Heriot Watt University & Critical Link International
Critical Link: Critical LinkS/a new generation - Future-proofing interpreting and translating edition:8 location:Edinbourgh, UK date:29 June - 1 July 2016
The research project TraiLLD (Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion) (JUST/2013/JPEN/AG/4594, funded by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice) focuses on the training of legal interpreters, and particularly on those legal interpreters who speak an ‘exotic’ language. The rationale behind the project was twofold. Firstly, the project team mapped and compared in detail the different methodological training frameworks covered by the various project partners. In our presentation we will give an overview of these different methodological frameworks, i.e. the language dependent method of SIGV (Dutch Foundation of Court Interpreters and translators); the special training of the International Criminal Court, where the candidate interpreters for Swahili and Zaghawa practice with real court materials and are trained in a very short period of time to work as legal interpreters; the tandem method where collaborative learning is the key principle, and the online blended learning approach in Norway, where students meet online and face-to-face at regular times to practice and confer on terminological, linguistic and deontological matters. Secondly, based on an overview of best practices of these different methodological frameworks, the project partners launched a pilot to test new training strategies to enable speakers of a Language of Lesser Diffusion (LLD) to become legal interpreters after a short, intense period of training. In our presentation, we will identify the challenges related to training LLD interpreters (e.g. the need to find an LLD co-worker or language expert when the interpreter trainer does not have knowledge of the LLD). We will also discuss the examples of joint training sessions organized by several project partners, which are on the one hand an excellent illustration of international cooperation and cross-border training, and on the other hand a decent model for combining a traditional face-to-face course with the use of new technologies such as e-learning. We will also address the difficulties which we were faced with before and during the different try-outs. How do you for instance find an assessor for Mongolian in Europe? How can you offer exercises in Arabic to candidate interpreters for Arabic in Slovenia? What can you do if there are no peers in the group who have the same language combination? How can we provide enough training material to the LLD students? What impact do the different intercultural backgrounds of the participants have on a (remote) training session? In our presentation, we will suggest possible solutions for this type of problems.