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So You Want to Be An Interpreter

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1 So You Want to Be An Interpreter
Chapter 1: Communication Outline

2 Communication Outline
The Importance of Communication The Communication Process Communication in Action Message Construction Speaker/Signer Goal The Context of Message Conveyance Degree of Directness Powerful/Powerless Speech Responsible Language Linguistic Register

3 The Importance of Communication
Why is communication important? What is the purpose of communication? Interpreters are professional communicators therefore it is important for us to understand the communication process Interpreters must understand the nature of communication and their role as a mediator of communication between two people.

4 The Communication Process
How do we communicate? Communication is interactive and dynamic Multiple and overlapping messages are simultaneously sent and received Fact: In English, only 6% of meaning is in words, 39% in vocal intonations and 55% in gestures, body language and facial expressions.

5 Contextual Environment
The physical location where the interaction is taking place; and The personal history each participant brings to the event Environmental noise can distract the communicators: External noise: flickering of overhead florescent light; a person’s incessant coughing etc Physiological noise: biological factors i.e., illness, exhaustion, heat or hunger Psychological noise: what one’s thinking i.e., internal stress, personal judgments of the other, random thoughts etc.

6 Communication in Action
Communication is imprecise because of the human element involved; communication is done with other people No guarantee the receiver will decode the message the sender intended Effective communicators must develop a variety of interpersonal skills and sensitivities that enable them to interact with other people in satisfying ways What kind of pre-interpreting skills do you think interpreters need to become effective?

7 Group Activity 1: Group in 5’s. Create a circle facing each other.
Discuss pre-requisite skills your group think is required of interpreters. Your group will have 10 minutes to discuss. Each person in the group write down a skill on post-it note (at least 5 skills). Post your skill that is similar with others on the board.

8 Prerequisite skills for interpreters:
To think analytically Listen effectively Express self clearly in signed, spoken and written form Have excellent “people skills” Wide range of experience; knowledge and language skills Understand the meaning behind the message and recognize if someone is deliberately being vague

9 Pragmatic Rules: who made the statement
The location in which it was said; The tone of voice and the accompanying non-verbal behaviors; and The relationship between the sender and receiver Pragmatic rules are numerous and complex. * Watch video on nuances of language utterance

10 Message Construction Speaker goal Context of the message conveyance
Degree of directness Use of powerful/powerless speech Responsible language and Linguistic Register

11 Speaker/Signer Goal Activity 2:
Why do we speak? What kind of purpose or goals are there for the speaker? Each group have 10 minutes to discuss and list at least 5 goals and write them on the board. If one group has a similar goal, just place a mark next to the goal. *See Fig 1-1 p. 1:10 for list of Speaker Goals.

12 Context of Message Conveyance The “Who” and “Where”
Status may be obvious i.e., judge’s robe or invisible: chief surgeon wearing street clothes Social and cultural norms dictate how we speak i.e, how would you as a tourist speak to a border patrol? Cultural norms vary i.e., looking someone in the eye Where: i.e., If the discussion was in private or public changes the dynamics and influences the message

13 Degree of Directness: Clarity
Factors that determine direct or implicit communication: Goals of the speaker Context of the interaction Cultural norms of politeness If it is impolite to ask for a specific gift directly, the speaker will hint Ex: Girlfriend whose birthday is coming up to boyfriend, “ Oh I would love to have a copy of this music CD” or if someone broke the rules and asked outright, may hedge. My sister asking my 2 year old nephew if he threw the meatballs on the floor, He answered, Oh no, I dropped them.”

