U.S.-China Relations and the 18th Party Congress: Uncertainty Amidst Political Transition

More interpreting practice. An event from the folks at csis. You can probably guess what they are talking about by the topic above!

For those looking to practice, find the mp3 at this page. Just fyi, there are three speakers and a question session, the first and third speak really quickly but the second at a more measured pace.


OZ PM at UN GA & Chunking

The Australian Julia Gillard recently addressed the UN General Assembly.

Find the mp3 here. And the transcript here.

There are some tricky parts for simultaneous interpreters!

One of the things we do is “chunking”. – Basically taking long sentences and cutting them up.

So a long sentence like this:

Our support for the right of Israel and its people to exist in security and peace is an historic commitment in Australian policy and it will endure.

Might get chunked into this:

We support Israel. Its people have the right to exist, to security, and to peace. This is a historic commitment. It is part of Australian policy. It will endure.

Or, the equivalent in a language other than English.

The really hard bits are the flowery language where it’s just so hard to understand what she’s getting at.

Chinese English Japanese Vocab

Japan has been in the news in China recently. Here’s some vocab. I’ve put a bit of a blurb after each entry, as there’s absolutely no use memorizing words without knowing what they mean.

Diaoyu Island 钓鱼岛
The largest island in the island chain which are in dispute.

the Senkaku Islands, 尖阁诸岛
This is how the Japanese refer to the islands as a group. The Chinese don’t have a name for the islands as a group, they are referred to as…

Diaoyu Island and the surrounding islands, 钓鱼岛及其附属岛屿

the Ryukyu Islands, 琉球群岛
Okinawa is the largest.

The First Sino-Japanese War, 甲午战争
Sometimes referred to as just the Sino Japanese war.

continental shelf 大陆架
Apparently Diaoyu Island is on China’s continental shelf.

the treaty of San Francisco 旧金山条约
The treaty of peace with Japan after WW2.

the LDP, 自民党
the DPP, 民主党
Two Japanese political parties.

Yoshihiko Noda, 野田佳彦
The current Japanese Prime Minister.

Shintaro Ishihara, 石原慎太郎
The current mayor of Tokyo. Purchasing the Senkaku islands / Diaoyu island and the surrounding islands was his idea.

purchase by the city, 都有化
This is one of those occasions when there is an elegant expression in one language but not the other. “Nationalization” is when a national government purchases something, and has its counterpart in Chinese 国有化. But what about when a city government purchases something? Chinese has 都有化 but English doesn’t have a single word.

baseline territorial waters, 领海基线
China recently notified the UN of what it claims as its baseline territorial waters. I didn’t know what that meant until I had a look at Wikipedia.

Osprey/V22 Osprey, 鱼鹰直升机
A double rotor helicopter currently deployed in Japan.

Futenma, 普天间基地
The US Marine base on Okinawa.

the US Japan Mutual Defense Treaty, 日美安保条约
The treaty that obligates both sides to come to the aid of the other. If I was interpreting simultaneously, I’d probably abbreviate it, it’s quite a mouthful isn’t it.

the Japanese Minister of Defense, 日本防卫省大臣
Japanese uses different Hanzi to most other countries, ministries are 省 (most countries use 部) and ministers are 大臣 (instead of 部长).

826th UN Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East

It’s often hard to find Chinese language interpreting practice material. The UN recently helped us trainee interpreters out by publishing an mp3 of a meeting in which Ambassador Li Baodong speaks at the Security Council. I’ve put a link to the mp3, at around 3 hours and 8 minutes.

The mp3 can be found here. It is on the UN News & Media Audio Library, which requires you to sign up for an account before you can download it. Don’t worry, it only takes a minute.

The transcript can be found here with the title 常驻联合国代表李保东大使在安理会表决英国等提交的叙利亚问题决议草案后的解释性发言.