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A Concise Course of English Interpreting Techniques & Practice 简明英语口译技巧与实践 主讲教师:任静生教授 PowerPoint Presentation
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A Concise Course of English Interpreting Techniques & Practice 简明英语口译技巧与实践 主讲教师:任静生教授

A Concise Course of English Interpreting Techniques & Practice 简明英语口译技巧与实践 主讲教师:任静生教授

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A Concise Course of English Interpreting Techniques & Practice 简明英语口译技巧与实践 主讲教师:任静生教授

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  1. 合肥工业大学 人文经济学院外语系 A Concise Course of English Interpreting Techniques & Practice 简明英语口译技巧与实践 主讲教师:任静生教授

  2. Lecture Notes: An Outline Part One: Introduction to the Course of interpretation ①      Course Objectives: Objectives, Coverage & Methods

  3. a. Objectives 1) To help students consolidate their knowledge of oral English at an advanced level. 2) To improve and develop students’ linguistic, cultural competence as well as their communicative competence in English. 3) To introduce and master some basic theories and practical techniques in the bilingual interpretation practice as a consecutive interpreter (E-C & C-E) with an emphasis on two stages: General English & Business English/Scientific English.

  4. b. Coverage of the Course 1) Background information of the course 2) Interpretation Techniques —— Preparatory Steps & Practice Exercises 3) General English —— Interpretation Practice 4) Business/Scientific English—— Interpretation Practice c. Way of Attaining the Set Goals 1) Some interpretation skills and practical ways introduced to deal with specific situations or problems where necessary and appropriate. 2) Well-selected and graded materials to be given to students step by step (from easy to difficult/from simple to complex). Sometimes if necessary, some key words and phrases are provided for students.

  5. 3) Some mock conferences (press conference; briefing conference), lectures, and talks to be given or held by some invited guest speakers or video tapes or interviews if possible. 4) E-C interpretation practice first and C-E interpretation second. 5) Comments on the given practice exercises immediately after the interpretation done by the students in class: merits and demerits, compared with the reference version given/ offered by the instructor and possible ways for further improvements. 6) Test and Grading decided and given on the basis of the following: Oral Interpretation Test makes up 60% and class attendance, cooperation and in-class interpretation 40%.

  6. ② Basic concepts & Features of interpretation 1) Brief notes about the history and developments of interpretation (Geneva, Georg (1952);2nd ed. Revised &enlarged, 1968, 115p) Jean Herbert(冉·赫伯特), author of The Interpreter’s Handbook: How to Become a Conference Interpreter, was the oldest and most distinguished interpreter working for French President Charles De Gaulle and later on serving the U.N. as the head of the Translation Department. The book is still regarded today as a ‘Classic’. The first book ever written about conference interpreter was published when the profession was in its infancy. In his book, Hebert states that there have been interpreters since the remotest antiquity, but conference interpretation developed into a recognized profession only during the First World War. Until then, all international meetings of any importance had been held exclusively in French.

  7. Hebert witnessed the birth of the profession and wrote one of the most authoritative early books about it mentioned above. Speeches, which occasionally lasted over an hour, were originally interpreted, consecutively. The first attempts to introduce simultaneous interpretation were made shortly before the Second World War. —— How Conference Interpretation Grow Gerver and Sinaiko 1978(30), 5-10 The other famous veteran interpreter is Danica Seleskovitch, who wrote an excellent book, Interpreting for International Conferences: Problems oflanguage & Communication.(Paris, Minard Lettres Modernes(1968), 263p) The book is a popular and really accessible introduction to interpretation theory.

  8. 2) Definitions of interpretation and variety of interpretations A “Interpretation, essentially, means an extempore oral reproduction, in one language, of what is said in another language.” —— 钟述孔,实用口译手册 a   not merely a linguistic undertaking but communication: i)   linguistic proficiency ii)  encyclopedic knowledge b   immediate result is a speech reproduced orally in a language.(Transfer of the meaning of an utterance from one language (source language, and one culture) to another (target language)) (“Translation, essentially, is the faithful representation in one language, of what is written in another language.” —— Ibid.)

  9. B Two major kinds of interpretations: Consecutive Interpretation & Simultaneous Interpretation a Consecutive Interpretation(即席/连续翻译): In case the interpreter is under the instructions “to interpret between chunks of the original speech (immediately after the original speaker has completed a few sentences or in most cases, a fairly long paragraph), he is doing ‘consecutive interpretation’.” b Simultaneous Interpretation(同声翻译): If he is instructed to interpret while the original speech is being made then he will be doing ‘Simultaneous Interpretation’. Compared with the two said interpretations, Consecutive Interpretation is more convenient, economical and widely-used while Simultaneous Interpretation is more often used for some formal, big, international conferences which usually need a set of equipment to do the jobs.

