With the second edition of Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises published this week, we asked the book’s author James Nolan to tell us a little about the different places where the book is used and what new material is included in the new edition.
The first edition of Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises has been adopted by many interpreter training programs offered by institutions, universities and interpreters’ associations, including seminars and workshops for conference interpreters, court interpreters, military interpreters and community interpreters. Recently, the book gained recognition as one of the main authoritative works in the field by being cited in an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs/10-1472_petitioner_amcu_professors.authcheckdam.pdf
Using the book’s syllabus and exercises in a series of professional-level training events has provided me with fertile ground for creating innovative teaching scenarios. Last year, in a seminar at the University of the Witwatersrand, we were able to develop video-based interpreting exercises and role-plays using several languages, including sign language. This year, at a training course in Washington D.C., I used the book for the first time in a seminar for community interpreters grouping several different language combinations, adapting the exercises to their needs.
In the second edition I have made several improvements and brought the book up to date. First, I incorporated a number of suggestions I had gleaned from readers, students and book reviewers that I felt would make the book more useful. I edited a number of exercises to make them useable with additional language combinations, and included a section of additional exercises to help develop short-term memory and to practice reformulation strategies. Last but not least, I included in the bibliography a section of internet links providing quick access to audio or video speeches for listening and interpretation practice. This last feature will make the book better suited for use with the distance-learning interpretation courses that have recently been making their appearance, and may contribute to making those courses more effective. I will be teaching one such course myself this fall for Glendon College and I hope the experience will suggest further improvements that can be made to the book.