Looking back and looking forward

Christopher Thiéry (Oxford, 1927)
A : Anglais, Français

De mère irlandaise et de père français, Christopher Thiéry a fait toute sa scolarité, du jardin d’enfants au baccalauréat, au Lycée Français de Londres. Après cinq années d’études médicales, trois à Londres et deux à Paris,  il devient, de façon imprévue, interprète de conférence en 1949, d’abord comme fonctionnaire à l’OECE, l’ancêtre de l’OCDE, ensuite à l’OTAN.
En 1953, Christopher Thiéry entame une longue carrière d’interprète de conférence free-lance, et participe,  la même année, à la fondation de l’AIIC (Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conférence). Il est le Secrétaire Exécutif de l’Association de 1956 à 1958, puis son Président de 1963 à 1966.

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En 1966, Christopher Thiéry se marie, et ne brigue pas de second mandat à la présidence de l’AIIC. Il aura trois enfants.
En novembre 1979 il entre au Ministère des Affaires étrangères en tant qu’interprète officiel pour l’anglais, notamment pour le Ministre des Affaires étrangères, le Premier Ministre et le Président de la République, pour lesquels il interprétait déjà, en tant que free-lance, depuis 1952. A la fin des années 1970, il devient chef du nouveau service de l’interprétation du Ministère.
À partir de 1960 Christopher Thiéry assure régulièrement un enseignement à l’ESIT (École Supérieure d’Interprètes et de Traducteurs, Université Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle). En 1974 il est nommé assistant, et en 1989, maître de conférences. Il dirige la Section Interprétation de l’École de 1976 à 1992, avec la responsabilité du DESS Interprétation de Conférence.
En 1975, Christopher Thiéry soutient une thèse de doctorat de 3e cycle, Le bilinguisme chez les interprètes de conférence professionnels. Il est également auteur de nombreux articles sur le bilinguisme, et sur l’interprétation de conférence (formation, aspects psychologiques), ainsi que de plusieurs pièces de théâtre.
À la retraite depuis 1994, Christopher Thiéry continue de faire des traductions écrites bénévoles, notamment pour la FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme), et de 1993 à 1997, il est appelé en tant qu’expert consultant auprès du Parlement Européen et de la Commission Européenne.
Au cours de sa carrière, en dehors de l’AIIC, Christopher Thiéry a participé à la création et à la gestion de plusieurs Associations 1901, dans des domaines humanitaires, culturels et professionnels, notamment de l’Association Danica Seleskovitch, créée en 1991, dont il a été le premier président.
Christopher Thiéry est chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
En 2009, il est nommé Président d’Honneur de l’AIIC.

Anne-Marie Widlund-Fantini (Stockholm, 1949)
A: Suédois, Français
C: Anglais, Danois, Norvégien, Allemand, Italien

Anne-Marie Widlund-Fantini est titulaire d’une licence de lettres et d’un DESS en interprétation de conférence de l’École Supérieure d’Interprètes et de Traducteurs (Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III), où elle est chargée de cours de 1976 à 1990.
Membre de l’AIIC depuis 1978, d’abord free-lance à Paris, elle intègre la fonction publique européenne à Bruxelles en 1995. Elle dirige la division française de l’interprétation du Parlement européen de 2001 à 2009.

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Elle est l’auteur de plusieurs articles consacrés à l’interprétation de conférence et à son enseignement, d’une biographie, Danica Seleskovitch – Interprète et témoin du XXe (Éditions L’Age d’Homme 2007) et d’un récit historique, Mémoires de cendre, carnets du front de Serbie, octobre-décembre 1915 (Editions L’Age d’Homme 2009).
Elle fait partie du Groupe Histoire de l’AIIC et participe à la rédaction de Naissance d’une profession – les soixante premières années de l’Association Internationale des Interprètes de conférence, avec les anciens présidents de l’AIIC Christopher Thiéry, Gisela Siebourg et Monique Ducroux. Publié par l’AIIC, cet ouvrage fut présenté lors de la célébration du 60e anniversaire à Paris en décembre 2013.
A la retraite depuis 2010, Anne-Marie Widlund-Fantini partage sa vie entre Paris et la Provence où elle  s’occupe de  ses oliviers et s’essaie à l’écriture de romans policiers.

I WISH I’D KNOWN…

After reading Modern Languages at Oxford, and training as a conference interpreter at the European Commission, Frances Calder has worked successfully on the institutional and private markets for forty years, and counting. In this video she discusses the reasons why you might decide not to become an interpreter. It is intended to provide a counter-balance to much of the Internet’s content on interpreting as a career – this is sometimes a little too enthusiastic and starry-eyed, with little input about what you need to survive as long as she has in what has never been an easy market.

Having said that, she thinks that anyone who is not discouraged after watching the video should ignore her, and carry on, armed with a more realistic view of their future career. Start by paying very close attention indeed to the quality and outcomes of the courses on offer.

