Stopping speaking with your hands
Thread poster: Natalia Eklund

Natalia Eklund  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:40
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Nov 10, 2004

Ok, probably a newbie question, but I'm a newbie. Just did a brief informal interpreting job for a legal auditor who understood basic French but wanted to be assured that he understood correctly. He was aware that I am starting out in interpreting, so we had a blast together since he accepted any basic hesitations.

Here's my question, besides sitting on them, what can you do to stop gesturing with your hands a lot when interpreting. I find that I do this mostly when I am searching for words, so I know that it will get better as I get more experience. But in the meantime, are there any tricks I can use?

By the way, I gesticulate when I'm in an animated conversation in my native language, so I know that I can only try to minimize my movements.
I joked with the auditor saying that if I didn't know the word I would express it through interpretive dance. He liked the idea and suggested this kind of profession would takes off quite well in stuffy boardroom meetings.

Thanks for any suggestions. And here's hoping for more cool clients like him.

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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:40
Russian to English
+ ...
Speaking with hands - tips Nov 11, 2004

You know, if you do it when going into French, it's ok!

Ok, couldn't resist.

As you get into more consecutive interpreting, it will take care of itself. With longer conversations, you'll hopefully be using a pad and pen, so that will end that issue.

For other times with no notebook, if you're standing you can hold your hands folded behind your back. Just be careful of looking too military.

Two points to remember:
1. Your gestures should reflect the client's
2. Or be kept to a minimum.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2004-11-11 18:21]

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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:40
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

... and yes May 23, 2005

just take in your hands the pocket dictionary

to be true I used it while working for OSCE. Sometimes I had really hard times while interpreting for polititians

and yes, when you do not know the proper word, just try to pass around it, and to express it by other words, or synonims

and agree with Kurt translator's gesticulation should be kept to minimum

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