a class, Arabs maybe 15 in a class. (Please feel free to correct, anyone, if this is untrue, but this is what I saw whilst I was there...)

I would imagine you'd be encouraged to go for a course in one of the 4 OTG languages (Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Dari) as this is where the requirement is highest. You would also qualify for language pay if you did one of these 4 languages. Details of the language pay pilot scheme are in the current Int Corps/Royal Signals MCM Div soldier wing newsletter.

The work at the end of a diploma course is VERY rewarding and interesting. I am currently enjoying doing the best job in my career so far and have no regrets at doing my dip course. As i said though, motivation is the most important thing, otherwise you will find it hard to keep going..

PM me if you have any questions or need anymore advice
 
#5
You also need to be aware that if you transfer then you will have to do Int Corps Phase 2 and then a standard OPMI posting with the language course being after that and then it wouldn't be to interpreter level.

Saying that you may enjoy the OPMI side and specialise in another field, IMINT, HUMINT, ANALYSIS, CI, OPINT et al.

This may all change by the time you transfer though so it will just be a case of suck it and see,

Rather be in the Corps than the Scaleys!!!!
 
#6
Thankyou for all your help guys. I would love to join the Int Corps,it sounds like the place to be! I was hoping to specialise in Arabic. I love going on tours as well and to be honest there aren't that many tours on offer to me in the signals(being a class 2 siggie with a bad back). I will be more than happy to put the hours in,and by the sounds of it is well worth it. I am going to start the ball rolling when I get back from Norway,and will hopefully get onto a course in the near future.

Just one more question though,is there a waiting list for these courses?
 
#7
Glad to hear your coming across to do a language. Its really fulfilling being able to talk to a foreigner in their language..

I seriously doubt there is a waiting list for the Arabic dip courses. The Corps are so desperate for linguists, especially Arabic ones. The courses start in September at DSL Beaconsfield, and last 18 months if you've never done any Arabic before. I believe there may be similar courses running at different times at Chicksands but you'd have to check that.

I agree you would have to do the OPMI training if you transferred, whether you would be allowed to do that AFTER your language course I don't know, as you would start forgetting stuff if you weren't using it.

The Corps would more than likely snap your hand off though, as I said, there is a real need for linguists at the mo

Good luck
 
#8
Sig_E said:
to be honest there aren't that many tours on offer to me in the signals(being a class 2 siggie with a bad back).
How bad a back? If you're not FE, I doubt the desire to bite your hand off is that strong. If you're unable to pass your CFT because of an injury, I doubt we'll take you (although I await correction on this matter).
 
#9
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
just out of interest, what sort of jobs do the french and spanish courses lead to?
erm...French and Spanish ones????

We did have a requirement for Spanish speakers in ********** (not sure if I can say it as it was a DI24 post). Also came in useful in Belize...for social purposes..not work of course!
 
#10
I seriously doubt there is a waiting list for the Arabic dip courses
There is a load of people wanting to get on the course. Plus it's Tri-Service so all the Crabs at Diggers want a piece of the pie too as well as a few officer types.

Here's a fairly realistic time-frame if you are genuinely serious about giving it a go.

1yr to transfer (seems to be the average though could be quicker)
6months OPMI A3
2 year posting
55 week basic language course (though this could be changing)
3 year language posting to consolidate training at either Diggers/14/Poss Chickers, though you could get released after 2 if you put in for the course
Then the Twerps course which with leave etc is about 20months

So that means you should be a qualified Twerp in roughly 6-9 years. Some people slag us off for getting promoted fairly quick but you have to put in a lot of work to be a decent Twerp (not saying there aren't any who have slipped the net) and more is being expected of us language wallers all the time combine this with the other training you need to do to actually apply the language and it's not that easy a way to get a few bananas. Plus you're only as useful as long as you have something to offer so the first language you do may not be your last!!!
 
#11
Best bet is to try and guess which shite hole Tone and co will want to play in next and learn that language.

I recall a full screw in Sarajevo in 1995 who was given his local WO2 with pay as he could speak Croat and Serb.

IIRC he was a pioneer or the like, name ended in isckowhiski or somesuch.

So if you guess correctly you could be onto a good thing.
 
#13
steb4life said:
I seriously doubt there is a waiting list for the Arabic dip courses
There is a load of people wanting to get on the course. Plus it's Tri-Service so all the Crabs at Diggers want a piece of the pie too as well as a few officer types.

Here's a fairly realistic time-frame if you are genuinely serious about giving it a go.

