Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#IntJC Discussion points for session 12

Here the discussion points for the coming session on Saturday. Read the schedule details, rules and recommendations, pass the word around and join the professional discussion!

1. As a (potential) learner/teacher of interpreting using real-time, interactive distance learning technology, what is your opinion on the usefulness of this technology for interpreter training?

2. Do you see distance teaching/learning as an adjunct to face-to-face classes, or is it possible to teach an entire course using virtual platforms only?

3. Can you think of any ways that distance learning might help you acquire new skills over your career?

4. What are you already teaching remotely, or what would you like to teach in the realm of interpretation?

5. Skype and Google+ Hangouts (videoconferencing) allow for
distance teaching/learning for small groups outside of schools and structured curricula. What is your experience in teaching/learning this way? What potential do you see for this type of approach?

6. How can interactivity be enhanced and student motivation sustained with real-time distance teaching/learning?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where in the world does #IntJC reach out?

This is an extended version of a post over Google+.

For your information, this image is the current pageviews ranking by countries of the #IntJC blog since the beginning. Interestingly but not surprising, participation doesn't reflect the ranking. Notoriously absent and a particular interest to me are people in Australia where interpreting is an important professional and discussed sector. There are many other countries out of the radar where you would expect that exchanging in English would not be an issue. But it may be that English is a minor language requisite with many countries, especially in community interpreting. 

Spanish as A or B is strong and many participants in this bracket are powerful engines of RTs and propaganda (thank you!) so this probably explains the dominance of Spanish. 

Cultural factors are certainly at play, in Japan, maybe China at least where domestic communication is self-sufficient and/or coming out undisguised and participating to discussions nationwide, let alone worldwide is not common. This pattern most probably applies to many if not most countries. The world is not flat after all. 

It is interesting and a telling that you can be involved in bridging communication without acting as a bridge outside service delivery settings, maybe feeling shy to use your B and shunning at reaching out beyond your cultural borders. 

One professional Japanese interpreter over Twitter proudly advertises that she could turn an interpreter without leaving Japan. Another #IntJCtopic in perspective.

Is reaching out of the comfort zone of your cultural navel a domestic cultural trait, or is it fueled by domestic constraints that make you want to see what's next door or farther, even remote?

I am reminded of two things distant in times that are somewhat equivalent. 30 years at the university in Paris, a majority of students in English classes would not read beyond what was prescribed by the teachers. Book reading in English, talking about books (movies or music as well), showing off with books and magazines in English in the classrooms were a rare view and seen as a bragging act. Sure, there was no Internet and books in foreign languages were expensive as well as newspapers

In the class where I teach, I regularly inquire about student's self-imposed regimen of French. Many don't read books, let alone magazines. Time is limited despite the gazillions of free podcasts, video and reading materials, university courses you can grab for free.

One factor that must explain this, and not only in Japan, is how language teaching is severed from what is basically, the power that grants the learner, which is to start going into conversation mode with foreigners. Notoriously in Japan, languages are taught as mechanics, where you quickly get bored trying to cram the innards without any relationship to people. 

People involved in using language at a professional level are not immune of the same resulting symptoms. After all, natural speakers of foreign language who have gone through no formal training at all may end better natural bridges than the learned ones, and I include myself. My father was a polyglot who never went to school. One of his forte was the strong will to talk with people.

#IntJC Some rules and participation strategies

Some rules and participation strategies

  1. When you come in to participate, start by saying who you are, where you are, and what you do. It can be as simple as this:
    "I am AAA, in Buenos Aires, conf interpreter"

    Even if you jump into the conversation after it started, do your self-introduction. It is also a valuable way for participants to find out that they may be located next door. It gives a feel at how international #IntJC is.
  2. Try and focus on the discussion points and session topics. Side-trackings on extended points are of course welcome but focus allows for quality and an enlightening professional chat experience.
  3. Consider getting in touch in private with other participants. Leverage the sessions to engage into lasting professional dialogues.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#IntJC Announcement: Session 12, March 3

Session 12 will focus on distance teaching and learning interpreting.

