Prepared by the researcher : Asst. Prof. Ibrahim Talaat Ibrahim, Al-Iraqia University/ College of Arts,Republic of Iraq
Democratic Arab Center
Journal of Human Resources Development for Studies and Research : Eighteenth Issue – October 2022
A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin
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The current paper is about a translation strategy created by the researcher to enhance fourth grade students/ Department of Translation/ Al-Iraqia University in simultaneous Interpreting subject (SI). The fourth-grade students’ performance regarding SI was not promising. Therefore, I decided to create a new approach to develop students’ levels in SI. It is hypothesized that the Quadro-Interpreting strategy is likely to make a difference in translation students’ performance concerning simultaneous Interpreting topic and guide them to the correct approach of Interpreting. The methodology created by the researcher and flavored by Kiraly’s approach with reference to student-centered approach enhanced students’ performance in SI and the hypothesis was verified by findings of the research.
Translation is defined as one of the major topics in the world because it has become part of every single activity. Therefore, it has been shifted from a uni-disciplinary study into a multidisciplinary one. For instance, translation and computer studies, translation and media, translation and psychology, translation and sociology.etc. Moreover, this not to confined to translation but also Interpreting. I mean that Interpreting is also indulged in many fields as well such as media, live interpreting…etc. In Iraq, the methodology of teaching Translation and Interpreting was based upon traditional systems. Therefore, the outcome of teaching students the aforementioned topics was not good enough. However, I decided to make a difference in teaching simultaneous Interpreting topic because the level of students’ performance was not promising and I made use of socioconstructionism approach by German scholar Kiraly who presented a paradigm shift in teaching approaches. Therefore, I added the concept of Kiraly to my methodology to make a difference in students’ performance regarding simultaneous Interpreting Subject (1) (2). History of simultaneous interpreting
1.1. History of simultaneous interpreting (SI)
Simultaneous interpreting came to light in the 1920s when Edward Filene and Gordon-Finlay, using proto-type telephone technology, developed equipment with regard to equipment of the telephonic interpreting. In fall 1945, simultaneous interpreting made its televised international debut during the Nuremberg Trials.
So, Simultaneous Interpreting (SI) is defined as a process of interpreting speaker’s speech into the Target language (TL) while the speaker is making the speech in the Source Language (SL). SI is considered to be the most difficult type of interpreting because the interpreter receives the pieces of information, analyses them and produces a speech in another language at the same time (3).
- Social Constructivist Approach
Kiraly presented a social constructivist approach with regard to translators and translation teachers training. He made a paradigm shift in the approach of training when he shifted the direction of training from traditional approach (teacher-centered approach) which is concerned with defining the class teacher as the commander of the class, the only source of knowledge, the only one who can judge students in class, the one who makes every single step in classroom to student-centered approach which is about sharing class management between class teachers and class students, composing the role of mentor in classroom, allowing students to investigate the topic he presents in classroom and he lets students discuss every topic in classroom in groups or in pairs. The researcher made a happy marriage between Kiraly’s social constructivist approach (student-centered approach) with the Quadro-Interpreting strategy. This is translated in the methodology of the study (4). It is worth mentioning that there are differences between teacher-centered approach and student centered one, they are explained below (5).
- Simultaneous Interpreting (SI)
It is defined as the process of receiving the speech from a speaker in the source language SL (live speech or recorded one), processing it and producing it in the target language TL (6).
3.1. Types of Simultaneous Interpreting (SI)
There are many types of SI, they are as follows: conference Interpreting, whispered Interpreting, online Interpreting and television program Interpreting and another type of Interpreting highlighted by the researcher it is called field Interpreting.
3.1.1. Conference Interpreting
As for the first one, it is concerned with Interpreting speeches for high-ranking officials, diplomats, scholars. It is a less difficult type of interpreting in comparison with the rest because the speech delivered in such events will be known to the Interpreter not to mention that the language employed is formal and the intended listeners will be able to comprehend the language easily. On the top of that, the environment will be comfortable for the Interpreter because such events are usually convened in big halls.
3.1.2. Whispered Interpreting
Speaking of the second type, the researcher says that whispered Interpreting is concerned with closed-door meeting between VIPs where the interpreter might be sitting behind the official and Interpret for him/ her into the target language. It is described as one of the difficult types because the Interpreter may be asked to render the speaker’s speeches from SL into TL and vice-versa. In other words, it will be a double-task process. Besides, the topic of the speech could be of gravely sensitive. This is why, the interpreter must be careful in Interpreting every single word from Source language SL into Target language TL so as not to be in trouble (7)(8).