1yr to transfer (seems to be the average though could be quicker)
6months OPMI A3
2 year posting
55 week basic language course (though this could be changing)
3 year language posting to consolidate training at either Diggers/14/Poss Chickers, though you could get released after 2 if you put in for the course
Then the Twerps course which with leave etc is about 20months

So that means you should be a qualified Twerp in roughly 6-9 years. Some people slag us off for getting promoted fairly quick but you have to put in a lot of work to be a decent Twerp (not saying there aren't any who have slipped the net) and more is being expected of us language wallers all the time combine this with the other training you need to do to actually apply the language and it's not that easy a way to get a few bananas. Plus you're only as useful as long as you have something to offer so the first language you do may not be your last!!!
That post is exactly why you shouldn't be a linguist! Twerp! Diggers! Chickers! Those are definitely words of someone who spends far too much time in a darkened room!

I wonder what the ratio of dark siders coming across to the light side is compared to light siders going the other way! I'd imagine there's not too many going over to OPMI(L).

Language pay??!!!??!! 2 years pretending to be in the army at Chicksands working your sweaties off and then the prospect of a posting to either Digby or Brawdy! All for how much? A quid!! One measly pound a day!

2 pieces of advice: Firstly, transfer to the Int Corps, it's great, you can do as little or as much army barmy stuff as you like and you can have a real job that actually makes a difference at the same time! Secondly, don't do a language, you'll only regret it and end up coming across to the light side anyway, complaining that all your mates have been promoted ahead of you!

Tours are what you want? Back to back tours of Telic/Herrick aren't unknown in OPMI as we are not constrained by theatre; we can do our job all over the world!

If you transfer, enjoy it!
 
#15
I only know of about 3 OPMI (L)'s who have transferred across, and they were pretty naff linguists anyway. Apart from that there are the ones who have been forced to as their languages are dying. Loads of darksiders enjoy their work believe it or not. I don't believe there are that many who want to transfer...
 
#16
Min_Jita said:
I only know of about 3 OPMI (L)'s who have transferred across, and they were pretty naff linguists anyway. Apart from that there are the ones who have been forced to as their languages are dying. Loads of darksiders enjoy their work believe it or not. I don't believe there are that many who want to transfer...
Spoken to quite a few linguists that have been across for a light side tour after the OPMI merger and not one of them wanted to go back to the dark side. In fact there is just as much need for them on the lightside now with DHU and the like.
 
#17
'Apart from that there are the ones who have been forced to (go across to the light side)
as their languages are dying'.

MJ, I don't know ANY linguists who have been forced out of the linguist trade because their
language is dead. You'll have to define what a dead language is....

What you may have is linguists who are posted to what are not traditional employers of
linguists in order that theirlanguages can be employed more fully. And a very good point
from IKYN... linguists aren't condemned to a window-less existence. Not sure how all these
foreigners are going to be debriefed by Mong Cpl without us; gesticulating aggressively and
asking where the arms cache is in an increasingly loud voice perhaps?
 
#18
Perevodchik said:
Not sure how all these foreigners are going to be debriefed by Mong Cpl without us; gesticulating aggressively and asking where the arms cache is in an increasingly loud voice perhaps?
dont we just kick the f*ck out of them?
 
#19
Perevodchik said:
I'm a mong Cpl

Now we know why
Everything i said i stick to! I'm not saying that we could do our job without OPMI(L) neither am i saying that some people don't enjoy it. What is being said about people only knowing a couple of people who've transferred to OPMI may be true, but i can say for certain that there are 3 in my Coy alone, so there must be more than that out there. I doubt whether there are many OPMI who have transferred over the other way!

I'm not starting a slagging match over the divides of our Corps as essentially we all strive towards the same goal, i was simply trying to give what i, and many others, see as good advice to someone who wants to transfer across from a different cap badge.
 
#20
The reason why OPMI(L)s come over to the lightside is because it's much easier to do. For the likes of your good self - I'm a MONG - to come across and do our job it's going to take you a couple of years. If we as people have the qualities needed to do one of the other jobs it's going to take us about 16weeks for most of the courses and we still have the language as well. We now have class 1 status for our language now aswell.

The single trade puts us at an advantage and there will always be senior posts that can only be filled by linguist trained personnel which now puts us in a better position for promotion too. I'm glad I did a langauge because I didn't do it for a few extra quid. (Doesn't stop me thinking that they under-value some quite talented people though)

If I went back and had the choice again I would definitely do a language still. I just think that you have to be serious about putting the work in, I wouldn't want to be working with someone who thinks it's an easy ride to quick promotion. I have had some very interesting work, both dark and light, and have really enjoyed doing it. The only downside has been when certain scaley influences have caused havoc!!!
 

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