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Newsletter Nr 85 - 11 November 2004 Print this page Click to print this page...

Interpreter Training Resources Website

ITR - Interpreter Training Resources


Andrew Gillies (AIC EN booth) talks to SCICNEWS about his website, designed for students and trainers of conference interpreting.

SCICNEWS: What prompted its creation?
Andrew Gillies: I did a lot of training of interpreters in Poland between 1999 and 2003, and have taught elsewhere as well, and regularly found myself recommending various websites, giving them synopses or extracts of good books (like Roderick Jones’), and generally evangelising about material that I felt they should be familiar with. Also, there was simply no site specifically for student interpreters. Some sites have some ideas, the AIIC site is probably the best of the rest, but I was surprised to find nothing for student interpreters, despite hours scouring the web in FR, DE, PL and EN. Finally a quote from Daniel Gile also inspired me... somewhere he wrote of interpreter training words to the effect of, "there are an awful lot of good ideas out there that never makes it onto paper".

When I put 2 and 2 together, and with the advent of software that writes HTML for you, the only solution was to create the site myself and invite contributions from teaching colleagues.

SN:How is it financed?
AG: I'm afraid that it is not. All my own free time.

SN: How is the validity of contributions vetted?
AG: I am basically the arbiter of all things that appear on the site. As I say, it started with material that I used regularly in the classroom and which 'worked' and expanded from there. Still most of what is on the site (with an URL) is stuff that I use in class or have given out as extra reading.

I try to stick to material that I think is directly useful, in practical terms, to students. So you will see that there are very few, if any, scientific papers on interpreting on the site. I read them, but I don't think that Daniel Gile or Franz Pochhaecher's very interesting academic work is going to help students. Sometimes that means I read material and write a more easily digestible version for students – i.e. Thierry on consec., Andres on notes, etc.

SN: Is it connected to any institutions?
AG: No – but as far as I am known to the universities I’ve taught/teach in (Cologne, Poznan, Warsaw, Krakow), and the institutions – mostly the European Parliament and SCIC – word gets around.

SN: Would you want it to be connected to any/more institutions?
AG: A link to as many websites as possible would be a good start. Other forms of ‘cooperation’ with institutions would limit editorial freedom and indeed raise copyright issues in respect of some of the material on the site.

SN: Would you want to keep the focus European or would you be interested in widening the scope also to e.g. Asian countries?
AG: I do not know how different, if at all, interpreting into non-indo European languages is. But on the assumption that many of the principles are the same, the site is already open to everyone. In fact I have received some very positive feedback from students on the Chinese interpreting course at Bath.

The site is very Anglo-centric, but that is the unfortunate upshot of the fact that a large part of the material is mine and/or contributed by English booth colleagues. It is also the result of my 'editorial' policy on texts being useful. English texts are less scientific, more pragmatic, and more useful to students. You just can't get published in French or German if it isn't totally impenetrable! None of this though means that things can't change in the future.

I am always looking for contributions from colleagues, whichever side of the planet they live and work on. Ideas that they use successfully in the classroom, ideas they have never written down, extracts from books they think are useful to students (their own books or those they’ve read). It just needs to be in a format that students can read and use from the web-page.

Source: Andrew Gillies (AIC EN); SCICNEWS

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SCICNEWS is published by DG INTERPRETATION Communication & Information.
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