Conference Presentation at TTI 2009

I participated in the 2nd International Teaching Translation and Interpreting Conference in Łódź, Poland. The title of my paper was: “How effective is teaching note-taking to trainee interpreters?”. The abstract is below.

University-level programmes in conference interpreting typically feature an introductory course in note-taking for consecutive interpreting. Although a note-taking system is a matter of individual preferences, it is generally accepted that students should be exposed to various note-taking techniques (Rozan 1957, Matyssek 1989, Gillies 2005) in order to develop their own autonomous systems.
The paper first presents the content of a course in note-taking for consecutive interpreting, featuring such elements as visualizations, structural analysis, layout, linking devices and symbols. It then describes a study involving course participants and conducted a few weeks after the end of the course to determine what skills learned and developed in class are applied by trainees in practice.
14 interpreting trainees were asked to consecutively interpret a text from Polish into their B language (English or German). The participants’ notes were analysed in terms of their layout, language and symbols. Additionally, the students were asked to complete a questionnaire to assess the note-taking course quality and to provide some introspective data about visualizations they used as memory prompts in the experimental task. The results shed some light on the usefulness of note-taking courses in interpreter training contexts.