Le plaisir comme moteur et facteur de réussite

Les études d’interprétation sont des études enrichissantes mais exigeantes au cours desquelles l’étudiant, comme plus tard l’interprète, s’expose. Il y apprend à exercer son art en direct et sans filet, si ce n’est celui de sa préparation. La progression non linéaire dans l’acquisition puis la maîtrise des techniques d’interprétation, peut entraîner, même chez l’étudiant le plus doué, des phases de doute. C’est le plaisir qu’il prend à interpréter qui lui permettra de les surmonter et de continuer à aller de l’avant sans perdre l’objectif de vue. C’est lui qui lui permettra de se remettre à l’ouvrage et d’aller toujours plus loin, plus haut, plus fort, en se dotant des moyens nécessaires pour ce faire : le travail régulier et approfondi, les entraînements, les séjours à l’étranger…etc…

La vidéo est courte, mais j’espère qu’elle vous donnera envie et, si le sujet et son articulation avec la motivation intrinsèque et la gestion du stress vous intéresse, vous pourrez en savoir plus en lisant l’article suivant, rédigé à l’issue d’un projet de recherche appliqué réalisé avec des étudiants de l’ISIT : BORDES, S., Dans quelle mesure la motivation et la dimension psychoaffective jouent-elles un rôle déterminant dans l’apprentissage de l’interprétation de conférence ? In : D’AMELIO Nadia (dir.). La recherche en interprétation : fondements scientifiques et illustrations méthodologique. Mons : Centre International de Phonétique Appliquée de Mons, 2013, p. 71-86

Sarah Bordes, Directrice de l’interprétation et du développement international, ISIT, Paris.

InterpretimeBank

InterpretimeBank

InterpretimeBank is an online community for professional interpreters and interpreting students. It was created in August 2014 by a group of former classmates who wanted to create a network of professional interpreters working worldwide, to foster knowledge exchange and to have a platform that could be used as a life-long learning tool.

Interpretimebank is not meant to replace on-site training, instead it allows you to easily access a pool of qualified peers willing to help you practise. Living far away from a practice group, or being unable to afford a course is no longer a reason to stop you from polishing your skills. All you need is to be willing to give your time.

How it works

If you need someone to listen to your interpretation and give you feedback, it is as easy as posting an exchange requesting feedback and waiting for another InterpretimeBank member to reply. The platform will automatically match your language combination with that of other members with relevant combinations for your needs. All you have to do is specify the time and date that suits you best for the exchange to take place.

Once you have a partner for the exchange, you can communicate privately to specify further details (speech to be interpreted, modality and goals). You are free to decide how the exchange takes place ̶ via Skype, Hangouts or any other platform of your preference. The Interpretimebank platform will keep track of the duration of the exchange. During the session, you will spend time (our currency) and the person listening to you will earn time that will be credited to their account.

You can also participate in exchanges posted by other members, listen to their interpretations and give them feedback. By doing so you will earn time credit that will be saved up in your account. If you run out of credit time, because you had many people listening to you, you can earn some by either participating in other users’ events or by purchasing time units.

JOIN US!

1.Create a profile and choose a type of membership.

2.Become a Basic member. This free account comes with 30 minutes of initial credit to start exchanging time. You can accumulated up to 90 minutes of credit that will be valid for three months. Need more time? You can purchase time credit or become a premium member.

3.Become a Premium member for €5/month or €50/year. This account comes with monthly 30 minutes of non-cumulative recharge that allows you to start exchanging and accumulating your own unlimited time credit. The purchase of additional time credit is also available to Premium members.

http: www.interpretimebank.net

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/103516280524690960825

 

 

 

 

 

Franz PÖCHHACKER: A conversation about research on conference interpreting

(We also include in this post a review of a seminar recently conducted by Franz Pöchhacker in Rome in January this year) :

Conference Interpreting: WHAT WE KNOW – A REVIEW

Published by Northern California Translators Association and their magazine TranslorialNCTA

It is not every day that one has the opportunity to meet a world-class researcher in conference interpretation. The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), as part of its Training of Trainers series, sponsored a seminar led by Franz Pöchhacker for teachers of conference interpretation. Sessions were held in Rome, Italy, January 29 through February 1, 2016.

Franz Pöchhacker is an Associate Professor of Interpreting Studies at the University of Vienna. He has worked as a conference and media interpreter and has published articles and monographs on various domains of interpreting, including the textbook Introducing Interpreting Studies (Routledge, 2004/2016).

The format of the event-a mix of lectures and discussions – allowed coverage of a significant variety of topics on conference interpretation, training, accumulated knowledge, and exchange experience. So, what do we indeed know?

Quite a bit, actually. Research on conference interpreting started in the 1960s, but by psychologists measuring decalage (the lag between the original and its simultaneous interpretation) and not by interpreters themselves. Interestingly, recent research suggests that shorter decalage may be a sign of quality in interpretation, indicating that the interpreter is coping well with the source speech.

Several periods and schools can be identified, and various decades saw interest in different topics: the so-called Paris school in the 70s and 80s, for example, downplayed the significance of language-pair-specific differences in interpretation and argued that a specific language combination does not matter too much, whereas the Trieste Symposium opened the field of conference interpretation (CI) to empirical research that was then actively pursued from the mid-80s. For a while a “struggle”; was going on between the two `camps´; epitomized by the theorie du sens (deverbalization) proposed by Seleskovitch and the push for empirical research spearheaded by Gile, best known for his Effort Models.

