Simultaneous Interpreting Essay

1896 words - 8 pages

The exercises below are designed to further skills in specific areas of interpretation technique, some may argue that in doing this we encourage inaccurate interpreting, however, I remind you that the goal here is not accuracy or fidelity but the activation that skill required to perform the exercise (that skill being one of the component parts of interpretation). Having mastered each of the component parts of interpretation we can later combine them as single package.
The exercises I suggest below do not cover all of what might be held to be the component elements of the skill of simultaneous interpreting. I propose exercises for the ...view middle of the document...

(Gerver and Lambert).
3.1 a) Listen to a sentence, stop the tape, think about how to interpret it, speak the interpretation. Repeat
b) Listen to a sentence, stop the tape, think about how to interpret it, speak the interpretation while listening to the next sentence, stop the tape, think about how to interpret it etc.[2] (also Ine Van Dam and Nadstoga)
At a very early stage this may be a good introduction to the art of listening and talking at the same time.
3.2 Improvisation exercise. While in the booth, improvise a speech of 2 minutes on a subject volunteered by a colleague. Other students listen and comment on the coherence of speech, delivery etc.
This exercise trains the split attention of the interpreter since as you improvise you should be thinking ahead to your next sentence/paragraph. It also trains delivery technique.
3.3 The same as 3.2 except students outside the booth show cards with keywords on them at short intervals. The person speaking must incorporate the word/idea coherently into the improvised speech.
In addition to training split attention this activity accurately mirrors the lack of control we have on content when in the booth, and trains you to think on your feet.
3.4 Interpret a speech silently in your head. Then interpret the same speech aloud. Speaking and listening at the same time is not easy. This exercise is an interim stage in the process.
3.5 Shadow a speech while at the same time writing something completely unrelated on a piece of paper. Ie. Numbers from 1-100 in reverse order[3].
NB Shadowing is the repetition of a speech in the same language a couple of seconds after the speaker. |
4 Décalage
Decalage is the time difference between what the speaker says and its reproduction by the interpreter in the target language.
4.1 Practice changing the order of elements in the clause i.e. practice holding individual words or ideas of the clause/sentence and working them back in much later (i.e. a date can very easily be switched from first to last in a sentence).
4.2 Practice changing the order of the clauses in a sentence without changing its meaning.
4.3 Stay as close to then as far from the speaker as possible -.
By stretching the extremes, we make the normal easier
4.4 Give thought to when you start speaking. Develop a consistent strategy.
4.5 Have someone record a long series of random numbers (in a C language) onto a cassette. Interpret from that cassette, first being just one number behind the original and then progressively trying to stay further behind until you are 3, 4 or even 5 numbers behind the original,
There have been a number of attempts to establish when an interpreter should best begin interpreting once the speaker has started. When you have a unit of meaning; when you can finish a sentence , any sentence, (Jones); as soon as you can; as late as you can; and “it depends” to name but a few. It is worth familiarizing oneself with them since it can offer new ideas or...

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