Anne-Birgitta Nilsen – Interpreting for young children

This is a short summary of a presentation given at the Second International Conference on Quality in Interpreting, in Almuñecar, Spain 2010. The summary my own perception of the presentation and any mistakes in the summary are of course due to my misunderstanding.

Anne-Brigitta Nilsen (University of Oslo, Norway) talked about about quality in interpreting for very young children (age 3-7). She started exploring this because she had found that some interpreters are reluctant to interpret for young children. They are reluctant because they believe that children do not understand turntaking and the role of the interpreter, and you cannot interrupt a young child because then they will loose track. Her study comprised only four children from the age of six and a half to three, but the results were clear children of that age both understand turntaking and the role of the interpreter. It is also possible to interrupt them. She concluded that interpreting for children, same as interpreting for adults, and that quality in interpreting in general becomes more salient when studying children and particularly young children. A comment for the audience pointed out that maybe you adapt the way you interpret when you interpret for young children e.g. use of first person, register, simplistic language and so forth.

Impressions from the second international conference on quality in interpreting

If you have been following my twitter feed you see that I have been active during the conference :-). Most of the sessions I have been to has been very interesting. As usual there is always some frustration of colliding sessions, but unfortunately you cannot have it all. Almuñecar is an idyllic little town by the sea and the sun is shining and the orange flowers blossoming so it could be worse (maybe even better if I had the time to enjoy all that).

I’m pleased with my own presentation, at least it generated some interesting discussions. Clearly I will have to continue working on how to assess my material, since it did not really work out as I expected in the first place. But that’s the way it is.

Daniel Gile – Enhancing research in interpreting

This is a short summary of a presentation given at the Second International Conference on Quality in Interpreting, in Almuñecar, Spain 2010. The summary my own perception of the presentation and any mistakes in the summary are of course due to my misunderstanding.

Daniel Gile (Université Paris 3, France) talked about institutional and social issues in research in interpreting. He presented an interesting overview of PhD theses in conference interpreting defended the past 40 years. From the seventies until today the number of defended theses dealing with conference interpreting per decade went from 7 to 45 (beautiful development but depressingly low, still… and I dare not think of the figures for community interpreting or sign language interpreting). He pointed out that there seems to be a strong psycho-social motivation behind the PhD work, committing to a PhD thesis is taking on a long-term engagement and something that is promoted through the atmosphere in the professional environment. One possible reason for an increase of the number of PhD theses that comes out of certain universities may be the leading researchers active there. Without the psycho-social motivation you are more vulnerable when it comes to getting institutional motivation and support. Since the interpreting training is practical, unless there is a strong conviction from teachers there is no familiarization with theory. Another important issue is the competition between teaching and practice. A good market creates less time and incentives for students or practitioners to go into research.