what is the core of the interpretation education?
Thread poster: fallenangel
fallenangel
Turkey
Local time: 20:06
Turkish to English
+ ...
Sep 8, 2009

Hello dear interpreters!

I study translation&interpretation, and it is my last year at university. What I, and the majority of my classmates think is that this education has nothing to do with the sharpening of the interpretation skills. Our instructors guide us to self-studying, saying "school never gives much". This is what any college student does to "increase" what they get from the school. I know to be a translator/interpreter one does not have to be graduated from a language focused school, whatever. but I chose to study to be better and now we just pretend to interprete and our instructors do not seem to be caring the pronounciation or the correct usage of the words, not even the message of the speech while grading. as almost everyone gets full marks, even the ones who misinterpret the "main point." I know it is one's own determination and hard work, but then, why there are schools? Just for no reason or exclusively for academic carrier?

what I would like to know is that after the waste of four years and a lost trust in practical and sound interpretation education, does it make a difference to study abroad i.e Britain on interpretation?

[Edited at 2009-09-08 15:21 GMT]


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:06
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Does not sound like my teachers at all! Sep 8, 2009

I did not study interpreting during my university years. I attended workshops with several highly skilled certified federal interpreters and I can tell you that they were adamant about tone, meaning, accuracy, vocabulary, demeanor, position, etc. Their teaching was so good that I am now certified by the state of Florida.

Sounds like you have some lazy, irresponsible teacher(s). It is a shame they have made you feel discouraged and disenchanted.

Having said that, my advice is to give it your best. Practice on your own: memorization, taking notes, conveying the message. If you can afford it, purchase some interpreting materials, like Acebo: http://www.acebo.com/ You will have the opportunity to listen to yourself, corroborate the accuracy of your interpretatioin, increase your speed, improve your memory and note taking, etc. It is not expensive and it is well worth purchasing it.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
English Sep 8, 2009

From what you have written it is obvious that you need to improve your English. When you interpret you must go both ways, and both ways must be perfect. I would recommend that as your first order of business.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Before making any more plans... Sep 8, 2009

... try this:

http://interpreters.free.fr/

Serious educational institutions have admission exams that not everybody can hurdle, and can make students think they are already expected to BE interpreters, before they even set a foot in them.

That apart, the problem with teaching interpretation has tended to be the fact that it is a profession that isn't very kind to teachers, schedule-wise. Hence, the best "sessions" tend to be those given by visiting practitioners or guest lecturers who just happened to have some free time on their hands.

Unless you're in a city that happens to have an active industry in that regard, the chances are touch-and-go that you'll be lucky enough to have a teaching faculty with a sufficiently broad experience to impart the subject with hands-on authority.

This is also complicated by the fact that 1.) not all interpreters can be good teachers; and 2.) the difference between a teaching salary and an interpreter's income is such that good teachers who are also interpreters run into serious personal conflicts about remaining as teachers (it's just not as attractive).

So in the end, Luisa gives good advice: give it your best and practice. You're living within a system where the odds are against you if you don't get a move on yourself.


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fallenangel
Turkey
Local time: 20:06
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you for your advices Sep 8, 2009

I feel much better !

and sorry about my misspelling in my first message.
I am really concerned about my future. I have always dreamed of woking in the booths with headphones but seeing I don't have enough chance to practice in real atmosphere and I have to focus on written translation (we do have a labaratory with booths but many of them is out of order due to technical problems!) now I think I cannot apply for an interpreter position as I don't trust in my ability. And translation is way too much different than what I really want to do, sitting in front of computer from dawn till dusk tires me out. now only one year left to graduate and I am not satisfied with my progress.. Self-development tools may help but how can I re-build my self-confidence, I don't think I can apply for an interpreter position now and ever. So, I would appreciate if anyone who saw difference of at least two years of education abroad, enlightens me about it.

[Edited at 2009-09-08 17:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-09-08 17:10 GMT]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oops! Sep 8, 2009

Famous familiar keywords...

fallenangel wrote:

how can I re-build my self-confidence


This scenario sounds all too familiar to me. I can't count the number of times I've met young aspirants "broken" by the regime of criticism in an interpreter school. (How do you think I got called "Parrot"?)

Still and all, in the current scenario (as before), there are two approaches, top-down and bottom-up. Top-down is what the schools do: they train you for a job description, and usually the training is on a trodden path (majority or existing language combinations in use).

The "bottom-up" approach is what the army does: a need arises and requisition fills it. (Many interpreters may have forgotten that the profession -- like computer science -- owes a lot to the military). You might approach the problem of employment or getting practice this way (nothing wrong in volunteer programs, or simple language mediation activities). For one, it would give you confidence.

Here's a secret: "two years of education abroad" is barely half the picture. What actually gives you confidence is the part about the "two years... abroad". The education, you can pick up later, or simultaneously, as you prefer.



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fallenangel
Turkey
Local time: 20:06
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Parrot, that was what I thought Sep 8, 2009



if I had enough sum of money; or a relative or a friend abroad (:, I would not think of any education opportunity just go for a while to see what I can do. but you know, to convince my parents there "must" be an educational objective and I must look for scholarships as soon as possible if I decide to go. By the way, my interpretation exam grades are promising and my teachers always appreciate what I do but you cannot fool yourself as teachers do the same to others and while I listen them interpreting I just feel ashamed..

To be honest, my hearing is just not too good. Voices should be clear and loud and although I do my best, I can barely follow long and fast speeches. Besides I really must be interested in the topic to understand, for example speeches on technical issues which include a lot of numbers make me too nervous to understand let alone translate. And to overcome these challenges I try hard to develop my vocabulary. Somehow, although I study interpretation I come to believe it is about innate ability a supernatural phenomenon.

Maybe I'll give up and end up to be something other than interpreter. but I just want to say, reading your experiences here excite me so much that I want to say,

You are amazing..


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
On listening Sep 8, 2009

No one ever hears EVERYthing said. Check yourself in your native language (a good shadowing exercise, BTW). You'll probably only get it on the second try with a taped speech (which second chance no one ever gets in a booth).

But the reason the booths work is, that the people inside have developed the same ability as a native speaker in source to "fill in the gaps", so to speak, for the purposes of understanding. This is also the reason why interpreters insist on a good view of the proceedings from the booth, sine qua non -- gestures and facial expressions may help where the words and intonation fail. That's the real value of immersion (nay, bombardment) in the source language, in the countries where it's spoken. You also learn the accents. Maybe you can explain this to your parents.

At any rate, don't give up until you hear what the British Council has to say about your project/needs. I'm not familiar with their programs in Turkey, but they may have some interesting ones you can try for (including Teaching English as a Foreign Language, for a faily good start).

Good luck!

[Edited at 2009-09-08 22:07 GMT]


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fallenangel
Turkey
Local time: 20:06
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
never give up without a fight Sep 9, 2009

Yes, I'll give it a try though it was insulting that I was told my sight translation was, well, not that good at my first job interview. The text was about software engineering and from Turkish to English. I admit, I am not the person of the world of computers but what would you do if the company gives you its terms of agreement and expects you to be perfect ( he had the translated text in his hand and I am not sure if he knew there were other ways to say the same thing:) Whatever, he was keen to hire me though but I did not take my time to even say goodbye

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