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The Interpreting Process

The Interpreting Process

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The Interpreting Process
Interpreters make communication between people easier...whether hearing, deaf or hard of hearing. Please be aware that even though the D/deaf student may have worked with interpreters their entire life, he/shemay not be aware of the process of interpreting from the hearing person's or interpreter's view point.
Jargon, Terminology and Culture
How a student identifies herself/himself may depend more on "identity issues" than "actual hearing loss".
A person who is late deafened, that is, someone who lost some or all of their hearing as a teen or adult mayidentify as "hard of hearing" person or a person with a hearing loss even though their audiological statusmay show them to be "severely or profoundly deaf".
A person who is audiologically severely or profoundly deaf and who went to a "school for the deaf",learned American Sign Language (ASL) as a child, is a member of the Deaf community and supports Deaf culture-- will probably identify as a "Deaf" person rather than a "deaf" person.
The current nomenclature is to use the capital "D" in Deaf to show a person who is culturally Deaf and thelower case "d" to show a person who does not identify with the Deaf community.For additional information, read: A Journey into the Deaf-World, by Harlan L. Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, BenBahan; Paperback - 560 pages (May 1996); Dawn Sign Presswww.dawnsign.com;ISBN: 0915035634
Code of Ethics
Certified Interpreters follow a Code of Ethics, therefore, are not allowed to participate in class discussions,activities, or state their opinion.
What will be signed?
As much as humanly possible, everything that is said in the classroom will be interpreted.
"I" the Interpreter or "I" the Student?
When the interpreter says "I", e. g. "I completed the assignment", he/she translated or interpreted into spokenEnglish what the student is signed...meaning "I the student".
Language Processing Time
The interpreter will be a sentence or two behind the spoken lecture as it takes a few seconds for the translation process to happen. If the instructor pauses after asking the class a question, the interpreter will have time to catch upand sign the question for the D/HH student to see. Now the D/HH student has an equal opportunity to answer or comment.
Time Required to Convey Concepts
American Sign Language (ASL) was recognized as its own language in the 1980's, therefore, as a formal language itis relatively new. It has its own grammar and syntax that is different from English.Unfortunately, English has jargon, technical words and humor that cannot be translated directly into ASL. Thismeans that it may take the interpreter longer to convey the concept or meaning if there have not been conventionalsigns developed. ASL also has its own jargon, technical words and humor that cannot be translated directly intoEnglish.
No Universal Sign Language
Sign language is not universal as signed languages are usually based on the culture and spoken language of thecountry or region. There are also different types of interpreting, for example: using ASL, pidgin signed English, or 
 
Signed English. Depending on the educational experiences and cultural identity of the student, her/his signs may beany combination of the above.
Team Interpreting
Due to a variety of reasons, the class may be "team interpreted" - which means two interpreters switching every 20-30 min. to avoid carpal tunnel, overuse syndrome and interpreter fatigue which would compromise the integrity of the interpreted message.
Translation Preparation Time
Interpreters prepare for each lecture and will use a copy of the text book, syllabus, and handouts to make sure theyunderstand the lecture. Please make an extra copy of any handouts for the interpreter to use.
Interpreting Tests
Interpreters may be asked to interpret test questions as long as the test is not evaluating reading comprehension or other similar skills.Homepage | Prospective Students | Current Students|Faculty/Staff |Alumni & Community|Emergency Response  © 2009 Palo Alto College - One of the Alamo Colleges1400 W. Villaret - San Antonio, TX 78224 - (210) 486-3000ADA/EOE/AccreditationContact Palo Alto College Onlinehttp://www.accd.edu/pac/htm/Current/services/dss/info_instructor/instructor_process.htmCynthia B. Roy, Editor Chapter SevenFrom Theory to Practice:Making the Interpreting Process Come Alive in the Classroom
 Robert G. Lee
http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/excerpts/ATSLIseven.htmlOne of the greatest challenges in teaching interpreting is providing students with both an abstract knowledge of atheory of interpretation and a personal understanding of the application of the theory. The ability to recite the stagesin a specific theory is not a particularly helpful skill for a student interpreter. Along with knowing the outline of amodel, students must be able to experience the stages, thereby developing an awareness of their own control of theinterpreting process. A primary goal of teaching the interpreting process is providing students with a feeling of control, something they can take away from the classroom and exercise on their own. The following exercise isdesigned to help students in both acquiring knowledge of the interpreting process and understanding their control of it. I begin by outlining the underlying model framing the exercise, then provide some preliminary notes, and finallyexplain the exercise itself.
B
ACKGROUND
 
Having taught interpreting in both workshop and university settings, I have been struck that many interpreters,novice or experienced, talk about the application of a theory of interpretation but rarely put theory into practiceoutside a learning environment. In working with student interpreters, I want to instill an understanding of theinterpreting process from the very beginning to help them integrate the process in their work in and out of theclassroom.
T
HEORETICAL
F
RAMEWORK 
The model I am working under is Dennis Cokely’s
 sociolinguistic model of the interpreting process
(Cokely 1992).I have chosen this model for a variety of reasons. First, I feel that the level of detail it offers is helpful in clarifyingfor students the discrete stages that interpreters proceed through in order to successfully interpret between twolanguages. Second, the model clearly delineates those specific skills needed at various points in the interpreting process. The ability to know and articulate one’s work in terms of subparts can be very helpful in looking atsuccessful and less successful interpretations. Third, Cokely’s taxonomy of miscues is very helpful in havingstudents discuss why a specific interpreted message is successful or not.
Some have claimed that Cokely’s model is too complicated for students to learn, let alone work with in a classroomsetting. I disagree; I think we underestimate the ability of students to both learn a complex theory of interpreting andapply it. I have found that students may be somewhat daunted by the model initially but that clear presentation andexamples of application help students to learn the model as outlined by Cokely as well as use it in discussing their own work and the work of their classmates. In addition, students have reported that the ability to look at the stagesof their work and see
1. Cokely defines a miscue as “a lack of equivalence between the s(ource)L(anguage) message and its interpretationor, more specifically, a lack of concordance between the information in an interpretation and the information in thes(source)L(anguage) message it is supposed to convey” (Cokely 1992, 74).
TABLE 1. Stages of the Cokely Model http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/excerpts/ATSLIseven2.html
 
Cokely’s stageShort descriptionRemindeMessage receptionThe act of physically receiving the sourcemessage through the appropriate channelPerceivePreliminary processingThe act of recognizing the source message as alinguistic signalRecognizeShort-term message retentionThe act of storing enough of the source signalto achieve an understanding of the messageChunk Semantic intent realizedThe act of understanding the source message(Importantly, as Cokely states, “Ideally, of course, the semantic intent of the messagerealized by the interpreter is that originallyintended by the speaker” (Cokely 1992, 127)UnderstandSemantic equivalent determinedThe act of finding equivalents in the targetlanguage for the concepts expressed in thesource messageAnalyzeSyntactic message formulationThe act of (mentally) fashioning an equivalenttarget messageFormulateMessage productionThe act of articulating the target messageProducesuccesses in some stages is quite helpful. Often students perceive their own work in a binary fashion: as either allgood or (more often, unfortunately) all bad. Having the ability to look for success (or lack thereof) in stages of the process is empowering to students; they can see where they are using strategies that are successful and where theyneed to improve.Table 1 provides a brief outline of the Cokely model. The reader is referred to Cokely (1992) for a more completediscussion. I have provided a description of each stage in terms of acts in order to underscore to students that

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