First, I admit this is a hard question to ask, hopefully an easy one to answer.
Second, I will try my best to work it out:
From my own experience, in the beginning years of my foreign language acquisition, I feel word letter by letter ,later word by word with vague meaning hardly attached to them.
After years of escort/site interpreting, I feel my second language more and more familiar, like a relative in my daily life, and I even miss them if we do not meet each other for a time.
Now, I touch and feel my words of my second language stronger and more real, accompanied by my mother tongue, they are like partners. This feeling is so nice.
I have never practised CI officially, but I wonder how words are in your eyes, my dear seniors, experienced conf-interpreters. I have a big yet unsure expectation for it.
Thanks for all your attention and support.
It is a difficult question. On some level, speaking only one language is similar to being able to look at the world with only one eye. Being bilingual gives you stereo vision: you see suddenly that there is a very different way to look at the same world that another culture employs. It is not better or worse, it is just different. There may be words that do not exist in a different language and words that sound the same or are dictionary equivalents, but mean something slightly different. A classic example is that there is no Russian word for "privacy", because the concept does not exist. So words are just containers for meaning, so a part of the journey for a beginner is to separate words from meaning. It is very difficult to do, sometimes we are more on the words side (more literal), sometimes more on the meaning side (more descriptive). It changes from a sentence to a sentence or even from a unit of translation to a unit of translation ie several times in a sentence. Feeling that boundary in a particular sentence is a part of interpreter intuition (skill, talent etc): it is a split second decision in simul - when do we follow the words or when hover over them a little bit?
Words are also energy charges, they can be as powerful as a stone you throw at someone. They should be weighed carefully before use and never used lightly.
answered 06 Oct '13, 21:30