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Gillies) Note-Taking for Consecutive Interpretiung

Description

Translation Practices Explained Translation Practices Explained is a series of coursebooks designed to help self-learners and teachers of translation

Each volume focuses on a specific aspect of professional translation practice,

in many cases corresponding to actual courses available in translatortraining institutions

Special volumes are devoted to well consolidated professional areas,

such as legal translation or European Union texts

to areas where labour-market demands are currently undergoing considerable growth,

such as screen translation in its different forms

and to specific aspects of professional practices on which little teaching and learning material is available,

the case of editing and revising,

The authors are practising translators or translator trainers in the fields concerned

Although specialists,

they explain their professional insights in a manner accessible to the wider learning public

These books start from the recognition that professional translation practices require something more than elaborate abstraction or fixed methodologies

They are located close to work on authentic texts,

and encourage learners to proceed inductively,

solving problems as they arise from examples and case studies

Each volume includes activities and exercises designed to help selflearners consolidate their knowledge

teachers may also find these useful for direct application in class,

or alternatively as the basis for the design and preparation of their own material

Updated reading lists and website addresses will also help individual learners gain further insight into the realities of professional practice

Dorothy Kelly Series Editor

This page intentionally left blank

Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting A Short Course

Andrew Gillies

First published 2005 by S1

Jerome Publishing Published 2014 by Routledge 2 Park Square,

Milton Park,

Abingdon,

Oxon OX14 4RN 711 Third Avenue,

New York,

NY 10017,

USA Routledge is an imprint o/the Taylor & Francis Group,

© Andrew Gillies 2005 All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic,

now known or hereafter invented,

including photocopying and recording,

or in any information storage or retrieval system,

without permission in writing from the publishers

Notices Knowledge and best practice in this field are constantly changing

As new research and experience broaden our understanding,

or medical treatment may become necessary

Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluating and using any information,

or experiments described herein

In using such information or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others,

including parties for whom they have a professional responsibility

To the fullest extent of the law,

neither the Publisher nor the authors,

assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability,

or from any use or operation of any methods,

or ideas contained in the material herein

ISBN 13: 978-1-900650-82-3 (pbk)

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

Library o/Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gillies,

Andrew,

ISBN 9781900650823 (pbk

Translating and interpreting

Note-taking

G58 2005 418'

More often than not,

the “greats” will tell you that consecutive interpretation cannot be learnt and that note-taking depends upon the personality of the interpreter

I am afraid my own experience shows otherwise

If the fundamentals [

] are in place then note-taking can easily be learnt

The oft repeated argument that notes are an entirely personal affair,

and the implicit suggestion that they cannot therefore be taught,

Andres,

2000:58

This page intentionally left blank

Contents Part I

The Basics Step-by-step

Introduction What is consecutive interpreting

? When is consecutive interpreting used

? About this book Note-taking for consecutive interpreting About the notes About the examples How to use the book Miscellaneous

Chapter 1

Speech Analysis Speech writing guides Structure maps Mini-summaries Mind maps

Chapter 2

Recognizing and Splitting Ideas

Chapter 3

The Beginning of Notes

Chapter 4

Moving On… Taking notes directly Reproducing speeches from notes Note-taking from the spoken word

Chapter 5

Verticality and Hierarchies of Values Parallel values Shifting values Parallel values 2 Use of brackets

Chapter 6

Symbols What is a symbol

? What to note with symbols How to use symbols Organic symbols Where to find symbols

Chapter 7

Memory Prompts Structure can help recall information Things right in front of you Note the simple for the complicated Stories and jokes It depends on what you already know

Chapter 8

Part II 1

Fine-tuning

Clauses Rules of Abbreviation Verbs The Recall Line Uses of the Margin Implicit Links Pro-forms Noting sooner,

or lsater How You Write it More on Symbols Things You Didn’t Catch The End

Part III 1

What to Note

The Back of the Book

Notes with Commentary Speech 1

- Patten

Speech 3

Glossary

Further reading

References

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Acknowledgements Thanks to: David Walker and Brian Huebner for really knowing what consecutive interpreting is about

