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Unit information: Liaison Interpreting for Business in 2018/19

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Unit name Liaison Interpreting for Business
Unit code MODLM0026
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Paul Golf
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Liaison Interpreting, (or evidence of equivalent)



School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit is designed to build on students’ foundational experience gained from Introduction to Liaison Interpreting in semester 1, or equivalent. While the introductory course can include a broader range of topics, the goal of Advanced Liaison Interpreting is to focus primarily on different business interpreting scenarios, which is the most appropriate training for the current jobs market.

As well as furthering their bilateral communicative and linguistic skills, students will also gain experience in creating PowerPoint presentations, presenting sales pitches, conducting business negotiations, and field interpreting etc. Since business liaison interpreters are often required to interpret in consecutive mode, students will also gain experience in consecutive interpreting.

Advanced Liaison interpreting will further develop:

  • Memory, presentation and note-taking skills
  • Public speaking skills in both languages
  • Professionalism and ethics/codes of conduct in a business/corporate environment
  • How to mediate cultural and linguistic differences/gaps between languages
  • An interpreter’s role and neutrality
  • Representing and managing interpersonal dynamics in liaison interpreting, with particular sensitivity to the differences in business culture between China and the UK

In addition, the unit will develop:

  • Competence in handling different business/corporate scenarios
  • Awareness of the broader role of interpreters in an in-house or freelance context
  • Knowledge of the interpreting market
  • Ability to manage one’s own workload and client base as a freelance interpreter
  • Resourcefulness in advanced problem solving and research skills
  • Consecutive interpreting skills necessary for the business/corporate environment

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit students will have:

  1. Further developed their understanding of issues in a range of topics in order to effectively fulfil the role of the liaison interpreter in a business/corporate environment
  2. Gained skills necessary to begin building a client base and managing their career as a freelancer
  3. Become familiar with the different roles an interpreter may be required to play in a business/corporate environment
  4. Developed their appreciation for and understanding of differences in business culture between China and the UK, and gained an understanding as to how these differences should be mediated
  5. Gained an advanced foundation in consecutive interpreting for business/corporate settings
  6. Learned the study and research skills needed to continue to improve their professional interpreting skill set independently
  7. Developed transferable skills such as giving presentations, conducting negotiations, and negotiating public relations

Teaching details

1 session of two hours per week consisting of full-cohort lectures and workshops including live interpreting sessions where students act as trainee interpreters and supervised lab sessions where students work with pre-recorded dialogues.

Field interpreting trip off-site

Assessment Details

30% - Interim examination consisting of 8-minute live interpreting performance (ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

70% - Final exam – consisting of advanced 12-minute live interpreting performance or 8-minute consecutive interpreting presentation (60%) (ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and reflective report (10%) (ILO 1)

Reading and References

Gentile, A., Ozolins & Vasilakakos, M. (1996), Liaison Interpreting: A Handbook. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press

Gile, Daniel (1995) Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins

Mason, Ian (ed.) (1999) Dialogue Interpreting, special issue of The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication, vol 5, 2