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ITI-LRG Interpreters' Conference

ITI-LRG Interpreters' Conference

This was a lively and inspirational day, with excellent speakers, representing all areas of interpreting, voice-over, subtitling and transcription - and who so obviously love what they do!

ITI-LRG Interpreters' Conference
Chairman Geoffrey Buckingham with Yılmaz Düzen
and some of the day's speakers on the podium.

The two-tier Old Cinema lecture theatre was packed with 250 students, teachers, seasoned language professionals and service users, as organiser Yılmaz Düzen introduced the platform speakers and Geoffrey Buckingham, the event's charming and instructive chairman.


Susie Kershaw - interpreters walk beside their clients

Working mainly in the commercial field, Susie advocated investing time on CV maintenance, personal organisation and training, in order to best respond to customer needs. As well as learning the different booth systems, interpreters should routinely research, in preparation for assignments and as ongoing CPD, and should devise a travel strategy.

Keeping fit and flexible is important and this includes exercise, care of voice and diaphragmatic breathing. And don't forget the financial side with professional and timely invoices!


Nathalie Pham - is there an interpreter's gene?

As an interpreter at the UN & European Commission, Nathalie was convinced that interpreters are born, not made. They are inherently analytical (so often anticipate what a speaker will say next), but preparation is vital and public speaking skills should be honed. Travel is the most stressful part of the job - always plan to be at the booth 15 minutes before the scheduled start.

Describing the invention of simultaneous interpreting during the Nuremberg Trials by Andronikof, Jacob and Kaminker (the founders of AIIC - the International Association of Conference Interpreters), Nathalie confirmed the AIIC language classification:

  • A = native or equivalent language (the main active language)
  • B = language other than A into which the interpreter works (near native language)
  • C = passive language(s) from which the interpreter works.

Relay interpreting is used when a language is not covered by the core 2-4 interpreters in a team (e.g. Greek is interpreted into English, then from English into other languages).

Despite complete mastery of their A language, interpreters can find accents challenging, especially when speakers insist on not using their native language. More information on any of this is available on the AIIC website www.aiic.net.


Alex Krouglov - diplomacy is a linguistic puzzle

Referring to the publication by Dr. Stanko Nick, ‘Use of language in Diplomacy’, Alex provided a fascinating insight into working at the Foreign Office. Mastering new topics such as money laundering, terrorism and the environment, together with relaying speech without notes, while observing total impartiality and confidentiality, are all part of the job. He also recommended keeping up with dignitaries' hobbies, such as horse racing.

Armed with an MA and a clear 2-page CV, potential junior interpreters require excellent short-term memory (e.g. number recall), since note-taking is often prohibited or impossible. After training (focussing on role play) they often start by accompanying officials during dinners etc.


Dr. Kevin Lin - what is our added value?

Kevin's account of his life as a diplomatic interpreter was amusing and thought-provoking and has been the subject of two books to date. As lead Chinese/English interpreter for the British government, his consecutive interpreting has assisted countless political dignitaries. The schedule can be punishing - on one visit to China he showered four times a day to stay awake!

The interpreter doesn't just hear the speaker's words, but hears them loaded with all the relevant national culture - essential to obtain the full meaning. One of the greatest challenges was conveying English humour when this is not readily translatable, or expected, by Chinese audiences. Doing so successfully adds value.

ITI-LRG Interpreters' Conference
Dr. Kevin Lin, diplomatic interpreter for the British Government


Magdy Abbas - glossaries, glossaries, glossaries!

Magdy was the lead Arabic interpreter in the Lockerbie and PC Yvonne Fletcher cases. His PSI work with the police is governed by the National Agreement on Arrangements for the Attendance of Interpreters in Investigations and Proceedings within the Criminal Justice System (2002).

Keeping up to date with codes of practice and maintaining meticulous glossaries are as important as knowing the intricacies of the Libyan calendar.

The PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) police caution is complicated, so people who have basic English often struggle when they hear this rapid-fire legalese - resulting in the "sudden" need for an interpreter.

Public Service Interpreters should ideally have translation qualifications as well and will need to sight-translate statements etc - a feature of the DPSI exam.


Professor Guillermo Makin - deciphering two cultures

Guillermo focused on court and tribunal work. As well as conveying cultural differences, interpreters need to understand and explain the legal frame-works in which they work, e.g. the Napoleonic Code in Spain and Latin America compared with English law.

In court, the defendant presents himself to the world via the interpreter, so is reliant on the interpreter to represent him effectively, to identify and clarify potential misunderstandings and offer cultural insight.

While waiting for a session to start, interpreters may feel threatened, so courts should allocate them a safe waiting room.