Details are here. Spread the word please, and join.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#IntJC is not only for interpreters

Calling for broadening the participation to horizontal professional dialogs now growing in and around the rich and multidimensional realm of language interpreting.

The regular thematic chat sessions over Twitter that is The Interpreting Journal Club are not solely for interpreters. They are also for:

- Interpreters
- Teachers of interpreting
- Trainers
- Lecturers
- Students
- Future students
- Interpreters with no formal training
- Interpreters with not enough training
- Interpreters who wish they could train or retrain

but also:

Interpreting market players:

- Interpreting services users, yes, end-users, corporations and all entities that hire interpreters
- Interpreting services intermediaries, yes, the middlemen
- Interpreting related devices providers
- Interpreting related devices developers
- Interpreting related organizations, federations, associations, leagues, etc.

If you are reading this, chances are you fit to at least one of the categories listed above. Chat can be serious and professional. #IntJC chats are geared toward professionalism and serious fun, that is the elation to engage into a surfing type of horizontal dialogs.

You have two options, both coming with no requisite for registration or appointment of any kind:

- Lurking in total anonymity
- Participating to a coming session

Don't push the opportunity to jump into this initiative for "sometime in the future". The future is now and chances are close to 100% that you have never seen nor participated in horizontal dialogs like these ones.  Check for yourself now and tag your meeting agenda.

#IntJC Discussion Points for Session 11

Here are the discussion point for session 11 next Saturday. 

The topic is : How many hats do you wear? - Juggling multiple professional profiles.

Check schedule and details here and spread the link to this page. Thanks!

Q1. Tell us about your professional hats: how many do you have? What are they?

Q2. Of all the hats you wear, which are the most/least loved by you? The easiest/hardest to accomplish?

Q3. How do the majority of the clients see you (which hat/role)? How do you want to be seen?

Q4. What are the factors behind the uneasiness some feel about defining themselves as a professional with many hats?

Q5. What would you suggest as tactics to stand up for your professional selves and feel confident?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lurking at #IntJC

Reach out and touch someone. I don't know why this slogan got printed in memories of a trip to the USA over 30 years ago. Viewing the TV add over Youtube is a strange experience. It stirs nothing, no memory, blank screen. But the slogan settled in. The year is correct:1979. First serious solo long trip abroad. I flexed the muscles first with a week visit alone in London.

How reaching out and touching someone has changed, that is, in terms of potential. Let's set aside the technology. How to mix the will to reach out with the warning you heard time and again as a child not to talk to strangers? Where is the manual, the how to in 7 ways?  To what extent does this early warning still work in the background? How national culture and "normal" dynamics of communication impact the possibilities (and you know how much different "normalities" collide even in a soft way in liaison interpreting, don't you)?

In Japan, more than 95% of SNS users hide behind a pet or another animal picture, and hide everything personal, excepted the food they ate at lunch and immortalized with the mobile.

Over at LinkedIn, in thematic groups, they highlight that "fantastic" new feature to encourage communication: launch a poll. What a brilliant idea! Am I the only one feeling this lame and childish, to keep it within the range of political correctness? Is it how you thaw the ice behind the screen?

And rather than asking how, shouldn't this be assessed with the question "what for?": for what purpose do I wish to thaw the ice? The answers may become easier to enunciate.

As with this post, the virtual world is awash with public monologues, with copy-pasting as media broadcasting. Alone together, a book title already published. Anyone is a chief editor

Of course, this public monologue may be the trigger and mandatory stage for dialogs to start, and multipartite at that. But what takes the front stage is the never-ending stream of monologues.

Where is the button that read "Only show announcements and links to hangouts"?

With #InJC, the Twitter based Interpreting Journal Club, you can lurk in perfect anonymity, and you are invited to do so as a preliminary step to jump in sometimes in a next session.

Several solutions are available that track specific hashtags et refresh automatically. With Tweetchat, a web based service, you don't even need a Twitter account to follow and there is no registration.

Just try it right now: jump to the #IntJC channel. It's a web page, no install, safe.

