Instructing novice consecutive interpreters
Steps to improve the performance of memory
All aspects of human life rely on the most important cognitive ability that man has been endowed with, namely, memory. Some cognitive tasks such as consecutive interpreting put high demands on this powerful ability to the effect that it needs special training to cope with those demands. The interpreter is required to perform a number of complex cognitive activities in order to transpose the original message from one socio-cultural environment into another. Unless his memory is able to perform well, his task will be adversely affected.
In this paper, an attempt is made to suggest a number of steps that provide special training to novice interpreters with the aim of improving the performance of their memory. This is done in a preparatory training course that does not involve consecutive interpreting but working from and into the same language. If the instructor manages to help the trainee overcome memory problems in advance, he can smoothly introduce him to the process and strategies of consecutive interpretation proper. The steps suggested proceed over three phases: (1) attentive listening, meaningful analysis and visualizing, (2) anticipation and note-taking, and (3) rephrasing.
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