3.1.3. Online Interpreting
While the third one is about online Interpreting, it is described a very difficult type for reasons of the circumstances associated with the process of Interpreting. As the name suggests, it is carried out online via online platforms such as (Zoom meetings, free conference call, Google Meet…etc.
It is has become well known to public especially, to Iraqis during Covid-19 Pandemic. The reason why it is a very difficult because the internet service might be weak and this will undermine the outcome not to mention the bad quality of voice (9).
3.1.4. Television Interpreting
The fourth type deals with television Interpreting, it is one of the nicest ways of interpreting speeches, it is usually employed by TV stations to Interpret Live Broadcast speeches made by VIPs, politicians…etc.
3.1.5. Television Interpreting
Finally, the fifth type of interpreting is discussed by the researcher. It is called field Interpreting. In other words, it is the process of Interpreting a speech simultaneously whether the Interpreter is in the battle field, refugee camp, in the desert…etc. it is defined as the most difficult type of Interpreting for a number of reasons, they are as follows: the environment might not be safe, the weather could not be helpful. In other words, the interpreter may be uncomfortable and the language employed during the Interpreting process must be taken care of because the Interpreter might interpret for uneducated people, battered children and women and old people. In other words, their linguistic competence is not that rich (10).
Therefore, the Interpreter in question has to make use of the simplest vocabulary to convey the message easily and he must never treat them as experts otherwise the situation could be jeopardized entirely. I believe that resorting to colloquial Arabic is helpful sometimes in the process of simultaneous Interpreting for people like refugees.
3.2. Steps towards simultaneous interpreting (SI)
The researcher presents many steps to be applied during simultaneous interpreting training and sessions. They aim at enhancing the process of interpreting from the Source language (SL) into target language (TL), they are as follows:
Firstly, simultaneous interpreters must master the languages that he deals with on the linguistic, cultural and stylistic levels. In other words, he must have the know-how of the in-depth knowledge of SL and TL languages.
Secondly, he has to make use of his background knowledge in case he faces a difficulty within the process of interpreting.
Thirdly, the simultaneous interpreter in question has to follow the speaker on the verbal level. It means that he has to interpret what he says and adopts the approach that the speaker employs to be on the safe side. For instance, if the speaker is sad during his statement, the interpreter has to convey what he says in calm and sad tone. And if the interpreter laughs during such situation, he will be in trouble.
Fourthly, sometimes interpreters are lucky enough and sometimes are in critical condition when it comes to transferring speakers’ words into TL. Because the speakers could be speaking quickly. This is why, the interpreter has to race against time to convey as many pieces of information mentioned by the speaker as possible into the target. Besides, the interpreter in question especially in international events will be separated from the speaker due to the fact that he will sitting in a booth dedicated for the purpose of interpreting. On the top of that, the interpreter does not have any right to stop the speaker if he speaks quickly.
Fifthly, the interpreter must employ the shortest sentences in the TL for their long sentences counter parts in SL.
Sixthly, Also, he has to get benefit from pausing made by the speaker for two reasons: to reduce the pressure mounted on the interpreters’ minds and to help the interpreters keep pace with the speech of the speaker.
Seventhly, the interpreter has to avoid repetitions by making use of one or two words to refer to particular figure in case they are repeated many times.
Eighthly, the interpreter in question has to keep all the statistics, numbers, years, dates, etc (11).
- The methodology
The researcher created a Quadro-Interpreting strategy to enhance fourth grade students in SI topic. It is backed by the student-centered approach in teaching simultaneous interpreting topic in SI lab, the Strategy is elaborated on below.
- Presenting the video in question to all students in SI Lab for the first time. After that, I ask them about the theme of the video…
- Presenting the same video to all students one more time. Then, I ask them about the most difficult terms found in the body of the speech. Afterward, I ask them to sit in pairs or groups to share their views and translate such terms in the notebook dedicated for such purpose. Meanwhile I will give them a window of time from 5 to 10 minutes to complete the in-class assignment and stand close to them in case they need an advice or any help.
- Asking all students to watch the video one last time. Then, I ask them about their levels of understanding.
- Initiating the process of simultaneous Interpreting of the video in question from the SL into TL.
