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Training for interpreters: how does your memory work?

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I have designed these slides to train conference and public service interpreters. How does your memory work?

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Training for interpreters: how does your memory work?

  1. 1. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 1 How does our memory work?
  2. 2. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 2 Where do we store information?  Many parts of our brain:  Sensorial memory - perception  Working memory - filing and retrieving information
  3. 3. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 3 How does our memory work?  Memories are formed when certain connections (synapses) are strengthened.
  4. 4. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 4 Laying down new memories Information Senses Cortex Hippocampus
  5. 5. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 5 Memory  A huge filing system!
  6. 6. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 6 Why is memory important for interpreters?  Consecutive Interpreting?  Simultaneous Interpreting?  Remote Interpreting?  Research?  Vocabulary?
  7. 7. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 7 How good is your memory?  Look at the following phone numbers and try to remember them  0 5 1 2 8 9 9 3 6 4 5 7
  8. 8. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 8 Short term memory-Immediate memory  Information is stored for immediate use  With regular stimulation:long term memory
  9. 9. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 9 Short term memory  Can store information for less than a minute  It is limited in capacity to about:  7 items when they are not connected, however difficult they are  10 to 20 items when they are connected (sentence…)  Uses auditive memory  Distraction will immediately erase the information stored in our immediate memory
  10. 10. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 10 Short term memory  Best friends:  Concentration  Relaxation  Adrenaline  Worst ennemies:  Distraction (external and internal)  Fear
  11. 11. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 11 Short term memory and interpreting  Used in:  Simultaneous Interpreting  Chuchotage  Short Consecutive Interpreting (ad hoc, over the telephone…)
  12. 12. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 12 Long term memory  Memories of events,  How to do things  Facts.
  13. 13. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 13 Storing information long term Memory 3 hours later 3 days later Auditive 70% 10% Visual 72% 20% Combination of the 2 85% 65%
  14. 14. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 14 Storing information long term  A few secrets:  Stimulate your memory often on the same topic  Use all memory combinations for optimum results  Understand your favourite sensory channel
  15. 15. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 15 Working memory  The ‘blackboard of our mind'.
  16. 16. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 16 What is your earliest memory?  Usually at 3 or 4 years old  Not accessible before speaking
  17. 17. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 17 Improving your memory  Association of facts with meanings
  18. 18. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 18 Ancient memory tricks .  Cicero recommended breaking a long text into bits.
  19. 19. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 19 Testing, testing…  Listen to the text carefully  Concentrate  Answer questions on the handouts on your own  Do not speak
  20. 20. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 20 Improving your memory with medication  Smart drugs: positive help on rebuilding memory after a stroke or Alzheimer disease
  21. 21. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 21 Right and left brain  In most people, the left side of the brain - which controls the right side of the body - deals more with language.
  22. 22. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 22 Conference Interpreters  Usually we listen with our right ear and  Uncover our left ear to listen to our delivery  When you phone, which ear do you use spontaneously?
  23. 23. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 23 To get the whole picture  We actually need both sides of our brain to get the 'whole picture'.
  24. 24. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 24 What about interpreters?  We need to build bridges between listening and understanding
  25. 25. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 25 Speaking words  We use the part of our brain called Broca's area.
  26. 26. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 26 Understanding words  When we listen to (or read) words, we are using a part of our brain known as Wernicke's area.
  27. 27. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 27 Language pathways in our brain  a complex network between speaking (Broca's area) and understanding words (Wernicke's area).  When we speak a word that we have read or heard, the message goes to the parts of our brain concerned with seeing or hearing, and then to both language areas before an instruction is sent to other areas concerned with movement of the tongue and lips.
  28. 28. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 28 However…how much do we understand?  10% comes from the words (conscious level)  40% comes from the tone of the speaker’s voice  50% comes from non verbal attitude (unconscious level)
  29. 29. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 29 Emotional memory  When remembering an emotional event, we recall not only what happened, but also how we felt - an emotional memory.
  30. 30. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 30 Feedback from the memory test  3 possible channels  Visual memory  Auditive memory  Kinetic memory
  31. 31. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 31 Who are we?  Results for the test are not rigid, they can change depending on life styles and new skills (playing a new musical instrument…)  There is no right or wrong result, the ideal is to have a balanced result in all 3.  Once we understand our strong channel, we can consciously encourage the storage of new information
  32. 32. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 32 Visual memory  Use colours, space, harmony, elegance and order  Look at people’s outlook when you speak to them  Visualise events like sequences of a film or a cartoon
  33. 33. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 33 Auditive memory  Concentrate on the intonation and the intensity of the voice of the speaker  Learn new vocabulary reading words out loud, using intonation or tune  Use silence or a light musical background when studying
  34. 34. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 34 Kinetic memory  Use movement to concentrate  Remember emotions felt at the time you were exposed to new information  Use your sense of humour  Use your common sense when listening to understand how facts interact with one another
  35. 35. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 35 Combination of memories  We remember:  10% of what we read  20% of what we listen to  30% of what we see  50% of what we listen and see at the same time  80% of what we say  90% of what we say and do at the same time
  36. 36. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 36 Remembering information: 3 stages 1. Exposure to information 2. Recording of information 3. Recalling information
  37. 37. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 37 Exposure to information  You hear info for the first time:  Concentrate  Avoid distraction  Use passive listening skills  Use your sensory channels (visual, auditive, kinetic memories combined)
  38. 38. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 38 Recording of information  Create word-idea associations . It is vital to think in terms of ideas  Use mental images involving senses (touch, smell..)  Use your own words  Organise ideas in sequences (film)  Take notes
  39. 39. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 39 Recalling information  Remember information in order, from the beginning (sequence 1, 2, 3 etc…)  Use your notes  Remember senses triggered during stage 1 (emotion, colour of the room, voice of speaker etc..)
  40. 40. 22/05/2014 London Metropolitan University / ddh 40 To conclude What will you remember about memory?

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