Guy Laycock for his invaluable contribution

Andrew Marson,

Nick Woodman and Jasper Tilbury for their help in reading and checking the drafts

to Tatiana for all her support and help

and all the colleagues and students who took part in the Cracow interpreting workshops 2001-04

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PART I The Basics Step-by-step

and that something must be simple and methodical

Introduction What is consecutive interpreting

? Consecutive interpreting is one of the two skills that go to make up what we call conference interpreting

It involves listening to what someone has to say and then,

reproducing the same message in another language

The speech may be anything between a minute and twenty minutes in length and the interpreter will rely on a combination of notes,

memory and general knowledge to recreate their version of the original

A speaker,

a notepad§ and a pen is all the equipment you will need

When is consecutive interpreting used

? Seventy years ago conference interpreting meant consecutive interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting,

or the equipment to make it possible,

had not yet been invented and consecutive interpreting was the standard for international meetings of every kind

Simultaneous interpreting came along after World War II and by the 1970s had overtaken consecutive as the main form of conference interpretation

Consecutive interpreting has not disappeared,

It is still an essential part of an interpreter’s repertoire and is considered by many to be the superior of the two skills

Indeed on the free market it is also better paid

! Although simultaneous interpreting has replaced consecutive almost entirely at the meeting room table,

where conference facilities are often able to supply the equipment required to provide simultaneous interpreting,

there are many situations where consecutive survives and will continue to survive

Ceremonial speeches There are many occasions where a speaker makes a formal speech that needs then to be interpreted consecutively

After-dinner speeches at banquets or to open receptions are a classic example: the host will want to say a few words to the guests and the guests will want to reply

You may also find that you have been recruited to interpret for the opening of a cultural event held at a centre like the British Council or Goethe Institute

The organizer will introduce the event in,

English or German and you will interpret into the language of the host country

There is no real limit on the type of ceremonial speech you will be asked to interpret

It could be the opening of a French supermarket in Poland,

or the launch of a German boat in Korea

It could be a foreign winner of an award making an acceptance speech in their own language,

or a composer’s 70th birthday at the Philharmonic

Andrew Gillies

Visits and guided tours Groups of MPs,

technical experts and more besides will often make trips abroad as part of their jobs

Often these visits will involve seeing how things work in another country

This means getting out of the fully equipped conference centre and off into consecutive country

If your clients have come to see a certain industrial process then you may be bussed off to a plant where it is used and expected to interpret consecutively the explanations offered by a knowledgeable guide of how it all works

Alternatively,

if you are accompanying a group of agricultural experts you can expect to find yourself down on the farm for a round or two of consecutive

There is no end to the type of place you may visit

Slaughterhouses,

pharmaceutical production units,

fish-filleting plants and furniture factories

You name it and one of our colleagues has already been there and worked in consecutive mode§

Visiting groups also have social programmes arranged for them in the evenings or on the free afternoon at the end of the trip

So when you get back from the slaughterhouse you may well find yourself interpreting consecutively what a tourist guide has to say about the local sights and attractions

the owner of a local brewery as he introduces you to his products

or the host of the visit wishing everyone a pleasant meal and opening the buffet

Working meetings without equipment Sometimes of course,

you will still find yourself in an old-fashioned meeting room,

interpreting consecutively what the participants have to say to one another across the table

The meeting rooms will all look much the same,

but the subject of the debate will depend on who your clients are

Accreditation tests Finally,

it is worth mentioning accreditation tests

Many large international institutions insist on testing interpreters’ abilities before offering them any work

Such accreditation tests cannot be considered to be “real” interpreting: we are not helping people with no mutual language to communicate with one another

Rather we are demonstrating to people who understand perfectly the two languages involved that we are capable of facilitating that communication when necessary

then at some stage in your future career you are very likely to take such a test

Consecutive interpreting is an integral part of most accreditation tests,

and more often than not it is the first part and it is eliminatory

In other words,

if you fail it you won’t even be asked to take a test of your simultaneous skills

