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Noting lists

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The following is taken from Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting by Andrew Gillies, Routledge, 2005, and shows how the strain on short-term memory can be eased by noting lists in an order different to the order you hear them in.

Read a review of this book here!



Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting, Andrew Gillies, Translation Practices Explained: Volume 8. Routledge.



Noting lists

You will hear a list in order: 1, 2, 3. You will find, however, that it is possible to relieve the strain on your short term memory by noting 1, 3, 2. This is because if you note 1 and 3 the moment you hear them, they never make it into your memory and therefore never burden it. All you have to do is remember 2 for a couple of seconds. This works with longer lists as well of course, but the exact order is something you will have to practise and work out for yourself. At the same time the elements of the list remain vertically aligned to one another as described in Chapter 5.

Example (Hodgson)

For those of you who don't know me, I'm the Minister of Energy, Science, Fisheries and a few other things including climate change policy. It's that last one that has taken me up close and personal with dairy farmers and brought me the invitation to speak here today.

The example above could have been noted in the order below. I have marked the chronological order in which these elements are noted in square brackets like this [ 1 ]. The change in the order of noting elements in the list ( [1] - [4] ) as compared to the order in which they where spoken is minor but is very effective in relieving excess strain on your memory.


       Min  /                      

                      Energy   [1]

                       Sci       [2]

                       Fish y   [4]

                         CC    [3]


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