See the Refresh Speed button? Click on it and slide leftward to the minimum 5 sec. All set.

Not much things are happening right now during intersessions, but people known and unknown have been promoting The Interpreting Journal Club on their own, and it is a never-ending joy and bewilderment to witness this phenomenon taking place. Click on some links mentioned and you will find the #IntJC web site, with the coming sessions data featured on the top page. Yes, the logo is awkward. I cook better.

It reads there is no registration, no membership, not even a club, despite the name. And no strings attached. There is only the will to talk shop.

On February 18th, bring your hats to the session. Cloakroom will be available at no charge. No formal attire needed.  And you can lurk totally discreet.

Monday, February 6, 2012

#IntJC Expanding the reach and scope

I just slightly modified the headline and description of the #IntJC web site

Basically, I moved from:

Twitter based Journal Club for language interpreters worldwide


Twitter based Journal Club for language interpreters and related stakeholders worldwide

I am not sure my English is correct and enticing enough, so please correct me and suggest better wording. In the longer blurb, I expand the meaning of stakeholders of the interpreting market to trainers, training schools, service providers, serious intermediaries and users of our services as well. This serious thing is very serious and no pun intended. You certainly know the reasons why.

Modifying the wording won't change the reach of this initiative in a night but I think keeping it among ourselves, building even not on purpose mental barriers to participation is not a correct strategy. The ecosystem is made out of various players and the doors must be open in a context that is also market oriented. But this has to be led by interpreters though. 

Actually, there are no doors to #IntJC, but as it is, it feels a little bit like an exclusive club. 

Be reminded that tere is no club, no membership and no string attached.

If #IntJC allows interpreters participants to get in touch with peers (this depends on the individual effort to reach out though), but also yield additional work and jobs opportunities for some, it definitely won't be a bad thing.

As a reminder, #IntJC is also taking root over Google+. If you are in the Google+ dynamics or you are considering to give it a try (yes, yet another SNS), this alone is a reason to come into the loop. 

You add this Page to your Circles (in another SNS, this should read I assume: you add this Group to your Lists) and I add you back. I only add people who have informed their profile.

There are other reasons to consider joining Google+ beyond #IntJC and develop professional dynamics as the systems allow as never before to get in touch. 

One is the Hangouts: Endless Possibilities (for Interpreters and Translators). You don't need to use Google+ to watch the page. 

#IntJC idea was born by watching what they were doing in medical discussion with the Twitter Journal Club. This original initiative was launched by two medical students. It suggests you don't have to wait for notoriety to make things move towards more constructive professional communication. 

#IntJC Announcement: Session 11 February 18th

The Interpreting Journal Club: Twitter based chat Journal Club for language interpreters worldwide

Coming session (11): Saturday, February 18 th at 10 pm Japan time. Convert to your time here

Topic: How many hats do you wear? - Juggling multiple professional profiles

Background reading material: What am I? from Freelancing Matters

Check the web site for the coming discussion points. Spread the word and join!

Friday, February 3, 2012

#IntJC If language interpreting is one of your professional hats, come to Session 10

75 accesses to #IntJC Session announcement and 73 accesses to the discussion points on this blog. Even with the usual bots and spams, these are coherent figures. If language interpreting is one of your professional hats, come to Session 10.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

#IntJC Discussion Points for Session 10

Q1. What about judicial terp certification system in your country? Is
there a system?

Q2. How does your MoJ or local/regional judiciary administrations in
your country source interpreters?
Q3. How are judicial interpreters organized in your country? Are there
professional associations of judicial interpreters? How active are
they in defending the profession?
Q4. How do you become a judicial interpreter? Are there training
courses at entry level, at mid-career level?
Q5. Is the situation faced by judicial interpreters in the UK unique?
Are you seeing a commodification of interpreters in your country?

Q6. What are judicial interpreters in the UK doing to counter the
situation? What could they do?

Come and participate to Session 10. 
Invite your judicial interpreters friends and colleagues. 
Spread the word!

Details of the session are here