ponedeljek, 28. oktober 2013

Interpreting Studies at the Crossroads of Disciplines

Those of you who are following me on Tweeter might have noticed that I am still alive and kicking, although this blog has not been active for quite a while now. I won't go into details about why and where the path has taken me the past few months, suffice to say that it has been quite a rollercoster, work-/study-/research- and mostly family-wise (yes, we have a new addition to our tribe). A nice rollercoster, that is! ;)

This past weekend, however, I have managed to go to Maribor for a couple of hours and participate at the international conference Interpreting Studies at the Crossroads of Disciplines. The conference was organized by the Department of Translation Studies at the Faculty of Arts in Maribor and I did not want to miss this opportunity to learn about new advances and other researchers' work in the field, and also network with fellow researchers from Slovenia and abroad. Hopefully, the event and the contacts we have established, especially with the Maribor colleagues will help reinforce the position our discipline has in our country and maybe even lay grounds for more cooperation between our two departments and enable possible common projects.

It was a wonderful sunny day in Maribor
As you can check in the conference programme, there was a variety of topics presented, ranging from conference interpreting, court interpreting, community interpreting in relation to other disciplines, such as sociology, linguistics, didactics, anthropology, political science ... There was also a pre-conference workshop on experimental research in interpreting, led by Prof. Kilian G. Seeber from the University in Geneva. Unfortunately, I was not been able to attend to all of the sessions due to my maternal duties and lack of linguistic knowledge (I really need to give German a go! If not for fun, than I should do it to be able to access an important part of interpreting research community, publishing in German ...). One of the plenaries was in fact led by Prof. Erich Prunč who talked about the status and position of community interpreting (comparing it to the search for Cinderella's shoe ...).
Prof. Prunč at Interpreting Studies at the Crossroads of Disciplines
But those presentation that I was able to catch were all quite interesting, for instance Maria Bakti's intervention on speech errors or disfluencies in simultaneus interpreting in which she presented the results of her study proving that speech errors are a common feature of any speech production, not just interpreting (something jury members at exams might want to think about). Another interesting paper was that by Csilla Szabó on the importance of field practice in conference interpreter training in which she gave practical advice and present her own experience on how to organize such practice. We all know, that learning by doing is one of the best approaches to training any kind of skill.

All in all, I believe that the conference was a success and hopefully, there will be other editions in the future, showing that Slovenia, too, deserves a place on the interpreting research map.