- The findings
The methodology implemented by researcher achieved great results. In other words, students’ performances regarding SI improved significantly. In addition, this is clear in the second course final exam for the academic year 2021-2022. Where students were able to interpret unseen videos by because they received the training in the simultaneous interpreting lab for long hours. Once, students were asked about their feedbacks, they said that they were hesitant concerning the videos required to interpret from Arabic into English and vice versa. However, they became confident enough with respect to their performance following the training on the Quadro-interpreting methodology. And in order to translate their training into reality, I decided to make under-graduate fourth year students enjoy high level of freedom on one hand and make them make use of Quadro-interpreting strategy on the other hand. It is worth mentioning that the strategy in question is flavored by Kiraly’s student-centered approach. This is why, I organized virtual sessions for fourth grade students titled “Simultaneous Interpreting Simulation Sessions” via Zoom meeting platforms. Also, I divided them into three teams in cooperation with me: Writing team, Narrating team and Simultaneous interpreting team. As for the first team, the students were assigned to write a speech concerning useful topics touching upon students’ daily life on campus. The second team was responsible for narrating the speech in cooperation with the researcher written by the first team while the latter team was assigned to interpret the speech written by the first team and narrated by the second team. Following this real-life simulation sessions, the students felt that they confident and they became good simultaneous interpreters. Moreover, all the simulation sessions organized virtually are recorded and uploaded on my YouTube channel. (12) (13) (14). The following is the diagram of simulation sessions.
5.1. Morning studies simulation session
The researcher organized a simulation session for fourth year students/ morning studies at Department of Translation/ College of Arts/ AL-Iraqia University via zoom meetings platform on 31 march/2022. It included 9 students. It is worth mentioning that the researcher helped students in working on the team’s work. The image presented below documents the simulation session for morning studies.
5.2. Evening studies simulation session
The researcher organized a simulation session for fourth year students/ evening studies at Department of Translation/ College of Arts/ AL-Iraqia University via zoom meetings platform on 1 April/2022. It included 11 students. It is worth noting that the researcher helped students in working on the team’s work. The image presented below documents the simulation session for evening studies.
The training carried out in simultaneous interpreting lab/ College of Arts/ AL-Iraqia university with the participation of fourth year students’ morning and evening studies verified the validity of the methodology created by the researcher and the rate of success of fourth year students’ morning and evening studies was less 50% following the application of the methodology the rate of success became more than 80%. On the top of that, the researcher made all the fourth students have the opportunity to join simulation sessions via Zoom Meetings Platform, where students gained great confidence in interpreting experience. In other words, they were divided into three groups: Writing, Narrating and Interpreting groups. Then, the level of success became more than 90%.
1-Kiraly, Donald. A Social Constructivist Approach to Translator Education:Empowerment from Theory Practice. Manchester/Northampton: St. Jerome, 2000. 207 pp.
2-Oldfield, Martha. (2001). Kiraly, Donald A Social Constructivist Approach to Translator Education: Empowerment from Theory Practice. Cadernos de Tradução. 2. 10.5007/5899.
3-Mikkelson, Holly and Renée Jourdenais (2015). The Routledge handbook of Interpreting. London: Routledge.
4-Kiraly, Donald. A Social Constructivist Approach to Translator Education:Empowerment from Theory Practice. Manchester/Northampton: St. Jerome, 2000. 207 pp.
5-Rogers, C., & Freiberg, J. (1994). Freedom to learn (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Publishing.
6-Ibrahim, Ibrahim. (2021). Simultaneous Interpreter as a Speaker. 5. 506-521. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/361590832_Simultaneous_Interpreter_as_a_Speaker accessed on Thursday 18-8-2022
7–Gile, Daniel. (2018). 2018 Simultaneous interpreting. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328028446_2018_Simultaneous_interpreting accessed on Thursday 18-8-2022
8-Tri Sukarsih, Ni. (2019). Simultaneous interpreting. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332631000_SIMULTANEOUS_INTERPRETING accessed on Thursday 18-8-2022
9-Gile, Daniel. (2018). 2018 Simultaneous interpreting. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328028446_2018_Simultaneous_interpreting accessed on Thursday 18-8-2022
10-Tri Sukarsih, Ni. (2019). Simultaneous interpreting. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332631000_SIMULTANEOUS_INTERPRETING accessed on Thursday 18-8-2022
11-Ibrahim, Ibrahim. (2021). Simultaneous Interpreter as a Speaker. 5. 506-521. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/361590832_Simultaneous_Interpreter_as_a_Speaker accessed on Thursday 15-9-2022
12-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxmxJ-G4eOY accessed on Saturday 3-9-2022
13-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o722buKsRUs&t=4s accessed on Saturday 3-9-2022
14-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLTizgKCLnY&t=2s accessed on Saturday 3-9-2022