Intensive Interpreting Practice – Easter Course 2015 !

In April this year Heriot-Watt University will be running an Intensive Interpreting Practice CPD course.

The course is designed for:

  • Interpreting students who are in the middle of their training and wish to improve both their English skills and their Interpreting skills.
  • Professional interpreters who would like to improve their English, either with the intention of making it a B language or simply to complete an intensive professional practice course.

This is a non-language specific course so all language combinations are welcome! We mainly work with audio-visual material (but not only!) and everyone will have the opportunity to practise intensively and to network with professionals in the industry.

Here are some of the comments from former students:

“The booths are amazing! “

“Great organisation!”

“I learned new skills”

“Very motivated and motivating teachers”

“The entire course was interesting”

You can visit our website for further information

Like us on Facebook!

We look forward to receiving your applications.

Mathilde Postel

3rd Edinburgh Interpreting Research Summer School!

The 3rd Edinburgh Interpreting Research Summer School (EIRSS) will take place from 22 – 26 June 2015 !

EIRSS 2015 offers intensive research training for existing and future scholars in any field of Interpreting and will include lectures from our Guest Speaker Claudia Monacelli as well as leading Heriot-Watt Speakers, including Professor Ian Mason. It will be relevant to researchers interested in Conference Interpreting as well as Public Service Interpreting, for both spoken and signed languages.

EIRSS 2015 is open to those who are about to embark on a PhD, those in the first stages of doctoral study and those considering a change of direction in their professional career or academic trajectory.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with world-renowned researchers in the field of Interpreting and will also have the chance to showcase their individual projects and receive feedback.

Please visit the EIRSS 2015 web page for more information about the course and the presenters, as well as details of how to apply.

We look forward to receiving your applications!

Raquel de Pedro Ricoy & Katerina Strani
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies
School of Management and Languages
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK

E-mail: eirss@hw.ac.uk

2015 call for PhD Scholarships in LINCS!

LINCS is now offering two School of Management and Languages (SML) Scholarships and one Professorial Scholarship for the next academic year, commencing September 2015!

SML scholarships available: 2

The term of the Scholarships is three years. Successful candidates will be expected to make a contribution to activities in the Department in return for a fee-waiver, a maintenance allowance of £13,863 per annum and a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study.

We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates to develop projects relevant to key research areas across our two Research Centres:

  1. Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland – postgraduate research areas
  2. Intercultural Research Centre – postgraduate research areas

Additionally, appropriate candidates may apply to join the International Doctoral Programme on Transformations in European Societies. Current themes of the program are: migration/ interculturality, urban society/culture, and worlds of work.

The closing date for applications is Friday 27th March 2015.

Professorial Scholarship

Public Service Interpreting: Standardizing Quality and Professionalization

Lead Supervisor: Professor Claudia Angelelli, Chair of Interpreting

Number available: 1

The term of the Scholarship is three years. The successful candidate will be expected to make a contribution to activities in the Department in return for a fee-waiver, a maintenance allowance of £13,863 per annum and a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study.

Project Outline
In multilingual societies, cross-linguistic/cultural communication is increasingly frequent, especially when it relates to accessing services. As a result of mobility, immigration, and displacement, users of services (e.g. health care, justice, education) often do not speak the same language as providers (who generally speak the societal language). When providers and users do not share a language, translators and interpreters mediate communication. Translators and interpreters vary in their abilities and qualifications, and for some language combinations or communicative settings there simply are no professional interpreters or translators. This project explores constructs of linguistic rights and linguicism by studying quality and professionalism across languages and settings.

The closing date for applications is Friday 27th March 2015.

How to apply

For both the SML Scholarships and the Professorial Scholarship please submit your application via the Heriot-Watt Online Application Portal.

Under Application Type please select ‘Research PG’ from the options. In the section Planned Programme of Study please select ‘Languages, PhD’ from the options.

Please state clearly on your application which PhD scholarship you are applying for.

Once you have completed your application, ensure that you click ‘Application is Complete’ on the checklist.

