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HowtoTeachLiaisonInterpreting

Prof.ReimaAlJarf
CollegeofLanguagesandTranslation
KingSaudUniversity,Riyadh,SaudiArabia
email:reemasado@msn.com
Homepage:reemasado.tripod.com

The aim of this paper is to design a program for teaching liaison interpreting
to translation students who are starting their training in liaison interpreting. The
subjects consisted of 50 junior students in their first liaison interpreting course (they
never had any interpreting or translation training before). In their freshman and
sophomore years, the subjects have taken 4 levels of listening, speaking, reading and
writingcourses,and2levelsofgrammarandvocabularybuildingcourses.TheLiaison
interpretingcourseistaughttwiceaweekfor13weeks.Attheendofthecourse,the
students are expectedto be able to act as an interpreter in an interview in which the
interviewer and the interviewee speak different languages (in our case English and
Arabic).Thestudentissupposedtobeabletolistentoaquestioninonelanguage(e.g.
Arabic)andrenderthemeaningintheTL(English)thenlistentotheanswerinEnglish
and render the meaning in Arabic or vice versa without any previous preparation or
knowledgeofthetopic.Thestudentinterpreterisexpectedtobeabletoswitchback
andforthfromEnglishintoArabicandfromArabicintoEnglish.Thestudentshouldbe
able to concentrate on the meaning and not on the words of the speaker, retain the
main ideas instead of the original words without taking notes, be able to convey the
message in correct language, with good expression, normal speed, and maintaining
eyecontactwithbothspeakersandcreateawarmatmosphere.
To achieve the above objectives, a series of were specially designed for the
course.Thoseconsistedof:(1)breathingexercises(2)memorytrainingexercisesatthe
word, sentence and paragraph level (3) shadowing exercises (4) sentence paraphrase
exercises (5) substituting exercises (6) liaison interpretation from English into English
without any notes. (7) Students provide summaries first of sentences and then of
whole paragraphs. (8) Listening to single words and interpreting them (9) Listening to
sentences, then short conversations and interpreting them. (10) listening to easy
interviewswithfamiliartopics.Interviewsshouldincreaseindifficultylevelandvaryin
topic.
The text materials for the liaison interpreting course consisted of formal and
informal interviews taken from newspapers and magazines covering general political,
medical, legal, educational, multilateral negotiations, and commercial topics covering
sectorsofthebusinessworld.
One class session is devoted to practice in the language laboratory, the other
sessionisdevotedtoworkinginteamsofthree(roleplaying).Beforethissession,the
students research a topic and bring excerpts from newspapers and magazines. At
home, students are encouraged to listen to and observe how professional translators
work.
A training program was designed to teach Liaison interpreting to beginning
studentinterpreters.In thiscoursethestudentspracticeinterpretingintwolanguage
directions:EnglishArabicandArabicEnglish.Thecourseobjectivesandskills,seriesof
gradedexercises,textmaterialsandtrainingmodesaredescribed.