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A book review

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The following review of Andrew Gillies' book, Conference Interpreting - A Students' Companion, appeared in the ITI bulletin May-June 2005.



Conference Interpreting - A New Students' Companion, Tertium, Cracow 2004.



Conference Interpreting by Andrew Gillies, a new Students' Companion, Cracow, Tertium Society for the Promotion of Language Studies, 2004.

This book is just right if you are training to be a conference interpreter and your trainers have said you should practice in your own time, writes Florence Mitchell. It takes only an hour or two to read but if you follow the advice you will be busy for many, many hours. In fact you will be busy practising one skill or another in all your waking hours.

The aim of Andrew Gillies is , not to give us the `how to' of interpreting but the 'how to' of practising. Purposefully (some will say: mercifully) short on theory, it is down-to-earth and realistic on the difficulty of practising. It advocates breaking down the overall interpreting skill into its components skills, in order to practice one thing at a time.

These skills are broken down into six categories which are on , the one hand delivery, general knowledge, active listening/analysis, memory, note-taking and reformulation for consecutive interpreting, and on the other delivery, general knowledge, split attention, decalage (how long to wait before starting to interpret), anticipation, reformulation and stress management for simultaneous interpreting. 'Always practice with a specific aim', 'keep a logbook', record everything and listen to at least some of your own output' are just three precepts that I wish I had followed in my time or in fact should still follow!

This book, published in their series Language and Communication by the Cracow Tertium Society for the Promotion of Language Studies, is an updated version of an earlier book. Andrew Gillies has published other books more recently..


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