C.68 Recreate real meetings
Aim: to use context to help analyze a speech.
You will need: an agenda or programme from a real meeting.
Initially you should do this exercise with a teacher/interpreter who can use their experience to help make things realistic. Once you've got the basics you can do it in practice groups.
You will be able to find agendas and programmes on the internet for events that took place in real life. Choose one on a subject that is not too esoteric and assign one of the named speakers from the agenda to each person in the group. Each person should then prepare a speech as though they were the named speaker assigned to them. The speeches will be interpreted as part of the simulation of a meeting (mock conference).
Each speaker should find out the following in relation to the speaker whose role they are playing. It's fairly easy to find out all this information online.
• Has the speaker written anything on the topic before?
• Does the location have anything to do with promoting literature on the topic?
• Is the speaker linked to any special causes, events, etc.?
• Where does the speaker generally voice his/her opinion?
• Is the speaker in any way related to the place housing the event?
• Will the location influence the speaker's words in any way?
• Why has this person been chosen for this occasion?
• Is the occasion incidental or of relevance to the location?
Before the speaker speaks, allow the ‘interpreter’ to ask the speaker these same questions. When you are comfortable with this exercise the interpreter will have to find out the answers for themselves as part of their meeting preparation and without help from the speaker.
Much of what a speaker may say can be anticipated if we know enough about their background. And if you want to analyse why a speaker is saying something, and which parts of what they say are most important for them, then you must be familiar with that background.
Source: Monacelli 1999: 17 (Gillies) Gillies, Andrew. Conference Interpreting. Routledge, 20130724. VitalBook file.