  10. Other minor types of interpretations On-sight/At-sight/Sight-Interpretation(视译)similar to “Simultaneous Interpretation” in approach basically Whispering Interpretation —— to whisper into the ear of one or two representatives.

  11. 3) Typical Features of Interpretation Advantages: a. Enjoy more freedom than the translator; b. Concentrate on the sense of a message rather than the words which convey it; c. Get helpful aids from the intonation, gesture and facial expressions of the speaker, redundancies (non-verbal language); d. Occasionally ask the speaker to repeat a word, a phrase or a sentence, or explain some points; Require less precision than that of a translator’s.

  12. a Stress: i Concentrated listening, absorbing information and reproducing it; ii Great demands on the interpreter ability to seize the essential meaning of a statement and to find an appropriate rendering; iii Inadequate preparations. b Pressure: i Verbal message of transient nature; ii Rapid analysis and synthesis; iii Immediate communication; iv Psychological pressure. c Overall test of linguistic competence: SL & TL i English & Chinese: Phonological, syntactic and semantic difference between English & Chinese languages (figures, idioms, technical terms) ii Lack of general, cultural and background knowledge d Accent: different speakers with varied accents. D I S A D V A N T A G E

  13. A summary of the features of interpreting compared with translation: 1) The source is verbal in one case, written in the other. 2) The style of text and their content differ. 3) The target group is known to the interpreter, unknown to the translator. 4) The interpreter is compelled by time pressure to be brief, to the point; a translator may have a longer period of time. 5) An interpreter has the function of immediate communication alone, whereas the product of a translator, once committed to paper, acquires permanence. 6) Conveying the message effectively in the written form relies on precision in terms of punctuation, syntax and choice of words, in spoken form, the message can be conveyed with the help of intonation and paralinguistic features and therefore, such syntactic precision is not always so necessary. 7) Interpreters tend to be expeditious and less thorough, whereas many translators are punctilious and perfectionists.

  14. ③ The Process of Interpretation/Basic Techniques of Interpretation The interpretation process consists of three distinct parts: Understanding, Conversion/Transference and Delivery. a. Understanding: i Be able to hear it well. ii Have an intimate knowledge of the language. iii Be acquainted with the specific culture and linguistic peculiarities of the country of the speaker. iv Well versed in the subject matter v Possess a wide general education b. Conversion/Transference: not translate literally but should express each idea as it would normally be expressed by a good public speaker in the target language. (Problems: proverbs, metaphors, allusions, jokes, and after-dinner stories, speakers’ mistakes, obscure and ambiguous statements, and long quotations within improvised speech) c. Delivery: The interpreter’s voice should carry well and be pleasant to hear. Be a good trained public orator and speak only his mother tongue wherever possible, style, intonation. Never pause or leave a sentence unfinished.

  15. Interpretation Process suggested by 钟述孔 a) Listening/Listening-Transference (Active listening) Listening is integrated with “analyzing, understanding, transference” (Analyzing: the original speaker’s whole thought process” Understanding: the “context” Transference: employ some specific: conversion, inversion, addition, omission, negative, etc.) b) Memory/Memory supplemented by Note-Taking (Absorb and retain in memory the gist of what the original speaker is saying. “Active Memory” Note-taking is an effective means to supplement, memory efficiency so as to ensure accuracy in work.) Short-term & Long term c) Delivery/Speaking (Re-expression) (Consecutive interpretation gives the interpreter a chance to marshal his thoughts and to approach the interpretation in a logical way) —— 钟述孔《实用口译手册》pp66-68

  16. Similar Opinions about the Process of Consecutive Interpretation Consecutive interpretation can be broken down into 3 phases: Active listening Memorizing the cognitive content Re-expression or Listening and Understanding Assimilation Reformulation

  17. ④ Prerequisites of Interpretation Prerequisites for interpretation are basically four-fold: 1) A strong sense of duty: First being conscientious —— conscientious in pre-conference preparations; in following the original speaker and furnishing the best possible rendition; in abiding by the “professional ethics and the relevant rules and regulations, etc. Second being conscientious and persistent to improve his competence; the training in interpretation is a never-ending process, that is, there is always something I could have done better. 2) Linguistic proficiency: Linguistic proficiency means primarily a fairly good command of the languages involved and a good grasp of the cultures of the languages involved. Specifically, it means interalia (among other things), acute hearing, large vocabulary, precision and flexibility of expression, good articulation and elocution. Constant exposure to different variety of English spoken and written by native speakers and same is true and necessary to various relevant publications in Chinese & English.