In order that your application can be processed, please ensure that all the supporting documents listed below are submitted with your application:

  1. RESEARCH PROPOSAL (approximately 5 – 8 pages)
    The research proposal should contain as much as possible of the following: an introduction or outline of the proposed topic; a statement of objectives and/or specific research questions; a summary of some of the relevant literature which supports the research objective(s); an indication of the intended research methodology; an indication of the theoretical structure and/or conceptual outline; a provisional timetable of the major phases of the research process; results expected from the research e.g. practical value of the research or possible contributions to knowledge or policy or methodology. At this stage we are not looking for a definitive document but merely an indication that you have thought through most of the above issues.
    Please note that work submitted may be subject to screening via plagiarism software.
  2. ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS & DEGREE CERTIFICATES
    Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of degree certificates for degrees already awarded. If you are currently pursuing a degree course please provide all available marks to date.
  3. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
    If you have not already studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in the medium of English we require evidence of language proficiency. For IELTS: the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5 with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/knowledge-of-english
  4. REFERENCES
    If you have references available these should be submitted with your application. If they are not currently available please ensure that you provide the names and contact details, including email addresses, of two academic referees on the application form.

Candidates may also submit a Curriculum Vitae.

Closing date

The closing date for both the SML Scholarships and the Professorial Scholarship is Friday 27th March 2015.

Further Information

For further information, and if you have any queries, please contact Caroline Murray c.a.murray@hw.ac.uk

http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/about/programmes/phd/lincs-phd-scholarships-2015.htm

Upcoming EdSign Lectures

Tuesday, 3rd March 2015, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

[Title to be confirmed]
Frankie McLean
Paterson’s Land LG34, Moray House, School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Tuesday, 14th April 2015, 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Toward Normative Ethics in Community Interpreting: Moral Reasoning and Moral Discourse
Robyn Dean
Paterson’s Land LG34, Moray House, School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Seeing Through New Eyes – Deafhood Pedagogies and the Unrecognised Curriculum
Paddy Ladd
Paterson’s Land LG34, Moray House, School of Education, University of Edinburgh

~ Summer Signing Social Event ~
Tuesday, 2nd June 2015, 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Details to be confirmed!

All events are free. BSL / English interpretation available at all events (unless specified differently).

Please check for updates:
Website: www. edsignlectures.com / Facebook: www.facebook.com/edsignlectures / Twitter: www.twitter.com/EdSignLectures / Email: edsignlectures@gmail.com

IRC Seminars 2014/15 Semester 2

The Intercultural Research Centre seminar series for semester 2 has now be finalised!

17 February 2015 – 4.30 pm [MBG20]
Dr Neringa Liubinienė
Center of Social Anthropology, Vytautas Magnus University Kaunass, Lithuania
Being a Transmigrant in the Contemporary World: Lithuanian Migrants’ Quests for Identity

18 February 2015 – 3.30 pm [EM336]
Dr Kathryn Burnett
School of Media, Culture and Society, University of the West of Scotland
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship on Scottish Islands: An Intercultural Perspective

11 March 2015 – 3.30 pm [MBG20]
Prof. Ian Baxter
Suffolk Business School, University Campus Suffolk
Global versus local – Understanding the Role of Management in Heritage Tourism

18 March 2015 – 3.30 pm [MBG20]
Dr Thomas Hoerber
ESSCA, École de Management, Angers, France
[title tba]

22 April 2015 – 3.30 pm [BEC – Esmee Fairbairn building]
Dr Angeliki Monnier
Département Métiers du Multimédia et de l’Internet, Université de Haute Alsace, France
Understanding National Identity: Between Culture and Institutions

6 May – 2.00 pm [BEC – Esmee Fairbairn building]
Prof. Tim Ingold
Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
[title tba]

[date/time/topic tba]
Dr Philip McDermott
School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster
Language Rights, Migrants and the Council of Europe: A Failed Response to a Multilingual Continent?

For further details, please contact Prof. Ullrich Kockel

Collaboration and innovation to explore sign language brokering experiences

by Jemina Napier

Click here to see this post in British Sign Language

Previous blogs have reported how I am conducting research on experiences of language brokering in the Deaf community, which looks at the communication support that both deaf and hearing PDFs (People from Deaf Families) give to their deaf parents to communicate with hearing people.

This is an under-researched area, I think mostly because of the taboos associated with kids ‘interpreting’ for their parents. Previous research has typically focussed on the negative experiences of hearing PDFs, the ‘conflict’ that arises for kids in taking on a language brokering role, without giving consideration to the deaf parents’ perspective or considering that deaf children (and adults) also broker for their deaf parents. So it is important to explore the positive and negative experiences from the perspective of all the people involved.

