Since Christiane Abel started teaching in the French Translation and Interpretation program at the Institute, she has taught all of the translation and interpretation classes offered from English into French, and she became the French TI Program Coordinator in 2009.
She maintains a vibrant private practice as a freelance translator and conference interpreter, with clients including private companies, NGOs, the US Department of State, and international organizations. She specializes in international development, microfinancing, and international humanitarian law. She has drawn on her experience as an interpreter for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and subsequent interpreting assignments focusing on the atrocities committed in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa to research and present on how interpreters can best prepare for and cope with assignments dealing with deeply traumatic events.
She is certified by the American Translators Association (ATA - English into French), and she is an active member of the Association internationale des interprètes de conférence (AIIC).
Builds on the theoretical and practical foundation laid in Introduction to Translation and introduces the translation of specialized subject matter. Depending upon the language program in which they are enrolled, students will be expected to acquire and demonstrate basic proficiency in the sight and written translation of either commercial and economic texts, legal texts, or scientific and technical texts. The amount of emphasis accorded to a particular topic will depend on the specific professional requirements of each language program. Course assignments will include readings, research, presentations, practice and graded exercises in sight translation, and practice and graded written translation assignments, including exercises in speed translation. Students will also be expected to take at least one midterm and one final exam. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are largely at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Translation or equivalent background.
Intermediate Interpretation – Consecutive and Simultaneous
Builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Introduction to Interpretation. Consists of both language-specific and joint sessions with other language programs.
In consecutive, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and further develops note-taking techniques. Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation. Students also expand their active vocabulary to include the terms and idioms that frequently occur in extemporaneous speeches. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are delivered extemporaneously, are of moderate difficulty, and are derived from professional settings. These passages vary from one to several paragraphs in length depending upon language combination, direction, and source content.
In simultaneous, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode in the booth. Begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are between eight and ten minutes in length.
Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with some emphasis placed on business and economics. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Course prerequisites: Introduction to Interpretation or the equivalent
Advanced Interpretation II – Consecutive and Simultaneous
This course is the counterpart to Advanced Interpretation I. Students are expected to interpret speeches of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional settings. Provides final preparation for the Professional Examinations.
In consecutive interpretation, emphasis is placed on both science and technology and political rhetoric, requiring particular attention to nuance and tone. Students learn the vernacular of political speeches and other challenging material while sharpening listening, processing, and notetaking functions.
In simultaneous interpretation, advanced instruction is given for difficult speeches. Emphasizes following the logic of complex scientific and technical discourse, and remaining faithful to the style and tone of persuasive political discourse. Students are also introduced to simultaneous interpretation with text. They learn how to draw upon outlines, transcripts, slides and transparencies, and other written materials to enhance the accuracy and completeness of their interpretation. Emphasis is placed on text preparation strategies and efficient use of textual materials while on the air.
Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the relevant language combination(s). Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.
At the end of the course, students are expected to interpret difficult speeches in professional settings. In consecutive, students are called upon to interpret passages that are several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Course prerequisites: Advanced Interpretation I or the equivalent
Introduces students to conference interpretation in general and consecutive interpretation in particular. Lays a foundation for the development of professional skills in consecutive interpretation, emphasizing the ability to understand and analyze a message in the source language (SL) and convey it in the target language (TL) in a straightforward and clear manner. Develops students’ ability to identify, analyze, and paraphrase the meaning in the SL and establish logical relations between its components. Emphasis is placed on active listening and concentration skills, memory, the ability to abstract information for subsequent recall, and basic elements of note-taking. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret extemporaneous passages that are on topics familiar to them and are between three and five minutes in length.
In language-specific sessions and joint sessions with other language programs, students are introduced to the skill of consecutive interpreting in both theory and practice. They practice listening to and repeating the content of passages of increasing length and difficulty. Students hone their public-speaking skills by developing and delivering speeches. Content is interpreted on topics from daily life, current events and the media, and general areas of personal interest to students.
Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Introduces students to the basic theory and practice of translation, both written and sight. Students will learn to apply text analysis, text typology, and contrastive analysis of their working languages to identify, analyze, and resolve translation problems while independently developing an efficient and rational approach to the process of translation. The appropriate application of electronic translation tools will also be introduced. Fundamental translation theory will be emphasized at the beginning of the course and will be conveyed in the form of assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, and independent research. In addition, course assignments will include practice and graded exercises in sight and written translation, utilizing authentic texts drawn from an extensive variety of text categories that include, but are not limited to, current events, general political economy, general legal documents, and scientific and technical topics for general audiences. As the term progresses, student time and effort will increasingly be spent on the preparation and evaluation of written translation assignments. Students will be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam, to be assigned at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring interpretation knowledge and skills up to the professional level. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year interpretation courses to produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting. Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on business, economics, science, technology, and other topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the language combination in question. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.
In consecutive interpretation, students prepare by researching topics before each session, with emphasis on sequential logic in notetaking and accurate terminology in delivery. Students continue to hone their skills by diagnosing and correcting problems at all stages from listening through delivery, while progressing to increasingly difficult and challenging material. In simultaneous interpretation, the techniques learned in the previous semester are consolidated, which enables students to polish their delivery and language register. Focuses on nuance of meaning, accuracy of interpretation, research and preparation for conferences, and glossary development. Special attention is given to maintaining concentration while under significant psychological stress. Students learn to recognize SL discourse patterns and render them effectively in TL.
At the end of the course, students are able to interpret difficult passages that are derived from professional settings. In consecutive, students are able to interpret passages up to several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous interpretation, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.
Maybe because of my business background, I insist on professionalism from my students from day one. I try to establish a “client-provider” relationship, instead of a more traditional “teacher-student” relationship, so that my students are market-ready upon graduation. What is fascinating about our profession is that you never stop learning: Each new assignment lets us discover new concepts or new vocabulary, or understand a fine grammatical point. I also have the privilege to constantly learn from my students, whether we are questioning a particular word or phrase, or whether they lead me to a new Website, podcast or other great content in French or English.
MSc in Management, Kedge Business School
MA in Translation and Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Professor Abel has been teaching at the Institute since 2001.