Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting : A Short Course book cover
2nd Edition

Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting
A Short Course

ISBN 9781138123205
Published May 23, 2017 by Routledge
302 Pages

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Book Description

Note-taking for Consecutive Interpreting: A Short Course is the essential step-by-step guide to the skill of note-taking. The system, made up of a range of tried and tested techniques, is simple to learn, consistent and efficient. Each chapter presents a technique, with examples, tasks and exercises. This second edition has been extensively revised throughout, including:

  • an updated chapter on speech analysis
  • new chapters on comparisons and links
  • revised example speeches and notes
  • a summary of other authors' note-taking guidelines for comparison and reference (Part III).

The author uses English throughout – explaining how and where to locate material for other languages – thus providing a sound base for all those working in the areas of conference interpreting and consecutive interpreting in any language combination. This user-friendly guide is a particularly valuable resource for student interpreters, professionals looking to refresh their skills, and interpreter trainers looking for innovative ways of approaching note-taking.

Table of Contents

Part I: The Basics Step-by-step


What is consecutive interpreting?

When is consecutive interpreting used?

About this book

Note-taking for consecutive interpreting

About the notes

About the examples

How to use the book


Chapter 1: Speech Analysis

Speech writing guides

Structure maps


Mind maps

Chapter 2: Recognizing and Splitting Ideas

Chapter 3: The Beginning of Notes

Chapter 4: Links

Moving On…

Taking notes directly

Reproducing speeches from notes

Note-taking from the spoken word

Chapter 5: Verticality and Hierarchies of Values

Parallel values

Shifting values

Parallel values 2

Use of brackets

Chapter 6: Symbols

What is a symbol?

Why use symbols?

What to note with symbols

How to use symbols

Organic symbols

Where to find symbols

Chapter 7: Memory Prompts

Structure can help recall information

Things right in front of you

Note the simple for the complicated

Stories and jokes

It depends on what you already know

Chapter 8: What to Note

Part II: Fine-tuning

1. Clauses

2. Rules of Abbreviation

3. Verbs

4. The Recall Line

5. Uses of the Margin

6. Implicit Links

7. Pro-forms

8. Noting Sooner, or Later

9. How You Write it

10. More on Symbols

11. Things You Didn't Catch

12. The End

Part III: The Back of the Book

1. Notes with Commentary

Speech 1 - Hodgson

Speech 2 – Patten

Speech 3 - Torry

Speech 4 – MacShane

2. Versions of the Tasks Set

3. The Examples

4. Where to Find Practice Material

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Reviews for the new edition:

"The book really is a tour de force of logic, patient explanation, examples, and method. Gillies has a knack of explaining complex things simply. It is a must for any student of interpreting." - Interpreter Soapbox

"Often referred to as the contemporary compendium of consecutive interpreting, this book covers everything you always wanted to know about note-taking." - Andrea Alvisi, Attitude Translations

"One of the strong points of this book is that it can be read in the order it was written, which is recommended especially for beginners, but it can also be used as a reference book (...) the English is clear and concise and the diagrams also complement the written explanations, making it easily accessible to non-English speakers." - Hyang-Ok Lim, Korean Society of Interpretation and Translation Studies

"I consider this second edition of Andrew Gillies' book a must-have for anyone who wishes to develop a robust, efficient, and reliable note-taking system, or who aims at training interpreters to do so." - Marc Orlando, AIIC

Reviews for the previous edition:

"The book is well written; above all it is highly readable... In conclusion, it is a book to be highly recommended, and in my view indispensable reading for those of us involved in, or even just interested in, interpreter training." - European Commission Interpreting Bulletin

"I would be relieved if Andrew Gillies’ handy guide to the subject were made compulsory reading in the class-room. Clearly organised, attractively presented and written (refreshingly) in English, it provides welcome support for professional standards." - Interpreter Training Resources

"What is certainly original and what makes the book useful is precisely Gillies' de-mystifying, intuitive approach to discourse analysis and note-taking, together with the idea that note-taking is, ultimately, about analysing speeches." - AIIC