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The Real Value of Interpreting

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Presents an historical analysis of simultaneous interpreting comparing two main styles: conference and community interpreting.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Comments that offer critical feedback or otherwise stimulate dialogue about these ideas can earn you a discount on my online course, Interpreting as Stewardship. See http://darkallyredesign.com/what-we-do/interpreting-as-stewardship/
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  • @giolester Thanks for the feedback, the transcript is now available at AIIC's website: http://aiic.net/blog/post/6560/the-real-value-of-interpreting/2013/06/21/lang/1

    Please come back and tell me more!
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  • Miss the spoken part of the presentation. The slides communicate a lot but create just as many questions - expected :o). Gotta make sure to be there next time!
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  • Soon, I'll be announcing an online course, 'Interpreting as Stewardship.' I'm requesting your help promoting it, and also in building a 'proof of concept' example of its innovative action research component. Every comment you make here will earn a 1, 3, or 5% discount off of tuition, up to 25%. (I'll determine based on subjective criteria involving the insight of contributions to growing this dialogue.) INFORMED CONSENT/WARNING: I will take screenshots or otherwise quote comments in a reconstruction or stimulus of/for the knowledge we're co-generating here.
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  • Slide #8 names 1) social change, 2) cultural equality, 3) new economies, 4) reducing violence, and 5) promoting human survival as possibilities of the skillful and strategic use of simultaneous interpretation.
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The Real Value of Interpreting

  1. 1. The Real Value ofInterpretingCommunicating pluralingual relationships into the future . . .Pluralingual:social interaction involving two or more languages
  2. 2. Thinking in TimestreamsAmericanDeafCulture(US)NurembergWar CrimesTribunalEuropeanParliament(EU)Sign LanguageCommunity Interpretingestablished 1964 (US)The “IBM Translation System” of Simultaneous Interpreting, 1945Conference Interpreting [Spoken Language]~ Research Period 2005-2009The “Big Bang” Enlargement of the European ParliamentSocial Construction of„the interpreter‟as a TechnologyNeustadt & May 1986Kline & Pinch 1987Hughes 1987
  3. 3. 2 Styles ofSimultaneous InterpretationCOMMUNITY CONFERENCEMistakes, MisunderstandingsDanger, Risk, LossInterpretersInterpreters InterpreteesInterpretees“Interpreting” “Oral Translating”
  4. 4. Learning from FailureA Center that ShiftsBreaks down during turntakingbetween sign and speech (inter-modal, across two mediums).Breaks down during voting(too fast) and relayinterpreting (too slow).“The IBM System”Doesn‟t break down in relay:interpreters are allowed to “holdtime” & ensure understanding.Interpretation itself isconsidered “noise”–the social failure to adapt isnot questionedErasure OR preservation ofdifference depends on the rateof interpretation deemedsocially acceptable.
  5. 5. Interpreting in theEuropean Parliament“Normally people do notunderstand the difference betweeninterpretation and translation.Translation remains there;interpretation is to allow people tocommunicate.”www.europarl.europa.eu
  6. 6. Two Orientations to TimeCULTURE To interpret is to interact inthe present Interpreting is the stuff ofritual Rituals are the substance ofrelationships Relationships sustainsocietyCONTROL To translate is to fix ameaning for the future Translating is the exerciseof power Power reducesrelationships to onedimension Unilateral relationsdestabilize society
  7. 7. Three Values of Interpreting:1. Interpreting makes time visible2. Interpreting makes culture visible3. Interpreting makes power visible
  8. 8. Potentials of Interpreting: Interpreting helps us understand thatall social interaction ismeaningful Interpreting creates possibilities forsocial changecultural equalitynew economiesreducing violencehuman survival
  9. 9. 2 Discourses ofSimultaneous InterpretationCOMMUNITY CONFERENCEInterpretersInterpreters InterpreteesInterpreteesHomolingualismPluralingualism“Interpreting” “Oral Translating”
  10. 10. Interpreting asStewardship Interpreters enable the co-presence of difference andconnection: „„mistakes‟ & „misunderstandings‟ are evidence ofpluralingualism (i.e., of social reality) not „noise‟ but the „engine‟ interpretee‟s utterances are the „fuel‟ Interpreters cultivate meta-awareness = generallyreliable but fallable “closure skills” require making assumptions insisting on speed inhibits innovation
  11. 11. Interpreters as StewardsLee & Llewellyn-Jones 2009Role Space is• Dynamic• Reasoned• Situational• NegotiableRequires “relational autonomy”~ Witter-Merithew, Johnson & Nicodemus 2010Participant/InterpreteeParticipant/Interpretee
  12. 12. Real Interpretingis a communication strategy forSOCIAL RESILIENCE develops capacities of listening requires adaptation and flexibility a democratic activity emboldens the local exercises strategic foresight –Does humanity choose the homolingual illusion or thepluralingual possibility?Turner 2007
  13. 13. Holding TimeTo see a World in aGrain of Sand,And a Heaven in aWildflower,Hold Infinity in thepalm of yourhand, and Eternity inan hour.~ William BlakeTimeIdentityCultureInformationSocial RealityThe Future& You, Now

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