An attempt was made to make CI research more interdisciplinary and to introduce insights and methods from cognitive psychology, but it proved difficult to involve psychologists in the actual research. The field of CI research is gradually becoming more internationalized – though not necessarily more interdisciplinary – and now reaches far beyond Europe. Integration and diversification made such domains as sign language interpreting, legal interpreting, and healthcare interpreting important areas of study alongside conference interpretation.

By 2004 the field of interpreting studies had become extremely broad, and in the past 10 years we have seen even more consolidation and integration in research. This has allowed us to take stock of our current knowledge about interpreting in the very recently published Routledge Encyclopedia of Interpreting Studies, edited by Mr. Pöchhacker himself – a very highly recommended tome.

Participants also discussed a variety of very practical topics: are there any exercises you can do to improve your memory? Hmm, not really, it all seems to be about prioritizing information correctly, and our memory capacity is pretty much hardwired in the brain and limited by default. Interpreters may, however, get the most out of their finite memory capacity by using certain techniques: chunking, note-taking, and visualization. Strategies in simultaneous interpretation: these certainly must be taught with a caveat that the combination of strategies you use is very language specific and that knowledge of strategies should be internalized; their use is automated by turning declarative knowledge into procedural knowledge. Don´t forget that proper preparation is a strategy as well, like any other!

A significant amount of time was devoted to discussing quality in interpretation and the results of various major papers, such as the pioneering survey by Buhler (1986) and a recent replication among more than 700 AIIC members by Zwischenberger (2010). It seems that these papers mostly agree as to which qualities are significant when CI is evaluated – from the interpreters’; as well as the customers’; perspectives.

All these discussions were facilitated by the brilliant presenter: eloquent, intelligent, and a true expert in the topics – a rare treat indeed.

by Cyril FLEROV.

Special thanks to ISCAP, and Marco FURTADO for the invitation!

 Routledge Encyclopedia of Interpreting Studies , edited by Franz PÖCHHACKER, Routledge 2015.

			

Telephone interpreting: a reality that is here to stay

Telephone interpreting (TI) is a type of remote interpreting carried out over the phone. In recent decades it has become a growing business and a useful way of providing language assistance, both in public services and the private sector, thanks to its immediacy and its cost-effectiveness. It certainly offers a wide range of advantages to users and customers alike as it allows them to access interpretation in almost any language in a mere matter of minutes, or even seconds. And it is cheap. TI is cheaper than face-to-face interpretation as interpreters often work from their domiciles, thus eliminating the need to pay out for any travel expenses or waiting times. This is one of the reasons why many scholars, researchers, and practitioners have expressed fears about TI being used in occasions where an on-site interpreter would be much more appropriate, and it appears there are reasons to be concerned: it seems that financial concerns are often placed first and foremost, especially in times of economic crisis, whilst quality concerns are given a back seat. However, we should probably ask ourselves if these concerns are reason enough to discredit remote interpreting, and TI in particular. Research on TI is scarce and cannot offer any conclusive results at this time (Oviat & Cohen 1992, Wadensjö 1999, Ko 2006, Lee 2007, Rosenberg 2007), although generally speaking it does seem to indicate that the main difficulties in TI (namely lack of visual information) can be overcome with specialized training and enough practice hours.

 If we turn our attention to Spain, there is one particular aspect of TI that should not be overlooked as it has a direct impact on quality assurance: unlike face-to-face interpreting, TI providers are legally obliged to record every single telephone interpretation performed in the public services. The consequence is that TI providers are able to go back to their interpreters’ renditions whenever necessary, give them feedback periodically, and carry out quality control in an effective manner. I am sure many of us wish the same could be said of on-site interpreting in the Spanish public services.

Marlene Fernández is a professional conference interpreter and translator. She also works as an interpreter trainer at the University of La Laguna (MIC) and is currently conducting a doctoral dissertation on Telephone Interpreting.

 

Interpretation in the non-institution sector – is there a future?

There is plenty of information about interpreting for international organizations but it is not quite so straightforward for the private market because each region is different. Here Peter Sand – an experienced interpreter and prominent organizer – provides useful insights into working on the private market, both in his home base Switzerland and worldwide.

Many newcomers to the profession seek to establish a presence on the market by knocking on the doors of the major international organizations – and it’s a sound policy. It is however important to remember that there is work outside of the UN and EU, and Peter explains the demands of that market and has some tips on how a freelance interpreter can boost his appeal to recruiters.

Frequently on the private market an interpreter acting on the client’s behalf puts the team together and therefore recruits the interpreters. He or she is known as a consultant interpreter.

Getting a foothold as a newly qualified interpreter is a daunting experience and here Peter – who has given many newcomers an early break in the profession – explains how to make yourself attractive to recruiters, but he sets this advice within the context of how the interpreting market has changed over the past 30 year.

Whilst not wishing to publish any spoilers, Peter offers sound advice on not relying on a single employer, on what languages to learn, on the importance of soft skills and on the importance of thorough preparation.

This short talk shows that there is work outside the warm embrace of the international organizations.

Peter SAND.