Karin Band - interpreters do it faster

A medical and pharmaceutical interpreter and translator, Karin distinguished between "the Agreement Sector" (international organisations with which AIIC has concluded an agreement) and "the non-Agreement Sector".

Referring to the historic rivalry between interpreting and translation, she affirmed that interpreters and translators are equally skilled at manipulating language- it's just that interpreters do it faster!

Agreeing that PSI can expose interpreters to harrowing situations and images in hospitals and coroners' courts, she referred to the Metropolitan Police's counselling service, which provides useful support to officers, and hoped this would be extended to interpreters via their professional bodies.

ITI-LRG Interpreters' Conference
Delegates networking during a break.


Daniel Pageon - how to be a professional voice

This speaker gave a fascinating insight into the world of voice-overs, subtitling and dubbing. An actor and voice-over artist with many years of experience, Daniel gave a lively presentation with plenty of practical advice, culminating in the demonstration of an exercise to achieve clarity of speech - by talking with a pencil between your teeth!


Dr. Ellen Moerman - passionate about language

Ellen provided an eloquent and highly entertaining conclusion to the day, sharing her wealth of experience as well as some amusing anecdotes from 35 years as a "jobbing" interpreter.

Once, for example, she had to interpret for a court trial on a remote island with only one shop - where the interpreter would happily bump into the defendant, the judge and the prosecution as they were buying their groceries.

She also gave some useful tips on how to organise yourself as a travelling interpreter, who might be called upon at short notice any time of the day or night, often without knowing how long an assignment was likely to take. Her advice was, always have your bag with essentials packed and ready, make sure your mobile phone is charged, and take a snack or sandwich with you.

Lynn Everson / Betti Moser

FEEDBACK RECEIVED REGARDING THE INTERPRETERS’ EVENT HELD ON 29 MARCH 2008
  • Feedback

    Thank you for inviting me to the event. I enjoyed being there very much.

    Best wishes

  • Feedback

    I’d like to thank you for organising the most brilliant and interesting conference I have ever been to in all my life!!! Many many thanks.

    Kind regards.

  • Feedback

    I would like to thank you for organising today's event. Interpreters do not have so many opportunities to meet, especially across fields. I am sure you must be quite tired tonight, it is not easy to organise such events.

    Once again, many thanks for this opportunity.

    Kind regards,

  • Feedback

    I am writing to you to thank you for giving me and all the other delegates the opportunity and privilege of being part of this excellent event today.

    The speakers were inspiring and the organising just seamless.

    I am looking forward to thank you in person and to meet again at forthcoming events.

    Kind Regards

  • Feedback

    Thank you for organising a very interesting Conference.

    Regards

  • Feedback

    Hello Yılmaz
    Thank you very much for the lovely conference which I attended today.

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz

    First of all, let me thank you for organising the Interpreters' Conference yesterday.

    Apologies from all of us who ever doubted you! It was a fabulous and impressive event. The speakers were excellent. Everything ran smoothly, the timekeeping was extraordinary - we even managed to cope with such unexpected events as a participant fainting and having to be taken away in an ambulance, and still kept spot on time!

    I congratulate you!

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz

    I wanted to thank you for organising such an excellent and enjoyable conference. The range and quality of speakers was diverse and of the highest order and I was surprised at how much I learned from speakers whose areas have little do with my own interpreting activities.

    It was a most valuable day - altogether enriching!

    Kind regards

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz,

    CONGRATULATIONS... to you and your guests!

    Please keep me informed about these events.

    It was a pleasure meeting you and other colleagues.

    Best wishes

  • Feedback

    Dear Yilmaz

    Just a quick email to thank you for your kind invitation to attend yesterday's conference and to congratulate you on a very successful combination of interesting speakers.

    I enjoyed myself enormously. You can be proud of bringing together so many people to discuss interpreting in such a constructive atmosphere.

  • Feedback

    May I congratulate you on such a well organised event yesterday. It was a privilege to act as your Chairman: I had a lot of fun, and judging from the laughter, happy smiling faces and very positive comments afterwards, so did those attending.

    We enjoyed a lovely glass of champagne with friends before lunch today – thank you for that as well.

    Best wishes

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz
    Thank you so much for providing me the chance to attend such an inspirational and informative conference. All the speakers were excellent. Although I have been doing interpreting for over twenty years I had no idea there was a whole community out there. It has been a lonely road so far. Admittedly, I had not looked out for it in the past as I had a full time job. Now that I am working part-time, with little or no 'job-satisfaction', I have started looking for other job opportunities. Interpreting has always been dear to my heart.
    It was exciting to see that there are so many possibilities out there with regard to interpreting. Thank you for inviting me to the conference.

