Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises

Author: James Nolan

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Paperback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm
Price: £79.95
Price: $139.95
Price: €99.95

In recent decades the explosive growth of globalization and regional integration has fuelled parallel growth in multilingual conferences. Although conference interpreting has come of age as a profession, interpreter training programs have had varied success, pointing to the need for an instructional manual which covers the subject comprehensively. This book seeks to fill that need by providing a structured syllabus and an overview of interpretation accompanied by exercises in various aspects of the art. It is meant to serve as a practical guide for interpreters and as a complement to interpreter training programs in the classroom and online, particularly those for students preparing for conference interpreting in international governmental and business settings. This expanded second edition includes additional exercises and provides direct links to a variety of web-based resources and practice speeches, also including additional language combinations.

James Nolan's useful, engaging text deftly describes the art of interpreting and provides brilliant exercises for its mastery. Conveying the hilarity of situations beyond the interpreter's control: speed demons, frankly stupid remarks; he also sensitively evokes those frustrating deep cultural references that no interpretation can satisfy. Interpreters will find here a guide to honing their skill and an expression of the joy inherent in this marvelous profession.

Interpretation (2nd Edition) is the most valuable didactic tool and every instructor should have it available for his or her college students. I very highly recommend James Nolan's work on interpretation.

This book is a well-organized practical handbook for interpreter trainees. It is a solid and innovative tool which can be used by teachers, students and practitioners of interpretation. The exercises are instructive and the excerpts from speeches and the potpourri of stock phrases and idioms are well chosen and interesting. I highly recommend it.

After a brief introduction each chapter provides a wealth of exercise materials (in English, Spanish and French) that will be of great use to students in their effort to develop a thorough command of their languages in a very broad range of registers and topics. The book also includes specific exercises to help develop short-term memory and to practice reformulation strategies. Many of the exercises are also useable with additional language combinations. Last but not least, the bibliography includes a section of Internet links to audio or video speeches for listening and interpretation practice.

the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) website:

James Nolan, a senior United Nations linguist, has served as Deputy Director of the UN Interpretation, Meetings and Publishing Division, Head of Linguistic and Conference Services of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and head of the UN Verbatim Reporting Service. A graduate of the University of Geneva School of Translation and Interpretation and of New York Law School, Mr. Nolan has over 25 years' experience of interpretation and translation, which he has taught at New York University, the University of the Witwatersrand, and other institutions.

Preface to the Second Edition

Introduction: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Speaking

2. Preparation/Anticipating the Speaker

3. Complex Syntax/Compression

4. Word Order/Clusters

5. General Adverbial Clauses

6. Untranslatability

7. Figures of Speech

8. Argumentation

9. Diction/Register

10. Formal Style

11. A Policy Address

12. Quotations/Allusions/Transposition

13. Political Discourse

14. Economic Discourse

15. Humor

16. Latinisms

17. Numbers

18. Note-taking

Annex I – Additional Reformulation Strategies

Annex II – Memory Drill

Annex III – Patterns in Speech

Annex IV – Political Discourse, Additional Exercise

Research / Professional
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