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Hello, I'm thinking about attending the interpreting summer school at the H-W University in Edinburgh to further improve my interpreting skills in English B. My A is Polish but I've been told that this is a non-language specific course. Has anyone here attended the course? Is it worth it?

Thanks a lot!

asked 06 May '16, 08:57

scout_finch's gravatar image


I did it in 2005, so it might have changed a bit. I found it very good and actually at that time Italian was not offered as B language, but I was able to practice anyway (some Italian fellow students even gave me feedback)

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answered 12 May '16, 05:00

skylark's gravatar image


edited 12 May '16, 12:43

Skylark, thanks for your answer. Could you tell me a little bit more about it? How many students were there and how was it organized, I mean, were there several speeches played at the same time for different language combinations? Would appreciate your comments!

(16 May '16, 05:33) scout_finch

Hi Scout Finch. First of all let me tell you that I spoke with the University lately because I wanted to go back, and they told me the format now has changed. When I was there, it was 15 of us and it seems to me that we were from Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK only. I don't remember working from Italian in simultaneous, but I remember working in consecutive into English on speeches delivered in Italian and Spanish from fellow students. For simultaneous we worked from English into our A-B languages and received feedback from teachers (for Spanish and French, which were their A languages) and fellow students (for Italian). I agree that this pattern might not work for you if no other student or teacher speaks Polish. They will probably start with non language specific exercises such as shadowing and other memory training activities, but their usefulness also depends on your level (you might have done a lot of it at university)

(16 May '16, 05:59) skylark

My A is Polish but I've been told that this is a non-language specific course.

I'm wondering how that could work. The group will need to have source speeches of different languages... Is there an IT solution allowing for playing several speeches on different channels at the same time? If not, you'll need a partner who has the same A.

And if the course is not language specific, does that mean that the English native giving you feedback will only be able to comment on the correctness of your English, but not how accurate your interpretation is?

Do you know who will be teaching? The website doesn't tell much about that, and having the trainer's CV is probably the most interesting information to start with.

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answered 12 May '16, 05:18

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

The course I attended was not very advanced. We started with note taking and shadowing in English only. When we started interpreting into Italian, my Italian colleagues were very helpful in commenting on the correctness and accuracy of my Italian (but they could also understand the English speech) and giving speeches in Italian for me to interpret into English. There were 3 or 4 of us, so if was easier. I wonder if it would be equally easy to gather a Polish group.

(12 May '16, 05:41) skylark

I think it is possible for a format like this to work but you should be clear about what you are getting for your money. If the trainer doesn't have PL and you are the only PL speaker then you will have to find the speeches you interpret yourself; they will almost certainly be on different subjects to the other language speakers (so group terminology brainstorming will be difficult); and feedback will relate mostly to your EN with more general comments (speculation) about why the interpreting may not be working.

(12 May '16, 10:35) Andy

If your focus is on the quality of your English and not on interpreting skills in general, I think this might work, provided that you take your time to find the right speeches and to assess the accuracy of your interpretation by yourself. This may be tricky if you're a beginner and much easier if you're already an experienced interpreter, just working on your B. In any case, I was given some very valuable feedback by interpreters who had no knowledge of Polish, so I do believe a format like this may work. No idea about this specific course, though.

By the way, does anyone here know of any short course with focus on refreshing/improving/adding an English retour for Polish A interpreters?

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answered 12 May '16, 22:50

Joanna's gravatar image



AIIC Upgrade Course: Interpreting into EN as a B language

27 Jul 16 — 29 Jul 16

09:00 — 18:00

Tallinn, Estonia

For practical reasons only a maximum of 3 different A languages can be accommodated on the course and there must be 2 speakers of each A language. C into B combinations will only be admitted if the composition of the group allows.

(13 May '16, 03:52) Gaspar ♦♦

Hi Joanna, Thanks Gaspar for the plug. Let me add (as the organiser of the Tallinn course) that we have 2 PL interpreters registered already for this course so PL will be one of the languages that we have in the Tallinn. (For this course we insist on having at least 2 speakers of each A language so that they can give speeches for each other and comment on accuracy if necessary. We can accept more than 2 speakers for a language). The focus of the course, however, remains EN B and the trainer is excellent! Helen has given 10-15 courses like this for AIIC all over the world - Brazil, Canada, Paris, UK etc

(13 May '16, 04:03) Andy
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question asked: 06 May '16, 08:57

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