SCICtrain – a new virtual video library on conference interpreter training
On 28th March, the second day of the annual SCIC-Universities conference, and as a follow-up to the SCiCLOUD initiative announced exactly a year before by Mr Brian Fox, DG SCIC launched “SCICtrain“, a new virtual video library on conference interpreter training offered by DG SCIC interpreter/trainers.
For some years, DG SCIC had been playing with the idea of conveying important information on conference interpreter training using online video material,
because we were aware that young people and students have become more and more attracted by the power of image, by new technologies in general, and by new approaches for acquiring information and knowledge. Without abandoning on-site training assistance – which remains of paramount importance in the teaching process – we felt that distance learning tools such as the Speech Repository, Virtual Classes and other still-to-be-invented didactic resources had a rapidly growing potential and would be a perfect supplement to our traditional on-site assistance to universities.
What we were looking for was a virtual video library which would show students or other young people practical examples of what conference interpreting is. We wanted to explain and decompose the intellectual process at work in a clear and simple way but without concealing the sophistication of the exercise and the demanding requirements of the job.
We were lucky enough to find someone who had everything that it takes to turn this idea into a concrete project: our ACI colleague Lourdes de Rioja, who a few years ago had created a personal website and a blog on conference interpreting which many of us have regularly visited, called “A Word In Your Ear”. It is this unique profile combining cinema, interpreting and training expertise which, at the end of 2013, led DG SCIC to entrust Lourdes with the task of implementing what has become known as the “SCICtrain” project.
Today, SCICtrain contains 41 video-clips which were shot by Lourdes on DG SCIC premises (except Dick Fleming’s two presentations, filmed in La Laguna, Tenerife) between January and March 2014 and whose actors are all (active or former) DG SCIC interpreters with a strong interest in training the next generation. Most of them take part in regular Pedagogical Assistance missions and/or are involved in Virtual Classes with partner universities, and some are senior trainers who had already gained a rich expertise at the time when DG SCIC used to run an in-house training scheme.
The virtual video library is divided into 6 sections:
– a general presentation given by our Director General Marco Benedetti;
– an introduction to conference interpreting;
– consecutive interpreting;
– simultaneous interpreting;
– other techniques (such as retour interpreting);
– other resources and tools (subjects such as the importance of the mother tongue, self-training, “culture générale”, etc).
Please take a look at the various modules which are 5 to 20 minutes long and are a mixture of theoretical presentations (but with many practical tips) and real demonstrations in which DG SCIC interpreters have tried to show and explain how fascinating the interpreting profession can be.
Claude DURAND, Head of unit “Multilingualism and interpreter training support”, DG INTERPRETATION, SCIC, EUROPEAN COMMISSION.2