Lectures on interpretation bring in the crowds at Glendon

A community interpretation lecture and workshop along with a parliamentary interpretation lecture drew students, professionals and members of Toronto’s multi-ethnic community to York’s Glendon campus. The interest in the events held in February and March demonstrated the need for training in interpretation.

Left: Claudia Angelelli

The first of the events, was a public lecture on Feb. 29 by Professor Claudia Angelelli of San Diego State University,  titled "Minding the Gaps in Healthcare Interpreting: New Directions in Research, Practice and Standards". Angelelli outlined the skills and training required for the specialization of interpretation and confirmed the need for interpreters, nationwide and in all fields, is currently not being met. The event provided an opportunity to convey the professional realities to students and emphasized the need for professional training in a field where most practitioners work without it.

The next event was a one-day interpreting workshop led by Angelelli at Glendon on March 1 to a capacity group of participants comprised of students and professionals, many of whom are already working as community interpreters in a wide variety of fields. Angelelli is the author of numerous academic publications, including Medical Interpreting and Cross-cultural Communication (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Revisiting the Interpreter’s Role: A Study of Conference, Court, and Medical Interpreters in Canada, Mexico and the United States (John Benjamins, 2004).

Right: María Constanza Guzmán

The workshop, hosted by Glendon Professor María Constanza Guzmán and by Multi-Languages Corporation director Lola Bendana, illustrated the diversity of the Toronto community. Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Creole, Vietnamese, Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil, Hindi, Portuguese, Italian and French were some of the language groups represented at the workshop. Since general interpretation skills and approaches are applicable to any language, everyone benefited from the abundance of information in this one-day event. The event was co-sponsored by the Glendon School of Translation, Glendon’s Centre for Research in Language Contact (CRLC) and by Multi-Languages Corporation in Toronto.

Glendon’s third event of this term on the topic of interpretation was a public lecture on March 17 funded by the Glendon School of Translation. The lecture was given in French and English by two parliamentary interpreters from Ottawa – Bryce Graham and Claudette Branchard. Under the title "Demystifying Interpretation: Training, Careers and Experience", the presentation and the ensuing discussion shed light not only on the increased interest and need for interpretation, but on the role of modern technology in this field, which illustrates a need for a change in relating courses and training content.

Graham and Branchard provided information about careers in simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. "It is important to introduce these choices to students, who may be unaware of them when they plan for their future," said Glendon Professor Aurelia Klimkiewicz, the host of the lecture.

Right: Bryce Graham (left) and Claudette Branchard

The lectures and the workshop opened up opportunities to bilingual and allophone individuals that were locally unavailable until now. "Language rights are essential for positive human interaction and especially important in multicultural Toronto, one of the world’s global cities," said Guzmán. It is hoped that the success of these programs and the practical applications of Claudia Angelelli’s workshop will set in motion an annual event, and might even lead to incorporating interpretation into Glendon’s curriculum in the not too distant future.

Submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.