This is one of many good reasons to put time and effort into improving your consecutive interpreting skills

Introduction

About this book Back in the 1950s and 60s there were a couple of legendary interpreters who could reproduce speeches of twenty and thirty minutes from memory

Those of us with more modest abilities

general knowledge and notes to do the same

This book looks at those notes because,

you will have to take notes when interpreting consecutively and the way you take those notes will have an enormous impact on the success of your interpretation

Not knowing how to take notes,

and the detrimental effect that that will have on your performance interpreting could discourage you from joining the profession before you even really get started

Alternatively,

once you finish your training and start working,

poorly thought-out notes will stop you from reaching your full potential as an interpreter

This workbook aims to help student interpreters to work progressively towards a system for note-taking in consecutive interpreting which is consistent,

A system which,

will help interpreters to interpret better in consecutive mode by saving time and intellectual effort,

and by offering consistent solutions to frequently occurring problems

Parts I

and also that most readers will be involved in,

some kind of formal interpreter training,

although this is not a prerequisite for using this book

The book is split into three parts

Part I is a step-by-step introduction to this note-taking system and takes the reader through a series of stages towards a framework system of consecutive notes

One chapter is devoted to each stage,

and each stage should be practised in isolation and mastered before moving on to the next

Each subsequent chapter builds on the techniques learnt in the previous one

This note-taking system forms a self-contained whole but can and should be adapted and built upon as each interpreter sees fit

Practice ideas are explained at the end of each chapter

The basic structure of each chapter will be as follows: • • • •

Guidelines for using a technique Example of the use of that technique Practice task for student Example of how the task might have been completed (to be found at the back of the book in Part III) • Tips on further practice Part II is a collection of tips and ideas which are not an integral part of the system but which can be used within it and which have been tried and tested successfully by many interpreters

This part of the book expands on some of the techniques described in Part I as well as offering a few additional ideas

You can

Andrew Gillies

consult these whenever you feel the need or curiosity inspires you

The sections in Part II are self-contained

In Part III you will find a series of sample speeches,

notes taken from them and commentaries on those notes,

together with versions of the tasks set in Part I,

information about the examples used in Parts I and II,

and tips on how and where to find more practice material

Finally,

you will find a glossary of terms used recommendations on further reading,

and the complete list of references

The terms which appear in the glossary are highlighted at first mention with the symbol §

Note-taking for consecutive interpreting There are several reasons why having a considered and consistent system for taking notes in consecutive interpreting is useful,

and these ideas are described below

Macro-thinking§ In economics micro- means looking at the individual,

whereas macro- means examining the workings of the whole national or international economy

Here too,

macro- means looking at the bigger picture

Whereas words,

expressions and ideas are part of the micro-level,

framework and way the speech is built up form the macro-level

Notes taken in consecutive interpreting are a representation of the skeleton structure of the speech

The original speech is a group of ideas in a certain order

it is not an arbitrary muddle of unrelated ideas

In the speaker’s mind at least,

the ideas that make up a speech are related to one another,

or by their relative importance

These relationships and the structures used to express them are limited in number and occur repeatedly in all sorts of speeches,

so once you have learnt to recognize them you will need a quick and consistent way of noting them

In this way your notes become the visual representation of your analysis of the source speech§

The notes must be at least as clear as the analysis preceding them,

otherwise the analysis is wasted,

and usually the notes will be clearer in structure than the original speech,

so that the interpreter can easily transmit the same message to the audience

You will be listening at two levels: to the words of the speech in order to understand them,

but also to the overall speech,

This is what we mean by a macro-approach§

It is the focus of Chapter 1 in particular but also underlies the ideas in Chapters 3,

Other uses of the Margin

Capacity Consecutive interpreting involves a number of different tasks that have to be

Introduction

completed at the same time with finite and competing intellectual capacities multi-tasking§

Gile (1995:178) outlines these tasks as follows,

Phase 1: Phase 2:

coordination of these tasks note-reading,

In Phase 1 the most common problem for student interpreters (but also experienced interpreters) is that it is difficult to do all these things at the same time

