Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting

Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting


Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting is the first volume of the three-volume Edge 21 set.  The other two volumes are:

This title includes 1 book, and 1 USB Flash Drive.

Each of the three volumes addresses one of the three modes of interpreting used in court interpretation and tested in major court interpretation certification exams.  Together, these three volumes, and their accompanying audio CDs, provide a complete set of materials to practice the techniques of Spanish-English court interpreting.  

Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting consists of a 192-page book and a set of seven audio CDs (now included in a USB Flash Drive).  The book is three-hole drilled so that you can, if you wish, keep it in a standard three-ring binder.  

These materials are suitable for use both by individuals seeking to acquire or improve court interpreting skills on their own and by college level court interpreter training programs.

About the CDs

The Two-Tone Concept

The audio CDs for Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting employ the two-tone stereo technique developed by ACEBO.  They should be played on a stereo system with a balance control or used with stereo headphones.  That is because the left and right channels often contain very different material, and you need to be able to control which channel you are listening to.

Virtually all home stereos and auto stereos have a balance control.  Typically, boom boxes and small personal stereos do not.  If you are using a personal stereo, use the headphones as described below.  The Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting CDs are not suitable for use on a boom box, unless it allows you to turn off the speakers and use headphones instead.

Whenever you are asked to interpret, the material to be interpreted will be heard only on the left channel of your stereo.  The right channel will contain a consecutive interpretation done by Holly Mikkelson.  

Thus, when you are practicing your own interpretation, you should have your stereo’s balance control turned all the way to the left, or put on your stereo headphones in such a way that only the left ear piece is actually over/in your ear.  You will hear the question or answer to be interpreted, followed by a silence.  The length of the silence is the time it takes Holly to interpret the question or answer, plus two seconds.  You should try to fit your interpretation into that period of silence.  If you need more time at first, you can always use the Pause button on your CD player to stop the CD and give yourself more time.

When you later want to hear how Holly interpreted the same material, you can replay the lesson with the balance control centered, or with your headphones covering both ears. This distinction between the left and right channels is made only when you are asked to interpret.  Material that you are not to interpret is heard on both channels.

Tracks per CD

The Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting CDs have a lot more tracks than typical music CDs.  That’s because we want you to be able to move backward and forward in small increments within a text.  

Suppose, for example, that you are near the end of a text when you make a mistake that you’d like to go back and correct.  You don’t want to have to go back to the beginning of the text and listen to the whole thing again; you want to be able to go back just a little.

While many CD players allow fast forward and rapid reverse within a track, some do not.  So we’ve broken each text up into multiple tracks.  When you are listening to a text, you won’t be aware of any breaks between tracks; each track flows into the next seamlessly.  But if you stop your CD player in the middle of a track, you can go back to the beginning of that track, or to the beginning of the preceding track, or the track before that… however far you need to go.

The length of the tracks varies, but each track generally includes two questions and their answers.

In the book, track numbers are shown in the left margin of the text, and divisions between tracks are shown as alternating white and shaded bands.

Author's Note About the Interpretations

The interpretations you hear on the CDs are live and unprepared. As a result, you will hear occasional minor errors and self-corrections. However, there are no major errors, and you can rest assured that any phrasing or terminology you hear in these interpretations would be acceptable on a certification exam. On the other hand, there are usually many correct ways to interpret a given term or expression, and there are differences of opinion and preference among professional interpreters. In other words, you do not have to accept my versions as definitive.

-Holly Mikkelson

Consecutive Note Taking

Edge 21: Consecutive Interpreting contains an extensive section on consecutive note taking.  Included in that section are the author's own notes on three of the lessons in the book.