The article discusses the possibilities of teaching the basics of simultaneous translation. It analyzes the approaches to improve competency rates in synchronic translation. The article also describes the main features of simultaneous translation as one of the types of translation, its difference from other types of translation. Some types of exercises have been used in teaching simultaneous translation as well.
Key words : simultaneous translation, linguistic competence, inter-cultural competence, social competence, prediction, subject competence, background knowledge, reformulation of the text, speech redundancy.
There are some terms like simultaneous translation and interpretation, simultaneous interpreting for the deaf, whispered interpreting. They rae the main types of translation. Simultaneous translation can be used in large conferences, forums and whispered interpreting may be used in a business meeting.
Interpreter can use two methods:
— Consecutive interpretation (Totality of speakers’ comments, significant passage will be listened first and will be translated. The translator speaks consecutively to the original speaker)
— Simultaneous interpretation. Some speakers prefer to talk for just a few sentences and then invite interpreters. (They should translate at the same time of original speech)
Simultaneous translators should develop the techniques and competency of interpreting. And master simultaneous translators are able to deal with any length of speech. It is mainly because that that conference interpreters work in “real time”. Simultaneous translators are expected to react immediately after the speaker has finished, they must translate fast and efficient. The abilities of simultaneous translators:
— to analyze speech
— to resynthesize ideas of the original speakers
— to translate original text very quickly
— to verify and monitor the correct delivery of the meaning unit.
— to monitor, store, retrieve, and translate source language input
Simultaneous translation can be applied in two ways
— Appropriate equipment. This can be done with the help of microphones and headphones.
— Whispered translation when the equipment is not available. One of the participants speaks and simultaneously an interpreter whispers into the ear of the one or maximum two people who require interpreting services without knowledge in the target language.
Nowadays more and more interpreting is being done with the current way of translation. This kind of translation dates back to recent times. It was born during World War I. Until then important international meetings were held in French, the international language at the time.
During World War I, some high-ranking American and British negotiators did not speak French, which made it necessary to resort to interpreters. Researches regarding simultaneous translation began to be conducted with the invention of the multichannel tape recorder. Scientists and linguists namely Henri C.Barik in the United States and Canada 1971; D.Gerver in the United Kingdom 1974; I. A. Zimnyaya in Russia and others were those who created signposts in the sphere of simultaneous translation.
According to them simultaneous translation consists of several stages:
- The stage of orientation
- The stage of the search for
- The translation decision
- Execution stage
For the simultaneous interpretation bilingualism, sense- orientation is really important features of the translator as it is a complex type of translation. A few psychologists and psycholinguists such as Treisman, Oleron and Nanpon, Goldman-Eisler, Gerver, and Barik studied several aspects of interpreting simultaneously.
They found out findings on source language, speed of delivery, ear-voice span (the interval between the moment a piece of information is perceived and the moment it is reformulated in the target language), noise, pauses in speech delivery. Speed of delivery should have the speed of lightning. The span of perceiving signals and reformulation in the target language is also important. Pauses and repetitions should be absent in the speech.
As far as cognitive psychological point of view is concerned, simultaneous interpretation is a complex human information processing activity. It composed of a series of independent skills. First, the interpreter receives a meaningful unit. Following this, translation and carriage of the meaning to audience can be used. Before conveying the translated meaning in target language the interpreter holds the information in short term memory before interpretation.
Simultaneous translation is one of the main types of professional interpretation. It is carried out simultaneously with the auditory perception of the original text. Simultaneous interpreting is a mode of interpreting in which the speaker makes a speech and the interpreter reformulates the speech into a language his audience understands at the same time (or simultaneously).
It is extremely difficult to train a simultaneous interpreter. This is primarily due to the large deficit of experienced teachers of simultaneous translation and specifically gifted students. Despite that a professional school of simultaneous interpreters exists in different combinations of languages.
Simultaneous translation, as opposed to consecutive translation and sheet translation, is a special process of transferring information. Interpreter need to know two languages and the subject of conversation. It is known that not every person fluent in a foreign language is able to master a set of knowledge and skills that provide successful implementation of simultaneous translation.
At international conferences, only simultaneous translation is used. This allows one to significantly save time and transfer more information. In practice, there are three types of simultaneous translation:
— Simultaneous translation «by ear». The interpreter listens to the speaker and translates.
— Simultaneous «sight translation». Translator uses his or her visual competencies for example by looking at the photos and pictures or looking at the lip movements of the speaker.
— Simultaneous reading of a pre-translated text. Translator translates the pre-ready material.
The activity of a synchronic translator is distinguished by its specificity. The translator has no feedback or direct communication with the speaker and the audience, he is in an isolated cabin and uses headphones to receive and transmit information and microphone. In this case, additional difficulties may arise associated with the peculiarities of the speaker's speech. Practice shows that ideal situations for translation are almost non-existent.
Certainly a certain lag behind the speaker is inevitable, but high-quality simultaneous translation should not take more than four seconds. The main requirement is that the translator must complete the translation at the same time as the speaker. In other words, the translator should try to predict the speaker's thought. This forecasting is of importance. Another difficulty may be presented by the format presented by the speaker.
Even if the interpreter has been provided with the text of the speech in advance, and the speaker reads it, there is a need for its syntactic simplification, which also complicates the work of a simultaneous translator. Therefore, in the course of speech, some proofreading may be required, which should happen almost instantly. The simultaneous translator must have the following competency:
— A large working memory, the ability to quickly carry out lexical and grammatical translation transformations, good diction and impeccable pronunciation in both languages.
— Intellectual mobility, ability to quickly grasp and process information, abstraction and analysis skills, mental and physical prerequisites, ability to focus quickly, endure heavy loads, exposure are urgently important for simultaneous translators.
For training and the development of such skills, a system is used in practical exercises. It is known that redundancy of speech or verbosity is characteristic of the most languages, therefore, first, students are offered texts for analysis in native language. The quality of the translation depends largely on the volume of special language knowledge, translation experience and the breadth of the translator's outlook.
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