First-time posters: please review the site's moderation policy
6
1

Hello everybody!

I've just started my degree in CI and was wondering how I could possibly improve my concentration skills. For the time being we're not allowed to take any notes in our interpreting classes. Our trainers want us to focus on listening. I must say, I find this quite challenging. To listen hard to someone and then give back what you just heard is not as easy as it sounds like! Whenever I try to concentrate, I find that I also start worrying about missing important parts of the speech and as a result I grow nervous. Needless to say, this has a rather negative impact on my efforts.

What can I do to improve my concentration skills? Do you have any advice to spare?

Thanks in advance for your help!

asked 10 Oct '12, 16:02

Annie's gravatar image

Annie
2756613


Dear colleagues-to-be,

The subject you are raising is well worth looking into - especially for everyone practicing consecutive interpreting. Apart from what Vincent wrote I would suggest you try to sleep well and start the day in as relaxed a manner as possible.

"Stage fright" will haunt you sometimes - even as a senior conference interpreter - but it is not necessarily a bad thing because the adrenaline will help to a certain extent - unless of course it paralyses you. You can avoid or reduce this by being as well prepared as you possibly can be and by looking after yourself and your body.

Turning to the ability to concentrate: You might want to try to memorise the different pieces of news in your daily TV or radio news programme. Start by trying to remember the first three pieces of news and retelling the story behind them - then four, five etc. until you are able to repeat the entire news programme.

There are various ways of remembering. One method is to imagine the number one as it is written and to visualise soemthing which would illustrate the first new item. For example: The first piece of news today was that the EU will be awarded the Piece Nobel Prize - so I would imagine the figure one inside the circle of stars against the blue backdrop - and that would be enough to remember the story behind it because I would have had time to listen carefully. I would carry on like this until the weather forecast which might have been item 13. Since the weather forecast for tomorrow is not very bright, I would imagine 13 drops of rain.

You my also try this with letters of our alphabet: In this case the first news item would have been A for Award (Nobel Piece Prize) and the 13th letter of our alphabet is M and you might have wanted to describe the weather forecast with the word Mediocre or Miserable - in the summer you would find words like Midsummer or Mild by which to remember the weather forecast.

I hope this explains one approach reasonably well. It takes some practice, but it is good fun to practice it and it will also help you memorise your own speeches in case you get to address an audience yourself some time.

Have fun :-)

permanent link

answered 12 Oct '12, 16:29

AlmuteL's gravatar image

AlmuteL
3.8k101520

edited 13 Oct '12, 04:07

Dear Almute,

Thank you very much!! I will definitely put your suggestion to the test from tomorrow on. But first things first - namely, catching a good night's sleep! ;-)

Kind regards

(12 Oct '12, 17:24) Annie

It sounds like you are losing control. You need to learn to calm down and focus. Nobody can concentrate effectively when they are jumpy.

Try meditation, deep breathing, self-hypnosis or anything else that works for you (except booze...) Start now because it will take you at least six months to find a technique that works for you and turn it into an efficient routine.

Good luck

permanent link

answered 11 Oct '12, 07:12

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck
3.9k203350

edited 11 Oct '12, 07:13

Thanks for your advice Vincent! Considering that this was just the first week, I probably was too nervous and excited. Anyway, I'll take your advice to heart and start looking for a suitable technique.

(11 Oct '12, 13:59) Annie

Dear Vincent:

Your answer just reminds me of one of my problems, i.e. I felt lost several time during my practicing of simultaneous interpreting at around 9 minutes some seconds of one video, is this also a kind of losing control? Is this phenomenon common? I read that usually 30 min is a duration for one shift for team job, any advice applied to survive this situation? Thanks in advance.

Best regards

Paris Si

(12 Oct '12, 07:42) Paris Si de ...

Dear Vincent:

Your answer just reminds me of one of my problems, i.e. I felt lost several time during my practicing of simultaneous interpreting at around 9 minutes some seconds of one video, is this also a kind of losing control? Is this phenomenon common? I read that usually 30 min is a duration for one shift for team job, any advice applied to survive this situation? Thanks in advance.

Best regards

Paris Si

permanent link

answered 11 Oct '12, 20:43

Paris%20Si%20de%20Chine's gravatar image

Paris Si de ...
137464855

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here

By RSS:

Answers

Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:

×501
×146
×5
×3

question asked: 10 Oct '12, 16:02

question was seen: 6,699 times

last updated: 13 Oct '12, 04:07

interpreting.info is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

about | faq | terms of use | privacy policy | content policy | disclaimer | contact us

This collaborative website is sponsored and hosted by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.