Teaching simultaneous interpretation


Many simultaneous interpreters have developed their skills with no books or theories whatsoever. The interpreter is like a soccer player who develops his/her skills in the football field and then learns the terminology and the techniques from the coach. For interpreters, the booth is their soccer field.  But the big question is: should an interpreter rely only on his/her experiences in the booth? Or rather: must an interpreter rely only on his/her experiences in the booth? A successful interpretation,  simultaneous interpretation specifically, depends on the interpreter's abilities and skills by 70%, the other 30% accounts for the world knowledge, the target language competence, the technique and the strategies he/she uses. One may think that 70% is good enough for the audience to understand our interpretation, but what we should take into account is that the other 30% contributes to a better quality interpretation. The knowledge acquired in university is useful only when we have the skills to apply it in real life, true, but it is also true that our skills do not evolve without scientific knowledge. Simultaneous interpretation should not be studied as the skill to convey a message into another language, but as the science that provides useful techniques that help us to address issues when we are in the booth trying to convey a message.    

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