We have finite intellectual capacity

For example,

if you are thinking too much about how to note something,

In fact not hearing something is much more common among student interpreters than not understanding something

You do not hear because you are concentrating too much on deciphering the original or on taking notes

The overload makes you deaf for a moment

So much for Phase 1

But Phase 2 also involves a certain degree of multitasking

If your notes are unclear or illegible,

your production will suffer because you will put too much effort into reading them

Clear notes,

offer something akin to stage directions

Telling the interpreter when to pause,

when to add emphasis and when not to

If our mental capacity is finite,

then we have to learn to do some of the same tasks using less of our capacity on some or all of the tasks

How do we do this

Automatization Automatizing an activity means repeatedly using a consistent system for the completion of a task so that it requires less intellectual effort,

thus leaving time and capacity for other tasks

In regard to learning automatization is also called internalization§

If a skill has been internalized,

less of your intellectual capacity to complete it

For example,

if when speaking a foreign language you have to think about a particular grammar rule’s correct application before you start speaking then you have not yet internalized that rule

If you speak fluently,

which by definition means without stopping to think,

then you have internalized all the rules

You correctly apply a consistent system without thinking about it

The thing about internalization,

is that it does not come from an intellectual understanding of how to complete a task but from repeated practice of the completion of the task,

until it is completed correctly WITHOUT thinking

To use the example of language again,

you can tell someone that the third person singular conjugation of English verbs ends in

and pretty much everyone will understand this intellectually without any problem

Saying,

*He offer me a drink,

is a very common mistake made by foreigners speaking English,

For trainee interpreters what this means is that I can tell you to note links§

Andrew Gillies

in the margin§ at the left of the page (Chapter 4),

and you will understand me immediately,

but it is not until you have practised doing it by noting dozens and dozens of different speeches that it will come so naturally that you don’t have to think about it

And this is what is required if you are to free up intellectual resources for listening to the original

Note-taking is a mechanical activity

therefore it can be made automatic,

it is involved in both phases of consecutive interpreting to some degree,

so any reduction in the effort required to take good notes will have a positive effect on both phases of your consecutive interpreting

The application of a well practised and thought-out system will mean that the whole exercise of consecutive interpreting becomes less of an effort

It follows also that internalization is easier if we take one thing at a time

consequently each of the component elements of the note-taking system proposed here is introduced one at a time,

so that each can be internalized in turn

In this way each new chapter builds on the ideas of the previous one

A bottom-up approach§ The interpreter working in consecutive mode listens to part of the source speech and instantaneously analyses what they have heard before taking notes

In this book we will see that we can reverse this order of things,

and that learning a note-taking system can also be used as a means of highlighting methods for the analysis of source speeches

This note-taking system is based on a number of characteristic and frequently occurring oratorical devices and structural elements in source speeches

By introducing them first as part of a note-taking system,

these same elements and devices,

may not previously have been aware,

You can then identify them more easily when listening to source speeches,

transfer them to your notepad and reproduce them in your interpretation

In learning to use this note-taking system you will be practising the same analysis of source speeches that went into creating it

For example,

if in Chapter 5 we say “note elements of equal value parallel on the page” you will start looking at the “value” of different elements of the speech and how they compare to one another,

which you may not have been doing before

You will be learning to analyse the source text§

Learning by doing Tell me and I will forget,

Show me and I will remember,

Involve me and I will understand

This is the ancient Chinese motto by which many teachers,

Introduction

Teaching English as a Foreign Language and corporate training sectors are trained

They are the words of the student to their teacher and they mean that we learn best how to complete a task not by understanding intellectually how it is done (because we have been told how),

but by actually completing the task ourselves – perhaps with some non-intrusive guidance from the teacher

“Learning by doing” has long been the mantra of interpreter trainers,

although books on interpreting have found it difficult to do other than “tell” readers about interpreting

This book seeks to “show” the reader clear examples of the skills described and “involve” the reader by asking them to think for themselves and to come up with their own answers by completing a number of tasks set