    Kind Regards

  • Feedback

    Congratulations on yesterday’s successful event. A great achievement and testimony to all the hard work you put into it.
    Regards

  • Feedback

    Thank you very much for a most interesting day on Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Please keep me posted if anything else comes up. Best wishes,

  • Feedback

    Hello, Yılmaz

    Many congratulations on organising such an excellent conference. I was really moved by the warmth of your personal welcome and it was so nice to finally meet you at last! I’m going to type up my notes and circulate them to the team here. My client, Fred Svedman, was very impressed as well as he had no idea how much was involved in training to be an interpreter and delivering quality assured performance every time. This was really worthwhile for me on a number of levels and I learned a lot, plus it also convinced me that we know what we’re doing. I was intellectually replete! Perhaps the catering side could be given a gentle nudge, or else I could have brought down a nice tabbouleh to share with everyone.

    Best regards

  • Feedback

    A big thank you to you, Yılmaz! People I spoke to said they really loved the conference and the student helpers enjoyed it, too! What a successful event!!!

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz

    Just a short note to thank you so much for a fantastic seminar. Ivona and I were so glad we came. Not only was it excellent value for money, but we also did not expect so many high flying speakers to devote their valuable time and share their experience so willingly. We also met a couple of interesting people and made a few contacts.

    Thanks again. Best regards.

  • Feedback

    Just a quick note to thank you for organising the conference. You must have done a huge amount of work to co-ordinate everything so well. I speak from experience, as although I have never organised a conference, I have and do regularly organise groups of UK professionals going to Italy, and that is bad enough!! As well as being interesting, several of the speakers were also extremely amusing which made it even more enjoyable, so that giving up a precious Saturday did not seem like a sacrifice!

    I shall look forward to any future events you will be organising.

    Kind regards

  • Feedback

    Thank you for organizing the ITI-LRG Conference last Saturday.

    It was indeed a success. I thought that Karin Band, Daniel Pageon and Dr Ellen Moerman were particularly interesting.

    Kind regards,

  • Feedback

    Thank you for arranging such a successful event and gathering such an excellent team of speakers. I really appreciated having the lightweight vouchers to carry home!

    I wish you all the best with all your projects.

    Kind regards

  • Feedback

    My dear Yılmaz

    I take the opportunity to congratulate you for organising the event so very well and successfully. The feed back all-round was: fantastic, great, what an event etc., etc.,

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz,

    Thank you very much for organising such an interesting conference with so many outstanding speakers. I enjoyed myself a lot and I wished I could stay for the whole day. It was such a pleasure to meet you in person and discuss important issues relevant to the profession.

    Wishing you every success and many thanks for the brilliant organisation,

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz

    Thank you very much for organizing such a wonderful conference on Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciate all the hard work you put into it.

    Also I congratulate you and your wife for bringing up such a charming, intelligent and mature young boy, who was so patient in attending this conference. As you are aware teenagers nowadays have different agendas on their mind.

    Kind regards

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz,

    Just a quick message to thank you and congratulate you on the great job done at organizing the conference.

    I very much enjoyed it and I'll be looking forward to the next event.

    Kind regards,

  • Feedback

    The conference was brilliant and very well organised. It was so enjoyable that at the end of the day nobody remembered the accident in the morning.

    It is also a very rare opportunity for me as an MA student in Interpreting and Diplomacy to attend such an event. One of our speakers is working in exactly this field and in my language pair!

    Have a nice week.

  • Feedback

    Excuse me for being so informal, but I really would like to thank you all for making my job on Saturday so easy, and bringing so much success to the event with your presentations on Saturday. Yılmaz, as you may imagine, is overjoyed and his undoubted gift for hyperbole is soaring to new and untested heights. Senior management of the ITI is also most impressed with the high quality of the event as a whole, as well as its constituent parts.

    As to Angelina, who provided delegates for a more extended networking opportunity than previously expected, I have written to her to enquire as to how she is now, but have no news to report for the moment. If that changes, I will let you know.

    I look forward to seeing you all again.

    Best wishes

  • Feedback

    Dear Yılmaz

    Congratulations and well done for such a magnificent effort that culminated in the very well organised and well attended conference on Saturday. I am grateful to you for the privilege of being one of the speakers, which I immensely enjoyed.

    Keep up the good work and until the next conference.

    With kind regards

  • Feedback

    What can I say Yılmaz apart from "You have done more than a fantastic job"!

    Well done indeed!

  • Feedback

    Can I just say how much I enjoyed last Saturday’s Interpreters’ Conference.

    It was a very interesting and informative day and I thought all the speakers were excellent.

    Best regards

  • Feedback

    Hi Yılmaz

    Thanks for your feedback - glad it all went so well and so well received.

    I hope you have fully recovered by now - what an effort; what a success!

    Kind regards

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