miercuri, 30 ianuarie 2013

Exam passed with distinction!

It was one of my best performances since I'm studying interpreting. On Tuesday, starting at 3 o'clock in the afternoon I had my final exam in conference interpreting. This is the last step in the master studies before writing the master thesis. For this final stage - an hour of conference interpreting in my three working languages - I needed to complete many courses. It is recommended to finish all the simultaneous and consecutive courses of the curriculum before registering for this last challenge. It took me 3 semesters to prepare for the session I had earlier this week. I took part in every course offered during the past semesters. Anyway, it's recommended to attend this last exam in the fourth semester but I wanted to make it now (3rd semester) because I will have a lot of work on my master thesis during the next semester. So I decided to register, to train every day and to try doing my best.

The day of truth seemed to be the 29th of January. I had some regular courses before the exam, so I used this opportunity for inviting my group mates to follow my interpreting performances. To my surprise, many friends decided to come. As far as I remember there were about 15 students who came with me. The three members of the examination committee welcomed me as I knocked on the door. I stepped in, saw 6 pieces of paper on the table. I had to draw 3 out of 6 sheets to find out the mode and the language of interpreting. These were the following: consecutive and simultaneous interpreting from Romanian into German, consecutive and simultaneous from German into Hungarian and the same in the opposite direction, namely from my mother tongue into my first foreign language (German). So I went on to draw. Usually I don't like to complicate these kind of tasks, so I just simply chose those three pieces of paper and I saw that I'm going to interpret from Romanian and Hungarian into German in the consecutive mode. The third part consisted of simultaneous interpreting from German into my mother tongue. Well, that was the beginning.

Afterwards, being happy about the choice and about the fact that many of my friends came into the room to support and encourage me, I started to work. I felt like on the ski slope just before the race. I looked back on my past sports career. I knew that it's time to show my best. That's the only chance, there is one single round and I don't want to regret anything at the end. I started with the Romanian text. It was about the competition between ski resorts for organizing world cup races. The teacher read the text, I took notes in order to be able to reproduce it in an other language. For this reason I used symbols, abbreviations, short terms etc. Now I managed to note all these things in the target language, so I already translated the utterance during the note-taking process. After the professor finished reading, I began to interpret. I stood up, looked at the audience and suddenly started to translate. It was a fantastic feeling because my Hungarian mates didn't understand the source text, so they were directly interested to hear my final text. I enjoyed this first session, my notes were clear and well-structured so I always kept myself on the track and didn't lose the idea. After about 8 minutes of interpreting I finished my first performance. People were smiling, a fact that made me optimistic. The feedback of the audience is always the most important sign after completing an interpreting task.

The next step led to the Hungarian text. I stayed at the consecutive mode, but changed the language. So I got a new text in another language but the aim was the same, German as target language. The length of the original text was similar to the former one, I created some fine notes which helped me a lot. I managed to keep all the information I heard and put it on the paper. The professor finished reading and I went on to interpret once again. Just like earlier, the presence of my colleagues contributed to a real working situation. I loved all the minutes during my second exam. I was pleased that it works, I gathered a lot of self-confidence and never stopped on the way to another good performance.

There was one more step to take. The simultaneous mode is my favorite. I sit in the booth, have a headphone on my head, but I use only the right side mostly. It's not recommended to put both sides on the ears because then I don't hear my voice and start to shout which is inconvenient both for me and the audience. This time I took a notebook with me, I used it for noting numbers, dates and unknown names. The text was quite difficult. It was fast and full of challenges. It was about the European Swimming Championships from the perspective of the Austrian swimmers. The most difficult was to keep the correct times, records and data related to the results. The rhythm was fast and I had to keep up with it. A single hesitation would have caused nervousness which is my biggest enemy in this kind of situations. It is essential to be calm and to control every single moment during the interpreting session. It worked also this time, I brought it to the end without losing control. My professor was satisfied, he praised me for the integrity of my performance.

So, dear readers, that's how my final interpreting exam looked like. I wanted to describe it to keep this memory alive. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

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