  18. 3) “Encyclopedic knowledge”: “Encyclopedic knowledge”, though hardly possible in practice, is a goal towards which the conscientious interpreter or translator should work untiringly. The lack of knowledge of the subject matter can become a serious stumbling-block. An interpreter has to learn to acquire in advance some basic knowledge of and basic terminology relevant to the given or assigned tasks. Of course, the level of knowledge acquired or mastered by an interpreter can never equal that of the specialist in any particular field. Yet a competent interpreter must have some knowledge in all the multifarious fields with which he deals, and the level of that knowledge must be adequate for understanding. As a rule, an interpreter’s “extra linguistic inadequacy” always leads to obscure or meaningless or even erroneous interpretation. Conversely, given the required “language proficiency”, the greater the interpreter’s knowledge of the subject matter, the more readily understanding occurs, and the more accurate and intelligible his “output” in the target language.

  19. 4) Mastery of interpretation techniques: Mastery of interpretation techniques seems to be essential to an interpreter. Not all those who have a good command of the languages involved and have acquired a wide range and scope of general knowledge are necessarily good interpreters. In the case of C-E and E-C interpretation which involves two well-developed languages that are carriers of two vastly different cultures, “techniques” do play a helpful role. Most of the C-E and E-C “translation techniques” are to a considerably great extent, applicable to “simultaneous interpretation and, to an even greater extent, to “consecutive interpretation”. For instance, subordination, diction, conversion, amplification, omission, negation, division.

  20. ⑤ Basic Qualities Required for the Interpreter Interpreter’s mission: “The mission of the interpreter is to help individuals and communities to acquire a fuller knowledge and deeper understanding of one another. Also to come to an agreement if they should want to do so.” by Jean Hebert from The Interpreter’s Handbook: How to Become a Conference Interpreter In order to be a qualified interpreter one has to acquire a combination of some qualities: which can only be achieved through an arduous process of intensive training and practice. These basic qualities include: 1) A strong sense of duty 2) A good command of the languages involved (both Source Language & Target Language) 3) An encyclopedic knowledge/Jack of all trades

  21. 4) Acute hearing: Understand & grasp the “idea” 5) A good articulation: not to swallow part of the words; his voice should carry well and be pleasant to hear, speak distinctively and naturally. 6) Familiarity with “simultaneous note-taking”: A good interpreter must be good at note-taking. He should learn to be able to concentrate on listening to grasp the speaker’s “idea” while jotting down a few “key words” in the meantime, with signs or symbols to represent a sense group or a figure or a proper name. 7) A good memory: i Store up a large vocabulary including the relevant specialized terms and a great wealth of “relevant important formulations” along with the corresponding correct translation in the target language; ii Accurately absorb and retain the idea or the series of ideas. 8) Quick and accurate response: speediness and accuracy

  22. To sum up, the process of achieving the above basic qualities means, in essence, the process of the strengthening of one’s “basic training in the three essential aspects”, namely, 1) the constant enhancement of one’s political awareness and sense of duty; 2) the constant improvement of one’s command of the languages involved and competence (as carriers of different cultures, and in terms of the “skills” —— listening, speaking, reading, writing, translation/interpretation); 3) and, the constant broadening of one’s scope and range of “general knowledge” ——钟述孔《实用口译手册》 Or a) have complete mastery over his working language b) possess broad general knowledge c) have acquired necessary technical skills —— Danica Seleskovitch

  23. ⑥ Criteria of Good Interpretation “What a competent interpreter can and should do is to strive to produce” the best possible transference and delivery” that is marked by the dialectical unity of accurate comprehension (of the original speaker’s idea) and smooth rendition appropriate to the occasion —— the dialectical unity of Accuracy and Smoothness.” ——钟述孔 《实用口译手册》 My own opinions on the good interpretation are below: 1)Accurate (Accuracy) 准确 2)Fluent (Fluency) 流利 3)Complete (Completeness) 完整 4)Appropriate (Appropriateness/to the occasion) 得体 Compare with the standards of translation: Yan Fu:Lu Xun: Faithfulness 信 Faithfulness 信Expressiveness 达Elegance 雅 Smoothness 顺

  24. “5 levels”: Frozen Style Formal Style Consultative Style Casual Style Intimate Style Evaluation Sheet (100 marks system)