FOUND IN TRANSLATION: The making of a skilled interpreter: What we know about expertise development in interpreting

On February 28, 2012, Doctor Minhua Liu spoke to Monterey Institute faculty and students and scholars and interpreters from around the world who logged on to watch the presentation live, as part of the Found in Translation Lecture Series. Live web streaming of the presentation was carried out in conjunction with the Training Committee of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). We post the presentation in its entirety here.


Despite a lack of longitudinal studies of expertise development in interpreting, research in interpreting studies and cognitive science has provided empirical evidence and ideas on the manifestation and development of expertise in interpreting. We have learned from research that more-skilled interpreters differ from less-skilled interpreters in their information processing being more semantic-based, being more selective in what to interpret, being more efficient at lexical processing, having a better grasp of text structure, being more selective in listening, and having a more enhanced self-awareness of the task. Research has also informed us that more-skilled and less-skilled interpreters do not seem to differ in verbal fluency, memory capacity, or even the ability to do some forms of multi-tasking. This talk will focus on how trainers and practitioners of interpreting can learn from these research findings and apply them in the classroom or in the booth.

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