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What 2-3 books did you find most helpful in your studies and/or practice of interpreting? And why? The question is not limited by mode or type of interpreting; dialogue/consecutive/simultaneous and escort/court/conference/etc. are all in play. But please do limit your response to two or three books, even if others have mentioned them before you.

asked 01 Sep '13, 23:34

Luigi's gravatar image


Hi Luigi,

Here's my top 3:

  • Roderick Jones' "Conference Interpreting Explained" (my favorite book so far on conference interpreting!!)
  • Jean-François Rozan's "La Prise de Notes en Interpétation Consécutive"
  • Andrew Gillies' "Note-Taking for Consecutive Interpreting - A Short Course"

Roderick Jones' book just opened my eyes as to how a conference interpreter works. And it's extremely well-written at that too. I was very lucky to have come across his book right at the beginning of my studies. It's a real eyeopener if you ask me! :)

The other two books have proven invaluable in improving my note-taking technique. All in all, these three books helped me understand better what my instructors were trying to teach me during my first year. But I certainly wouldn't want to have my instructors replaced and only rely on books. There is no substitute for a good teacher.

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answered 02 Sep '13, 04:24

Annie's gravatar image


edited 02 Sep '13, 08:36

J'ai découvert (tardivement) l'excellent ouvrage, qui n'a pas encore été cité ici : Pédagogie raisonnée de l'interprétation (Danica Seleskovitch, Marianne Lederer) dont la version .pdf est téléchargeable gratuitement.

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answered 14 Oct '14, 09:30

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 14 Oct '14, 09:31

As Annie mentioned, Rozan's book 'La prise de note en interprétation consécutive' was quite useful for note-taking techniques, even my teachers recomended it. For simultaneous and consecutive interpreting I would suggest 'Conference Interpreting: A Student's Practice Book' by A. Gillies, good advices and exercices.

Someone asked almost the same question on proZ, the answers might interest you as well:

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answered 02 Sep '13, 12:51

Clara's gravatar image


Hi Clara. Thanks for your response. I would like to clarify that I am not asking for recommendations (as the proz post does) but for opinions: what helped the most and why?

(02 Sep '13, 12:58) Luigi

Hi Luigi :-), I'm afraid that I'm unable for the time being to provide exact references - a colleague has recently borrowed a lot of my books, including these three - but should you need them, I'll get them for you ASAP:

D. Seleskovitch, one of her "lil' red books" ("langues et mémoire etc"?) the one with inter alia my 1st original+transcription of consecutive+interviews with the interpreters, from which I learned a great deal;

Laura Gran + Dodds, a book of minutes from a conference (back from when they were few and far between) in Trieste on the theory and practice of teaching CI, with illuminating insights into a variety of subjects, namely neurolinguistics and some more pedestrian ones as well, which all helped me help myself and others;

Daniel Gile's seminal effort model in "basic concepts and models" (?) whose reading was accompanied by many a "aHA!" of mine, as his sunshine pierced through some of my mist :-).

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answered 02 Sep '13, 21:41

msr's gravatar image


Hi, MSR, I also like Daniel Gile's book, "basic concepts and models", and I feel it is quite useful. :-)

(02 Sep '13, 23:21) Paris Si de ...

Perhaps 1. Danica Seleskovitch, Langage, Langues et mémoire, étude de la prise de notes en interprétation consécutive. 2. Laura Gran & John M. Dodds, The Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Teaching Conference Interpretation. 3. Daniel Gile, Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training.

(03 Sep '13, 00:29) Luigi

yes indeed, many thanks, Luigi :-)

(04 Sep '13, 13:02) msr

Kevin Lin's Field Interpreting (林超伦 is the author's Chinese name) is quite popular here in China.

Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press ( also publishes a good one called Challenging Interpreting: A Coursebook of Interpreting Skills.

I live near a bookstore that carries both if anyone needs an international shipment! :)

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answered 27 Jun '14, 12:53

MattConger's gravatar image


I always recommend "Conference Interpreting: Principles and Practice" by Valerie Taylor- Bouladon. Very decent book and is not mentioned as often as it should be.

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answered 11 Sep '13, 00:46

Cyril%20Flerov's gravatar image

Cyril Flerov

Interpreting for International Conferences by Danica Seleskovitch, especially for its stress on "analysis which reduces language to the meaning of its message". This image alone took me a long way in my studies.

Conference Interpreting Explained by Roderick Jones, especially for its excellent overview of consecutive.

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answered 27 Feb '14, 12:19

Luigi's gravatar image


If you work with Italian (but not only), here is one of the seminal books I used at university: "Interpretazione simultanea e consecutiva. Problemi teorici e metodologie didattiche", Falbo C., Russo M., Straniero Sergio F. (eds.), Hoepli, 1999.

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answered 02 Mar '14, 11:37

Anita's gravatar image


Italian readers should try to dig up Claudia Monacelli's excellent book "Messaggi in codice" about consecutive note-taking.

(28 Jun '14, 05:56) Andy
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question asked: 01 Sep '13, 23:34

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