The Complete Interpreter

What can you drop when doing consec?

March 06, 2023 Sophie Llewellyn Smith
The Complete Interpreter
What can you drop when doing consec?
Show Notes

Hi! Welcome to the Complete Interpreter podcast by the Interpreting Coach.

Why 'Complete Interpreter'? Because you're not just a translation machine, you're also a person and a business owner, and I hope to help you take a 360 view of yourself share some great tried-and-tested strategies to improve your interpreting skills, mindset, and marketing.

This episode is all about what you can leave out when doing consecutive. Warning: it was written from the point of view of a conference interpreter.

The book I mention in the podcast, which contains a framework for deciding what to omit when interpreting, is Conference Interpreting: A Complete Course, by Robin Setton and Andrew Dawrant.

Here's a simple summary of this episode:

  • When you ask interpreters what they omit when interpreting, they generally list elements that are considered uncontroversial, such as repetition/redundancy, hesitations, fillers, asides, rhetorical devices, and list items.
  • Before ditching these elements, you need to think about what the purpose of the original speech is: what effect is the speaker trying to have on the audience?
  • Your decisions about what to omit will depend on four factors:
  1. your audience/client's expectations of how complete you need to be
  2. your assumptions about your audience's knowledge and understanding of the subject
  3. the speaker's intentions (what effect they're trying to produce)
  4. your abilities as an interpreter (you may have to drop something simply as a survival strategy).

What are your thoughts about omissions?

Please let me know what you'd like me to talk about next!

Sophie (aka The Interpreting Coach)

p.s. The story I told at the end of this episode involves a speaker using the term 'masturbation intellectuelle' in French, which means pointless ruminations about a subject that lead nowhere.
What do you think you would have done with this phrase? Translated it as something like 'navel-gazing'? Used a four letter word?

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