¿Qué hacer cuando nos falla la memoria?

November 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Queridos colegas,

A todos nos ha sucedido alguna vez que al momento de estar interpretando un juicio, una ponencia, una consulta médica, o lo que sea, el orador utiliza una palabra que sabemos pero no nos llega inmediatamente. Para no rezagarnos en la interpretación, a veces omitimos la palabra totalmente, a veces la repetimos en el idioma original y seguimos adelante con la interpretación, y a veces explicamos el concepto a pesar de que nos alejamos del orador varios segundos.

¿Cuál será la mejor manera de resolver este problema?

§ One Response to ¿Qué hacer cuando nos falla la memoria?

  • Doris Ganser says:

    Many, many moons ago, during one of the first university “Introduction to Interpreting” courses (in Germany, I guess it must have been at the end of the fifties, can’t believe it!), an instructor said that in most cases, if you mumble, the audience will actually think they heard the right word that you did not know.

    During one of the first simultaneous interpreting jobs I did, again soooo many years ago, I had to interpret something about mainframe computers, at a time when I barely knew what computers were all about and everyone had told me that they were nothing but calculators. Most of the interpreters used English terminology because “standard” terminology really did not exist yet, at least those who interpreted to German. In spoken German, the term for computer is still the English word Computer but in written language we tend to use Rechner (= calculator) or Computer (Computer has been winning out lately). I believe a similar situation existed in Spanish and French with ordinador/a (and French ordinateur) and computador/a (but French computer not computateur).

    The same applies as in technical and scientific publications. At first, the terminology is preponderantly English or Germanglish and then it gradually evolves in many cases, and an existing German word resurfaces, or English prevails. It’s not something one can anticipate; so in case of doubt, I’d use English. If the right term resurfaced in my brain later, I’d use the Germanglish or English word with something like, “also called xys” and apply the right term henceforth.

    Of course I should have mentioned that naturally, I was always alert to difficulties of my booth mate and always provided my colleague feedback and vice versa. She’s died in the meantime and I have given up SI because I can’t read power point presentations from the back of the room and also have difficulties in processing this third dimension.

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