The versions given at the back of the book for the same tasks are no more than suggestions

They are not “right”

There is no “right” way to do things,

but some are better than others

About the notes This note-taking system has its roots in the Indo-European languages of Europe

For example it reads from left to right and is built around the word order of these languages

There are historical and practical reasons for this: conference interpreting was born in Europe and much of its literature written there

also this author has only limited experience of languages outside the Indo-European family

Nonetheless,

much of the system can still apply and,

can be adjusted to suit other types of languages: for example it can be written from right to left so that it reads from right to left

The principles will still apply,

This note-taking system is not the creation of any one interpreter,

even if some had a bigger hand in it than others

It is a compilation of the best of many interpreters’ ideas taken from detailed reading of much of the available literature (see bibliography)

from working with other interpreters and discussing their notes with them

from my own experience as a trainer (and,

!) and from a knowledge of the problems that student interpreters most commonly encounter

I have compiled solutions and presented this collection of ideas for note-taking in what I hope is a methodical and clear manner

The novelty,

is that these ideas are presented together and in a way that allows you to progress step-by-step towards the acquisition of a sound notetaking system

By the time you have worked your way through this book you will be able to take notes that are clear,

notes which back up your memory when it needs help and let it do its work when it doesn’t

It is a system which will help you to analyse the incoming source speech,

because to use the system you will have to have thought about the original BEFORE you write anything down

The system will not necessarily arm you for every eventuality,

but it will prepare you for most of them

It is not everything you need to know about note-

Andrew Gillies

Remember your notes are only one of several skills that make up consecutive interpreting

! This note-taking system is a flexible basis on which you will build your own ideas

And I would be very surprised,

if most readers did not introduce a considerable number of their own ideas into their own notes

It has been said that note-taking cannot be taught,

and that everyone must come up with their own system

This is quite wrong

While no two interpreters will ever produce an identical set of notes,

most speeches present the interpreter with a limited range of the same problems,

for which effective solutions have already been worked out and are applied by many,

These techniques are described in this book,

as are ways of practising and internalizing their use

The book,

offers you a sound basic system for note-taking in consecutive interpreting

You can add to it,

ignore bits of it to your heart’s content,

but the idea is that it will stop you trying to reinvent what is already there

About the examples The examples in this book are all real speeches given by English native-speakers and which are available on the Internet

The first time each speech is used as an example you will find a brief explanation of where,

why and to whom the speaker was speaking

A list of these speeches,

speakers and Internet addresses can be found in Part III,

The Back of the Book (page 226)

You will also find there a number of Internet addresses where you can find speeches in other languages

I have used the same speeches to demonstrate ideas from several chapters in this book,

not because I was too lazy to go out and find a new speech for each example,

but to show that all the elements of discourse described in this book,

and for which a technique for note-taking in consecutive is suggested,

are to be found in almost any speech

It is precisely because they recur so frequently that it is possible and desirable to have ready technique for their notation

This book,

meaning that notes from English texts are taken in English

One reason for this is that monolingual note-taking from source speeches in your mother tongue§ to notes in your mother tongue will be our point of departure

However,

more important is that being monolingual the book is accessible to the widest number of people

Had I used French texts with English notes and commentary,

only the limited number of people with BOTH these languages in their combination would have been able to fully benefit from the book

How to use the book Recommended progression for Part I It is recommended that you first try the exercises in each chapter using written

Introduction

texts§ of speeches in your mother tongue

By “written texts” I mean the verbatim transcript of a speech that a speaker has given orally in public

Tips on where to find such material are given below

When you are comfortable completing the exercises assigned and have attained some proficiency in each technique,

you should move on to transcripts of foreign-language speeches

These exercises are done from PAPER TO PAPER: you will transform the written text into written notes as described in the exercise you are doing

Do not read the written word out loud

Work with the spoken word comes later,

and as we will see in the section Moving On…,

we will NOT be reading out speeches verbatim from texts to do this

If your mother tongue is not English you should look for examples from your own language to work with

You will find some pointers on where to find such material below and at the back of the book

