This was a really interesting podcast episode that explores a group of interpreters who are striving to put more emotion into the message that they are delivering, as opposed to the typical ‘truncation’ that happens through interpretation. If the person speaking chooses to swear, or yell— shouldn’t you be including that as part of the interpretation?
The podcast includes a clip from an English/Portuguese interpreter working with a motivational speaker in Brazil. Really cool to see how both the speaker and interpreter are working together to engage the audience– definitely worth checking out!
Renato Beninatto speaks with Maria Paula Carvalho, a conference interpreter and translator, on a new concept called “interpretainment.” With interpretainment, the interpreter tries to mimic the speaker’s tone and gestures, in addition to translating the content. […] Why interpretainers must surrender to the speaker’s emotions—laugh, cry, shout, dance, whatever is needed to achieve the intended impact.
“So how did he get to the point where he works all day in English, and routinely has to present some pretty hard-to-explain ideas in English? Language learners take note.
“Shadowing, but shadowing in real life,” Ushigome says. “As we speak to each other in my mind I repeat what you say, sometimes I would even say out loud what the other speaker said, which must have been supercreepy, but it was really effective.”
One other aid that really helped Ushigome — probably more than just with language, but also with culture and fitting in — was binge-watching on British comedy. A friend and colleague recommended him to watch “Peep Show,” a long-running sitcom on Channel 4 in Britain.
But Ushigome is likely to have watched Peep Show like no one else.
“Every episode I watched three times: First, just as it was, the second time with subtitles and the third time I stopped every time there was a punch line.”
What he did next is funny if you picture Ushigome in his flat in London pressing pause and play: “I Googled why it’s funny.” He had to do this every other minute, and admits that jokes delivered via Google were not funny, but he was taking note of every new word and phrase as well as shadowing throughout.”
Another great video by Yuta—- he’s quite transparent in the fact that these aren’t ‘hand picked’ interviews; he tries to get strangers on the street to answer his questions about Japanese language and culture. This one puts ordinary Japanese people on the spot with reading some tricky Kanji.
Since then, everyone seems to have an opinion on what happened. I’m not really much of a follower of MMA at all, but Xu Xiaodong seems to have a talent as both an MMA fighter as well as a confident “talker”. The result is some truly epic internet clips like this one (I want to see the non-beeped out version!):
I’m looking forward to volunteering as a judge for the Edmonton Confucius Institute’s Chinese Bridge competition. The theme this year is “Speak Chinese and make new friends around the world“. I’ve participated for the several years and it’s always wonderful to see the different ways that students make the topic their own and showcase their skills. The day itself is always good fun– students start off with a knowledge test (see grade 1-3 study questions here), followed by the speech contest round, and ending with the talent competition. Some students sing, some dance, some do magic— I once saw a student do a condensed ‘cooking show’ performance that was really neat.
Another reading from “声に出して読みたい日本語” (others here and here)– this is 平家物語 from page 22. If you pay close attention, you can see blips where my phone appears to check the stroke order of a few characters. I’m sure there are a few apps (both mobile and desktop) that would do the trick, but I’ve been happy with this app called KanjiQ.
I have no connection to the developer, but I think I’m going to pay for the add-free version.
I’m often moved to quote my Japanese teacher’s opening comments in my first-ever Japanese class: “Learning Japanese is not difficult; it will just be a little challenging for your spirit, and you’ll need to work hard!”. As the years go by, and I continue to explore other languages and cultures, the wisdom of her words continues to ring true.
You may have never imagined that the great Martial Artist, Actor (and Dancer!) Bruce Lee also expressed a philosophy of language learning. Just like my Japanese teacher’s brevity, Bruce Lee captured an essential truth about language learning in just 30 seconds during this TV interview (an old Canadian talk show btw)–before you hit play, take a moment to imagine the one thing you think is the ‘hard part’ of language learning.
On a similar note, I read a wonderful book many years ago by Kevin Carroll, entitled “Rules of the Red Rubber Ball“. One of the themes that he talked about was the “lonely” work that is part of positive growth in any domain. He doesn’t take the word lonely in the sad sense of the word; rather, he talks about the significant personal work (i.e. at home work) that we must invest, and how we really should pursue that time, effort and attention with a sense of Joy.