Consecutive Interpreting: A Short Course, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Consecutive Interpreting

A Short Course, 1st Edition

By Andrew Gillies


260 pages | 61 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-04-17
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Consecutive Interpreting: A Short Course provides a step-by-step guide to consecutive interpreting. This user-friendly coursebook tackles key skills such as presentation, analysis, note-taking and reformulation, as well as advanced market-related skills such as preparation for assignments, protocol and practical tips for working interpreters. Each chapter provides examples of the skill, as well as a variety of exercises to learn the skill both in isolation and then in combination with other skills.

Including model answers, a glossary of terms and further reading suggestions, this is the essential coursebook for all students of consecutive interpreting as well as for interpreter-trainers looking for innovative ways of teaching consecutive interpreting.


"In this book, Andrew Gillies surveys the knowledge and wisdom of renowned interpreter trainers spanning decades and myriad publications. He then deftly distills it into a single volume on consecutive interpreting. It is straightforward and well organized and will be an excellent reference for teachers and students alike."

Barry Slaughter Olsen, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, USA

"Andrew Gillies' first book on note-taking was my first encounter with a clear, logical and effective method to teach consecutive! This new publication brings a much more complete view of consecutive plus adds lots of new ideas which will surely make the process even smoother for both trainers and students."

Raquel Schaitza, AIIC Brazil, Brazil

"Expanding on his previous books on note-taking, and based on his experience, Andy Gillies has managed to produce a most comprehensive, detailed and helpful manual on consecutive interpreting. Although the advice and suggestions it contains are best suited to newcomers, seasoned conference interpreters will also find plenty to sink their teeth into."

Andrea Alvisi, Attitude Translations, UK

Table of Contents



Part I 


1. Introduction 

What is consecutive interpreting? 

When is consecutive interpreting used? 

Who can be a consecutive interpreter? 

Why learn consecutive? 

Should we learn consecutive before simultaneous? 

How good is good enough? 

About this book 

How to use this book 


2. Presentation 






3. Consecutive without notes 

A word about memory 


What you already know 

Narrative prompts 

Visual prompts 

Structural prompts 

Logical prompts 



Skills combining 

4. Analysis 

Structural breakdown 

Mind maps 



Section diagrams 

Logical analysis 

Recognizing and splitting ideas 


Skills combining


5. Preparation and practice 


Exam preparation 



6. Note-taking 







Values (more and less important) 

What language to note in 

Skills combining


7. Noting less 

Memory prompts 

Things in front of you 

Obvious in context 

Obvious from the structure of the notes 


8. Reformulation 

What is reformulation? 

Why reformulate? 

How to reformulate 

How does consecutive facilitate reformulation? 


9. Effort management in consecutive 

What is effort? 

Preemptive effort management 


Notes as an effort management tool  


Part II 

10. Advanced presentation 

Differences between interpreting and speaking 


Preparing for a real meeting room 

Looking at your audience 

Notes as stage direction 


11. Advanced Analysis 

Types of speech 

Speech analysis in the media 

Structure maps 


Rhetorical devices 


12. Advanced preparation 


The situation 

Preparing the content 


13. Protocol and practicalities 

Dress code 

Interpreting equipment 

Survival equipment 

What to do when you arrive on site 

During the speech and after 

Tips from other authors 


14. Digitally-assisted consecutive 

Simultaneous consecutive 

Note-taking on a tablet computer 

Real-time transcription 

Pros and cons 


Appendix 1 Versions of the tasks set 

Chapter 2: Presentation 

Chapter 3: Memory 

Chapter 4: Analysis 

Chapter 6: Note-taking 

Chapter 11: Advanced analysis 

Chapter 12: Advanced preparation 



Appendix 2 Memory techniques 

The memory palace 

Visual linking 


Appendix 3 The Example Speeches 

1: Javid 

2: Jobs 

3: Lumumba 

4: Ralston 

5: Martin Harvey 

6: Bishop 

7: Sinofsky 

8: Homden 

9: Gonzales 

10: Bett 

11: Kyles 

12: Obama 

13: Asani 

14: Barker 

15: Haley 

16: Romecki 

17: Baird 





About the Author/Editor

Andrew Gillies trains students, interpreters and interpreter-trainers worldwide on behalf of universities, international institutions and the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). He is the author of several books, including Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting (2017), and also created the Interpreter Training Resources website.

About the Series

Translation Practices Explained

Translation Practices Explained is a series of coursebooks designed to help self-learners and students on translation and interpreting courses. Each volume focuses on a specific aspect of professional translation and interpreting practice, usually corresponding to courses available in translator- and interpreter-training institutions. The authors are practicing translators, interpreters, and/or translator or interpreter trainers. Although specialists, they explain their professional insights in a manner accessible to the wider learning public.

Each volume includes activities and exercises designed to help learners consolidate their knowledge, while updated reading lists and website addresses will also help individual learners gain further insight into the realities of professional practice.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General