Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises

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Multilingual Matters, Jan 1, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 320 pages
2 Reviews
This book provides a structured syllabus and an overview of interpretation accompanied by exercises in the main aspects of the art. It is meant as a practical guide for interpreters and as a complement to interpreter training programmes, particularly for students preparing for conference interpreting in international governmental and business settings.

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James Nolan's useful, engaging text deftly describes the art of interpreting and provides brilliant exercises for its mastery. Conveying the hilarity of situations beyond the
interpreter's control: speed demons, frankly stupid remarks; he also sensitively evokes those frustrating deep cultural references that no interpretation can satisfy. Interpreters will find here a guide to honing their skill and an expression of the joy inherent in this marvelous profession. Mr. Nolan’s appreciation of the interpreter’s great love affair with language informs his book throughout and will make it a valuable source for interpreters and teachers of interpreting for many years to come.
--Dr. Joanna Dezio, Visiting Specialist in Interpretation and Translation at Montclair State University and Associate Professor of Foreign Languages at New York University
A red thread throughout the book is the need for an ongoing enhancement of the interpreter’s linguistic and rhetorical skills: anticipation, complexity and compression, word clusters, figures of speech, argumentation, formal style, Latinisms, humor are only some of the topics addressed in the various chapters. The chapter on ‘figures of speech’, in particular, made fascinating reading even for a seasoned interpreter-cum-instructor, as is the drafter of this review. –Stefano Marrone, AIIC
…he brings a high level of expertise to this subject. But this is not just another book on interpretation. Nolan’s work is unique because his concern is with pedagogy, specifically the training of interpreters. This book provides a practical guide for them. … This book is highly recommended not only for those who are driven by a professional career in consecutive or simultaneous interpreting at international events, but also for those who pride themselves on their bilingual abilities…
--Dr. Robert N. St. Clair, Professor of Communication and Linguistics, University of Louisville
The most valuable chapters include Chapter 7 (50 pages on ‘Figures of speech’), Chapter 9 (‘Diction/register’), which emphasizes precise shades of meaning and presents 45 pages of excellent examples and exercises, Chapter 12 (‘Political discourse’), with exercises on the nuances that distinguish related words, and Chapter 13 (‘Economic discourse’) with vocabulary-enhancing exercises. These chapters testify to the author’s vast experience and knowledge, as well as to his admirable eloquence and linguistic skills, and make interesting reading.
--Dr. Ingrid Kurz, University of Vienna
On the whole, the book is a great, original, necessary and quite novel approach to interpretation studies from a linguistic and academic point of view. Its structure is perfect from a pedagogical perspective… The exercises presented are numerous and varied in methodology and objectives… The titles and authors included in the bibliography are varied, interesting and practical from several points of view...
--Dr. Ingrid Mosquera Gende, University of A Coruņa, Spain
The contents of Interpretation Techniques and Exercises, the fruit of decades of analysis and experience, provide a wealth of material for both students and teachers … Nolan's treatment of many topics, including suggestions for coping with humor, numerals, Latinisms and note-taking techniques, should all prove extremely valuable for both students and teachers of interpretation.
--Dr. Lynn Visson, Editorial Board, Mosty Translation Journal, Moscow
“Nolan…offers practical assignments to develop linguistic sensitivity and focuses on such linguistic problems as complex syntax, word order, adverbial clauses, figures of speech, register and formal style. […] Among the strongest assets of Nolan’s book are the exercises –not just descriptions of assignments…but ready-made tasks, such as cloze tests, reformulation of sentences with complex syntax, matching exercises to test the knowledge of collocations, interpretation of lists of noun+adjective clusters, figures of speech (with

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About the author (2005)

A translator and interpreter for the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council in New York and Geneva.

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