So I am working in collaboration with two organisations: CODA UK & Ireland and Deaf Parenting UK, to jointly offer a workshop for children and their deaf parents as part of the project.

The workshop will take place at the Rycote Centre, Parker Street Derby DE1 3HF on SUNDAY 29th MARCH 2015 from 10am-4.15pm.

Using innovative arts-based research and visual research methodologies, encompassing drawing and photo-response (visual elicitation) tasks, as well as vignette methodology, the day will enable participants to explore their experiences of sign language brokering. These innovative methodologies have been previously used to explore child language brokering in schools in the UK and Italy with children from migrant families using various spoken languages.

The day will involve an art workshop for kids (facilitated by me) and a discussion group for deaf parents, facilitated by Nicole Campbell who is Project Coordinator at Deaf Parenting UK.

The workshop is *free*, and lunch will be provided. Families will be offered a £20 gift card to cover travel expenses, and there will be prizes for the kids.

To register for the workshop, email: MARIE@CODAUKIRELAND.CO.UK

Deaf parents with deaf or hearing children are welcome. Maximum 20 places in each workshop, so register soon!

Registration deadline: 15th March 2015

For more information about the workshop content, you can send me a personal message through Facebook or email me at j.napier@hw.ac.uk

Call for Papers! 7th International Conference of Hispanic Linguistics @ Heriot-Watt

by Nicola Bermingham

This year, Heriot-Watt will be holding the 7th International Conference of Hispanic Linguistics (27th – 29th March 2015). The title for this year’s conference is Spanish in Contact – new times, new spaces and new speakers.

The conference will bring together scholars from around the world who are working with Spanish and languages in contact with Spanish such as Catalan, Galician and Basque as well as other language situations such as Latinos in the US where Spanish comes into contact with English and as such is in a subordinate position, migrant communities in other parts of the world where Spanish comes into contact with the host language, hybridized forms that emerge from such contact, issues around Spanish as a global language, and other indigenous languages in contact with Spanish such as Quechua.

Over the three days of the conference we will be exploring how cultural and linguistic changes brought about by globalisation and a changing political and economic landscape have impacted the ways in which we conceptualise the relationship between language and society in the twenty-first century. A new communicative order has emerged in which we find new types of speakers, new forms of language and new modes of communication. The conference theme addresses the challenges and opportunities that this new communicative order presents to researchers working with Spanish and situations of Spanish in contact in the twenty-first century.

Our three esteemed keynote speakers are Professor David Block (ICREA/Universitat de Lleida), Dr Jaine Beswick (University of Southampton) and Dr Joan Pujolar (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). Professor Block has published extensively on a variety of topics including globalization, migration, multiculturalism, multilingualism, identity, narrative research and second language teaching and learning. Dr Beswick specialises in Spanish, Galician and Portuguese phonetic and phonological variation and change and migration studies. Dr Pujolar’s research focuses on how language use is mobilized in the construction of identities and its implications for access to symbolic and economic resources.

We welcome abstracts of no more than 300 words in length by no later that February 15th 2015. Abstracts should be sent to sis2015edinburgh@gmail.com as a word attachment containing the title of the paper and description of the proposed talk, including: the aims, methodology and main findings of the study upon which it is based, as well as a list of bibliographical references (Harvard system). Contact details (name, affiliation and postal / electronic address) should be included only in the body of the email, together with the title of the paper.  Notification of acceptance will by 1st March 2015.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts!

How do you teach note-taking for consecutive interpreting?

It’s one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions. Consecutive interpreting involves listening to a speech delivered in one language in front of an international audience, taking notes and then giving the same speech in another language, making sure it is as close to the original as possible in terms of content, delivery and style. The activity is taught and practised through memory exercises, listening comprehension, summarising, abstracting and note-taking.

There is some very useful literature on note-taking for consecutive interpreting aimed both at trainee interpreters and at interpreter trainers. The most frequently cited works are Rozan, J.F. (1956) Note-taking in Consecutive Interpreting; Jones, R. (2002): Conference interpreting explained; Gillies, A. (2005): Note-taking for consecutive interpreting. A review of these key works by Michelle Hof can be found here.