When you have completed Chapters 1-4 using written texts as sources,

read the section Moving On… and then return to Chapter 1 and repeat the same exercises from the spoken word

Why do I suggest working from transcripts first,

rather than from the spoken word

? Taking notes and listening at the same time is too much to do for any new interpreter

It has been too much for everyone who has ever started learning consecutive interpreting

It only becomes “not too much” when some tasks have become internalized with experience and practice

By practising note-taking from the written word you will learn the techniques of note-taking without the time pressure or multi-tasking that is involved when we have to listen to a speech and take notes at the same time

Starting with texts gives us all the time we need to familiarize ourselves with and practise the new techniques of note-taking,

so that when we start doing the same from the spoken word the note-taking itself is less of a novelty

This means that intellectual capacity is freed up and can be devoted to listening

The fact that taking notes from a written text is a slightly artificial exercise (in that you will never to do it professionally) is in my view,

far outweighed by the benefits explained here and later in the section Moving On

Chapters 1 and 2 are devoted entirely to work on recognizing and breaking down some of the most commonly occurring structures in the type of public discourse most commonly interpreted in consecutive mode

Actual note-taking only begins in Chapter 3,

and then initially from written texts,

There is no reproduction of source speeches (no production phase§) until after Chapter 4

This may frustrate those who want to do everything right from the word “Go

but a establishing a sound basis will be worth a little frustration

In fact progress will not be that slow

If you spend just one week on each chapter you will have completed Chapters 1- 4 once each with the written and then spoken word in eight weeks

That is just one third of the shortest available postgraduate interpreting courses,

there is really no need to rush

You will still have two thirds of the year to practise,

having mastered a sound technique for note-taking it will no longer cause you problems

You will be able to concentrate on production,

Remember,

when we say one week per chapter that doesn’t mean reading a chapter,

doing nothing for a week and then

Andrew Gillies

coming back to look at the next chapter

It means working and practising regularly and frequently on the basis of what is described in a chapter for a week,

Below is a suggestion as to how you might work through the book

Start by working through the chapters with written source texts

Chapter 1

written texts in mother tongue

no production phase from notes taken

Chapter 1

written texts in foreign language

no production phase from notes taken

Chapter 2

written texts in mother tongue

no production phase from notes taken

Chapter 2

written texts in foreign language

no production phase from notes taken

Chapter 3

written texts in mother tongue

no production phase from notes taken

Chapter 3

written texts in foreign language

no production phase from notes taken

Chapter 4

written texts in mother tongue

begin reproducing speeches in mother tongue from notes (from mother-tongue source)

Chapter 4

written texts in foreign language

begin reproducing speeches in your mother tongue from notes (from a foreign language source speech)

Then move on to the spoken word

When working with the spoken word follow the guidelines in the section Moving On… The source speeches for ALL your practice should be given by your colleagues from the notes taken in Week 8 above and subsequently

Introduction

Source Chapter 1

spoken speeches in no production phase from notes taken mother tongue

Chapter 1

spoken speeches in no production phase from notes taken foreign language

(Chapter 2 is for work with written word only so we skip it here) 10

Chapter 3

spoken speeches in no production phase from notes taken mother tongue

Chapter 3

spoken speeches in no production phase from notes taken foreign language

Chapter 4

spoken speeches in Begin reproducing speeches in mother tongue mother tongue from notes (from mother-tongue source)

Chapter 4

spoken speeches in Begin reproducing speeches in mother tongue foreign language from notes (from L2 source)

At this stage you will have the basics of a sound system for note-taking and it is worth pausing a while to practise what you already know for a few weeks

When you’re ready to continue the pattern suggested here for Chapter 5 can also be used for the remaining chapters

Week 15

Source Chapter 5

written texts in mother tongue

no production phase from notes taken 2

add production phase when comfortable with ideas

Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Chapter 5

written texts in production phase foreign language spoken speeches in 1

no production phase from notes taken mother tongue 2

add production phase when comfortable with ideas spoken speeches in production phase foreign language

The progression described above is no more than a guideline