Interpreting without taking notes, or from memory, is something that many interpreting students (and practising professionals!) find rather daunting. There are a number of reasons for this: many people are convinced they have a poor memory; outside the world of interpreting we are very rarely required to remember speech of more than a few seconds of speech in any detail; this type of exercise is often part of the admissions tests, exams and accreditation tests which themselves are nerve-wracking affairs; and students are often given little or no instruction as to how to best recall information in a speech, and consequently aren’t very good at it.
Faced with what appears to be an uninterrupted stream of words and the instruction to “remember the speech” it is no wonder that the would-be interpreter – who has no idea how to best deal with the flood of incoming information – doesn’t enjoy the task nor complete it very well. In this video we’ll see that by applying a number of simple techniques you are able to recall far more information than you might have thought possible. This in turn will give you confidence about how much and what type of information can be recalled without notes which will be useful later when you will need to resist the temptation to take too many notes.33