Even though note-taking constitutes an integral part of the interpreting process, it may detract interpreters from active listening. This means that the note-taking task involves filtering and ruthless selection, as well as translation, so that the speech can be then delivered in another language. Because of the bilingual nature of the task, shorthand would not be effective in helping to reproduce the original speech verbatim and thus eschew the process of filtering, as shorthand is based on standardised symbols of sounds, not meaning (Valencia, 2013: 11-12).

More importantly, the role of interpreters’ notes should be to “relieve memory” (Jones, 2002: 42) and to outsource tasks that cannot be performed by memory alone. In other words, notes should be an aide-memoir, not a schematic representation of the entirety of the speech. Because of the mutual dependence of memory and notes and the highly contingent nature of memory, notes are highly personalised to the extent that “no two interpreters will ever produce an identical set of notes” (Gillies, 2005: 10) for the same speech. At the same time, the majority of speeches tend to be formulaic to the extent that they “present the interpreter with a limited range of the same problems, for which effective solutions have already been worked out and are applied by many, many interpreters” (ibid.). This means that despite the contingent and subjective nature of notes, there exist basic principles of note-taking in consecutive interpreting that can be taught (Valencia, 2013: 14).

Despite this, there is no one-size-fits-all note-taking system, which poses a particular challenge for learning and teaching. The basic principles mentioned abover are supposed to become “internalised” (Gillies, 2005: 10) and ultimately individualised to follow a personal style as well as the requirements of any given speech, speaker or setting. This is easier said than done.

The current learning experience involves teaching students some basic note-taking symbols and abbreviations of terms that occur in most speeches, as well as strategies in noting down numbers, links, tense and how to separate ideas. Learners practise interpreting speeches based on no notes, minimal notes, only symbols, only numbers etc. They are also encouraged to share their notes to see examples of different note-taking styles and even to try to reproduce the original speech based on other people’s notes. However, they do not get an insight into how different styles of notes are produced – how quickly the interpreter takes notes, how much of a time lag there is in producing these notes, how selection of information takes place, which language is chosen for note-taking etc. Class time is too limited for carrying out these activities and for helping learners develop the creativity required to assimilate the techniques taught and make them their own.

Maybe uploading pre-recorded videos of real-time note-taking on a virtual learning environment such as Blackboard would be useful for learner practice. The videos would not be prescriptive, but they are meant to trigger reflection and generate ideas. It would save class time and create the space necessary for students to be creative, experiment and develop a personal note-taking style. It would also offer an insight into the professional world by demonstrating different types of real-time note-taking. The opportunity for reflection is important, as students can go back and deconstruct the process while exploring and developing their own efficient system. In this way, they are encouraged to be “active makers and shapers of their own learning” (JISC, 2009: 51).

It takes months, even years of experience and practice for interpreters to develop their own efficient, tried and tested system of note-taking for consecutive interpreting. Pre-recorded note-taking videos may enhance the learning experience through experiential and authentic learning that helps to demonstrate how memory and note-taking work together in producing a semantically accurate and fluent speech in the target language. It would be useful as a follow-up for learners to upload videos of their own note-taking and share with their colleagues their own reflective process, justify their selection choices, symbols, techniques etc. A wiki for sharing ideas and practice material could then be developed.   Class time and setting are simply too limited for such a task.

Sign Language Interpreting on Chinese television: Some progress and much to expect

by Xiao Zhao

Xiao post

From November 15th, 2014, Qixia television station in Nanjing, Jiangsu province started to provide sign language interpreting in the weekly news programme Xiao Rui Shuo Xin Wen (Xiao Rui (name of the hearing news presenter) Presents the News). The programme received immediate applause from the deaf community all over the country and the academia. There are a few reasons for this.

To start with, the interpreter, Ms Dai Manli (name in Chinese order), is Deaf. Although in the past, there were deaf interpreters on television occasionally, this is the first time that the interpreter was encouraged officially to use natural Chinese Sign Language with clear facial expressions as opposed to the past where interpreters were required to wear a smile all the time and use signed Chinese, which is an imposed sign system based on written Chinese syntax with a lot of signs created on the basis of Chinese characters, very unpopular amongst the deaf Chinese community.

