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Interpreting for non-native speakers
Thread poster: RafaLee
Local time: 13:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 6, 2004

Have you ever interpreted into a language that is NOT the target audience's native language?

If you have done so, what problems did you face?

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Taranichev  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:46
Russian to German
+ ...
very short Jul 6, 2004

China and India - to understand "normal" i.e. regular English

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia: to convince conference participants to stop saying that they would not understand Russian. They DO understand it.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland - some problems with German/Austrian/Swiss dialect


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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:46
Russian to English
+ ...
The Register + Speed Jul 9, 2004

There's always that line between being true to the speaker's register, and yet making sure that you're using vocabulary that can be understood by the majority of the non-native speakers. Plus, one has to consider the delivery. If we're discussing interpreting from Russian into English, perhaps the delivery may be fine for an American or a Brit, but is it ok for the rest of the audience that has English as an acquired language?

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Portuguese to English
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Keep it simple Jul 19, 2004

RafaLee wrote:

Have you ever interpreted into a language that is NOT the target audience's native language?

If you have done so, what problems did you face?

Hi Rafa - I do this almost all the time, as many of my listeners are not native English speakers.

I try to use simple words and straightforward grammar, breaking up sentences into short bites.

You can often 'prune' the speaker's constructions (i.e.: 'the objective', rather than 'the objective to be achieved') with no loss of meaning or even nuance.

I try hard to speak with a very neutral accent and avoid regionalisms (i.e. barbecue rather than cookout, barbie or braai, for instance).

Good luck!

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