Interpretation is not just the delivery of information. It is revelation, a moment when an audience member makes new and meaningful connections. So how can interpreters facilitate these interpretive moments?
If you’ve ever been an interpreter, you know that you never really leave this type of work behind, even if you no longer practice it daily. A lasting remnant from this part of my career was my memorization of the so-called “interpretive equation.” This equation details what is needed to achieve an “interpretive opportunity,” the moment when interpretation takes place.
The equation, written in non-mathematical formula, goes something like this: Knowledge of the resource, and knowledge of the audience, combined with the appropriate techniques for both, are necessary to produce an interpretive opportunity.
In other words, any successful interpreter needs: knowledge of the resource, knowledge of the audience, and appropriate interpretive techniques for a given situation.
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