14 Four Types of Implicit Language
Equivocal language: signs or phrases that can be interpreted in more than one way to mislead someone i.e, telling a friend that her hairdo is “different” rather than it is weird. Euphemistic language: socially acceptable phrases instead of blunt, descriptive ones i.e., “rest room” rather than bathroom Abstract language: “verbal shorthand” i.e., “I have to clean the house today” without listing what was done. Also lexical jargon i.e, calling marijuana, weed, maryjane, etc. Passive voice: statement where the person or thing performing the action is not overtly stated i.e., “The car was wrecked” does not tell us who crashed the car

15 Powerful/Powerless Speech: The credibility of a Message
Powerless Speech: see Fig 1-2 p. 1.17 hedges hesitations, intensifiers polite forms tag questions and Disclaimers Speakers who consistently incorporate these features come across as uncertain and lacking in confidence As a result, people view them as less credible and believable.

16 Powerful Speech Powerful (From Fig 1-3 p. 1.19) Powerless
I need an appointment with Mr. Choy, preferably sometime today or tomorrow. I asked for this appointment today because I need to discuss the terms of our contract. (From Fig 1-3 p. 1.19) Powerless I kinda need to see Mr. Choy-umm… I don’t want to impose but…umm,, if it’s not too much trouble, maybe I could see him …er soon? Thank you so very much for meeting with me today. I really appreciate it. I uh..sorta need to discuss…uh.. the terms of our contract… if that’s okay with you.

17 Responsible Language: Accountability
“I”, “YOU”, and “IT” statements: If one uses “I” statement shows personal responsibility i.e., “when our discussions become overly emotional, I feel uncomfortable.” It Statements are often used in an attempt to avoid responsibility i.e., “It isn’t right to get so upset.” “You” statements can place negative judgment on the person addressed i.e., “You make me feel uncomfortable when you get too emotional” See Fig 1-4 p. 1.21

18 “But” Statements When the word “but” is used to join two statements, the second statement cancels or limits the statement that precedes it. It is a really good class, but I always get bored about halfway through. You have been a good employee, but I am going to have to let you go. She’s been a good neighbor, but I am glad to see her moving. “But” statements are frequently used as a strategy when a person is trying to soften the actual message being delivered and/or to avoid personal responsibility for the content of the message.

19 Linguistic Registers: Degree of Formality
All languages have registers to allow speakers to modify language in order to convey levels of formality or degree of familiarity between participants. Register determines: Turn-taking and interaction between sender and receiver of message; Complexity and completeness of sentence structure; Choice of vocabulary; Use of contractions; Volume of speech or size of signs; Rate (speed) of speech or signs; Clarity (diction, enunciation etc) of signs or speech Speaker goals; Use of fillers and hesitations; and Allowable topics of discussion See English examples p. 1.23

20 Group Activity 3: Arrange yourselves in 5 groups, each group in a circle facing each other. Each group will be given a register to discuss, you will have 25 minutes Frozen Formal Consultative Informal or Casual Intimate Discuss the following: 1. Kinds of setting, 2. Possible Vocabulary and Sentence structure-give 1 or 2 examples, 3. Turn-taking rules if any, 4. Rate and volume of speech/signs 5. Speaker goals One person will write down what the group have discussed and post it on the board.

21 Frozen Formal Consultative Informal Intimate Sermons M C Panel Party Private Court Debate Classroom Dorm 2 person Lecturer Dr’s office Home Coded secret message Athletic events Situations: Characteristics: Usually borrowed from English Usually on stage Variety of places Various places In private areas Unchanging Not frequent Standing or sitting Usually in public places Hidden Limited eye contact Less eye contact More eye contact More expressive Smaller sign movements Limited variations Signing is big and clear & slower Signing is usually at regular pace Signing is faster paced Use of coded messages Usually no FS Less FS FS new words More complex & use of slang signs More abbreviations & NMS Standing Didactic signing Use of honorific pronouns Question & Answer format More feelings shared More feelings shared

22 Homework Assignment: Read Chapter 1: Communication
Read thought questions and answer questions 1 and 2 p Due next class For extra credit (10 points): With a partner, create a 5 minute dialogue on videotape with both of you using two different registers. Make a list of the things you notice between the two “presentations” Share your findings at the next class.

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