ORCIT: Open online resources for interpreters

I’m planning a future post on the National Network for Interpreting resources, but in the meantime I wanted to mention a similar project inspired by it. Although the materials on the ORCIT website (Online Resources for Conference Interpreter Training) are aimed primarily at trainee interpreters (and their trainers), the resources in question deal with several transferable skills, and are relevant to many others.

ORCIT is funded by the EU interpreting services, SCIC, and is a suite of free, open resources for interpreter training. The materials are stand-alone, and can act as a reference point to clarify or consolidate what trainees learn in class, as well as offering practice exercises for the new skills they will be learning.

At the moment ORCIT is available in 8 European languages; English, Czech, French, German, Greek, Lithuanian, Slovenian and Spanish. There are different numbers of resources currently available for each language (depending how long the relevant partner institution has been in the project), and new resources are being localised and added constantly.

So what can you actually do on the website? Well, the materials cover various key interpreting skills, from more general areas like “active” or analytical listening skills and good public speaking in your mother tongue, to specific interpreting modes, consecutive and simultaneous. Practicing interpreters and trainers share key points in the introduction videos, and users put their skills into action with the interactive exercises. These might, for example, walk you through the process of researching and structuring a speech or offer various activities to help you develop your note-taking skills.

ORCIT Listening and Analysis resource - menu screen

The Listening & Analysis resource deals with understanding the structure and intention of a speech

I should here declare my interest; I’m the web project manager and learning technologist for ORCIT, so I would probably think the materials were great whatever the case. However, they are an excellent learning, practice or revision tool, and I encourage you, whether a student, recent interpreting graduate, or someone who just wants to find out more about interpreting (or brush up on your skills!) to try them for yourself. As mentioned, many of these are useful even if you don’t have an interest in interpreting, e.g. if you want to hone your public speaking or listening and analytical skills.

Have you used the ORCIT materials? Let us know what you think!

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