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Interpretation direction
Thread poster: Troy Fowler
Troy Fowler
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jun 2, 2001

For those users that have had to do interpretation assignments, what direction do you prefer?


I find when I translate, I prefer to translate into my native (English), but when I interpret, I perfer going into my second (Japanese). My comfort level with spoken English is much better than with spoken Japanese, and I can better understand what\'s being said. Furthermore, since my Japanese is less developed than my English, my speech (in Japanese) is less \"cluttered\" and tends to be simpler. With less options available, I feel I\'m able to interpret faster into Japanese than in English.



Have any of you had a similar experience? Is this a phenomenon common with novices?



Let me know your thoughts.



Troy



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xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
Jun 12, 2001

Everything has pros and cons. If you interpret into your 2nd language, you may find sometimes that you are groping for the right words.



Another distinction to be made is between simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. As for SI, no one should ever be asked to work into one\'s 2nd language - the pressure during SI is simply too high (hey, I may even forget my own first language at times).


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Brian KEEGAN
Local time: 23:16
French to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2001

I agree about not interpreting into a foreign language. However, candidates for the ESIT (France\'s top institute of translation and interpreting) course in interpreting are obliged to work with at least three languages including their mother tongue. On top of that, the extremely tough exams at the end of the three-year course (examiners come from such institutions as the ECB, OECD, etc.) require candidates to interpret into one of their non-native languages from another non-native language, from their native language into a non-native language, and from the two non-native languages into their native language. They also have an exam that involves sight-interpreting a native-language text into a non-native language, and vice-versa. Crazy, eh!

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xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2001

For training purposes, it never hurts to demand more - this will prepare the students for worse things to come (and that\'s why graduates of ESIT are so highly regarded)



As regards European institutions, they mostly, as far as I know, require their permanent staff interpreters to work only into their A languages, but they will be required to work from as many as 3 or 4 different passive working languages.



At the UN, for example, interpreters work only into their A languages.


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Roberto Robles
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 19, 2001

My experience s similar to yours.

My native tongue is Spanish, but I feel a lot more comfortable interpreting into English (which I learned very early... or I should say \"started learning\").

Into English I\'m faster and calmer... just don\'t ask me why. That is not to say I\'m not comfortable going into Spanish, it\'s just that I feel better.

I\'ve thought about that at times and found your idea is right. In Spanish understading a speaker is no effort, and if you speak the target language well, you should tend to cover both bases quite nicely.

Of course the one time I was called in for an emergency SI into English on the mating of rams (I swear this is true) unprepared I lost at least 4 pounds and found myself at the end sitting in a small pond of sweat so nervouse I was



Best regards to everyone


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lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:16
Member
French to English
+ ...
Aug 21, 2001

I also find it\'s much easier to interpret into my 2nd language because I understand 100% of what is being said in my native language and can always find a way to say into the 2nd language, even if it\'s not as eloquent as it should be.



While it\'s true that most interpretation assignments demand interpreters to work into their native language, how come I so often hear on radio and television that the interpreters have such a heavy foreign accent when interpreting into English, meaning English is not their native tongue?
[addsig]


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International Translation Agency Ltd //
Local time: 23:16
English to French
+ ...
Simultaneous Interpreting (direction) Nov 11, 2001

It almost a 50-50 situation.



I intepret simultaneously from English (B language) into French (A language) in highly technical meetings as well as political/diplomatic contexts.



I sometimes prefer to go from French into English simply because I feel more secure listening to French (native) and then I render the speech in simple English. In other words you have full control of what you hear (source speech) as well as an almost control of your speech delivery.



One thing that needs clarifying: you can only interpret into your \"B\" language, necer into a completely passive \"C\" language.



Other differing opinions are most welcome!



Rachid Titouah

corporate@translatedotcom.com


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 17:16
German to English
+ ...
"Know your ABCs" Nov 11, 2001

I agree with you 100%. It is impossible to lay down general rules for everyone (everyone is different!), but the AIIC classification of A, B, C languages is still the most reliable tool.



Going back and forth between A and B is OK (see note below), but, yes, never work into C - that would be a fatal mistake.



Note: Having a \"B\" language is redundant, I think, because once you are capable of interpreting (simultaneously) into a \"B\", that \"B\" should, by definition, be an \"A\" (provided the quality is right!).

I believe that the system should be reduced to A and C languages (or even better yet: A for active and P for passive).


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ParlInt
Local time: 23:16
Distinguishing B from A language Dec 11, 2010

Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO) wrote:

I agree with you 100%. It is impossible to lay down general rules for everyone (everyone is different!), but the AIIC classification of A, B, C languages is still the most reliable tool.



Going back and forth between A and B is OK (see note below), but, yes, never work into C - that would be a fatal mistake.



Note: Having a \"B\" language is redundant, I think, because once you are capable of interpreting (simultaneously) into a \"B\", that \"B\" should, by definition, be an \"A\" (provided the quality is right!).

I believe that the system should be reduced to A and C languages (or even better yet: A for active and P for passive).


The difference is, if you work into a B language, you should only be working from your A language. No-one should ever work from a C into a B. If you have a full double booth (double A) then it is usually because you are fully bilingual.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 23:16
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Simul A into B Dec 12, 2010

Well, I think preferring A->B is a really extreme case. Everyone I know prefers working into their mother tongue.

xxxeurotransl wrote:

Another distinction to be made is between simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. As for SI, no one should ever be asked to work into one's 2nd language - the pressure during SI is simply too high (hey, I may even forget my own first language at times).

I don't really agree, I do simul into English (my 2nd language) fairly regularly and know a bunch of people who do, too.
There's nothing wrong with it, necessarily, and it's often a better solution than the alternative (a native interpreter who doesn't understand the source text all that well, because it's their 6th C language).

As to pressure, I for don't feel any extra pressure just because it's simul. In fact, I'd much rather do a difficult simul than a difficult consec.

International Translation Agency Ltd // wrote:
One thing that needs clarifying: you can only interpret into your \"B\" language, never into a completely passive \"C\" language.

Well, that's sort of the definition of B and C languages, and these things are not set in stone. For instance, my "normal" language profile is: Hungarian A, English B and Spanish C. However, I may take on an Es->En or Hu->Es job in some very specific circumstances (say, back-and-forth liaison interpreting on a well-defined topic in an area I'm very comfortable in).

(BTW there is no need to escape apostrophes and quotes, and you can use literal line breaks. Only square and angle brackets need special treatment, use character references for those.)





[Edited at 2010-12-12 12:42 GMT]


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