Moreover, this particular programme, unlike many other programmes with SLI, takes into consideration the feedback from the local deaf community. For example, when first broadcast, the size of the interpreter screen was as small as it was in the past, which was not easy to watch for deaf audience. After taking into consideration the feedback, the TV station enlarged the interpreter frame to its current size in the second week. Indeed, the current size is far from ideal if compared with that of the SLI frame in BBC news, but it is still regarded as a positive sign by the audience.

Last but not the least, in order to reach a wider audience in China, Qixia TV station edits a special version of the programme and publishes it on its Wechat account (similar to Facebook) and on mainstream video websites. As a result, deaf people in other cities in China can easily access it on the web.

Almost at the same time, Suzhou TV station, also in Jiangsu province, invited two deaf people to work as interpreters to try out their SL interpreted news programme. These two programmes are especially valuable in the context of nationwide downplay of natural CSL in special education schools and TV stations. We hope that more TV stations and, more importantly, more government leaders will follow the lead and provide quality service to deaf Chinese citizens soon.

LINCS research officially declared ‘pure dead brilliant’

by Graham Turner

If you’re a wee bit geeky about higher education, like some of the staff of LINCS, you will have been holding your breath just after midnight on the morning of 18th December. You weren’t? What can I say? I guess you just had to be there.

What was the fuss about? It was the announcement of the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014, aka REF. How did LINCS fare? Pure dead brilliant.

In fact, Heriot-Watt University performed well as a whole in the REF rankings. The ‘headline’ announcement is that Heriot-Watt has risen to 33rd position in the UK (4th in Scotland), as compared with 45th in the 2008 audit. (You can see lots more, including a podcast/video presentation of our results by the University’s Principal, here http://www.hw.ac.uk/news/heriot-watt-demonstrates-significant-20137.htm.)

REF is a UK-wide audit of research performance. Every six years or so, it reviews the work of every department in every university in the land. That’s 154 universities, submitting 1,911 reports, covering research by 52,061 members of staff.

A series of expert panels were created – LINCS’ own Professor Máiréad Nic Crath was selected for one of these, which is a real endorsement of the esteem in which Máiréad is held by academic peers far and wide. The brave panel members then spent most of the year reading 191,150 publications (!) and reaching judgments about their quality.

Besides digesting the research itself, the panellists read documents describing the research environment in each department. And, in a brand new development, they also reviewed 6,975 case studies designed to demonstrate the ‘impact’ of research in ‘the real world’ – how it was valued by policy-makers, industry, the professions and the public.

Eventually, an elaborate series of grades and profiles were generated from the results. As soon as they were announced (last Thursday morning), the press inevitably went into overdrive producing league tables. (Those familiar with the soccer player Gary Lineker’s remark that “Football is a simple game: twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win” will recognise what tends to happen in the REF tables – for Germans, read Oxbridge and London.)

I know, I know – you just want to know how LINCS got on.

Well, one-third of our research was declared ‘world leading’ for its originality, rigour and significance by the Modern Languages & Linguistics panel. In respect of that ‘world leading’ measure, LINCS stands in 17th place in the UK, and top in Scotland.

Panels were looking assess the ‘reach and significance’ of our impact on the economy, society and culture. And here, we scored 90% ‘outstanding’ – placing us 2nd in the UK, and again top in Scotland.

For its ‘vitality and sustainability’ as an environment in which to do research in our fields, LINCS was rated 19th overall in the UK.

As I said, it all starts to get a bit geeky after a while. So why might it matter to you?

What REF tells you boils down to three things. One, you have a painstaking, independent endorsement of the claim that we do know what we’re talking about in our subject areas. Two, if you are interested in studying or working here, LINCS is a stimulating, supportive place to be – and that character is built in for the long term. And three, we’re really not here just to stroke our brain cells: we care passionately about doing work that changes people’s lives.

One last thought. It’s important to recognise that a department’s research performance is not the result only of the efforts of those named in REF as ‘active researchers’, but of everyone involved in the life of the department. That means academics, secretariat, students and associates.

 It’s always a team effort to make sure that, collectively, we’re doing all the things a good department should. LINCS truly does do all of those things, as REF helps to underline.

So, as we head into the holiday season, here’s a toast to each and every person who takes part in the life of LINCS, for every kind of contribution they make.