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Unit information: Liaison Interpreting in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Liaison Interpreting
Unit code MODL30006
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Foster
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit is designed to enable students to mediate linguistically on a range of complex topics, in oral mode and in both directions, between English and the other language in the context of interactive, one-to-one spoken discourse.

The unit is currently only offered to students taking RUSSIAN, GERMAN, ITALIAN, FRENCH or SPANISH. It will be in TB-1 for students of Russian, German and Italian and in TB-2 for students of French and Spanish.

Students will develop bilateral communicative and linguistic skills in order to absorb and render the contents of realistic scenarios drawn from business, legal and medical settings.

Liaison interpreting will develop:

  • memory, presentation and note-taking skills
  • assertiveness
  • public speaking skills in both languages
  • terminology research skills

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

1. an understanding of issues in a range of topics in order to effectively fulfil the role of the liaison interpreter

2. skills of memorisation appropriate to the role of interpreter

3. fundamental note-taking skills for interpreters

4. an appropriate level of general and culture-specific, interpersonal negotiating skills

5. terminology research and glossary-making skills

6. a reflective capacity and ability to analyse and address their performance in interpreting

Teaching details

Full-cohort seminars (4 hours); small group live interpreting sessions (8 hours), where students act as trainee interpreters, and supervised lab sessions (12 hours) where students work with pre-recorded dialogues.

Assessment Details

70% - Continuous assessment based on best three interpreting performances in class (ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

30% - Reflective journal of 3000 words (ILOs 1, 5 and 6)

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
  • Mason, Ian (ed.) (1999) Dialogue Interpreting, special issue of The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication, vol 5, 2
  • Mason, Ian (ed.) (2001) Triadic Exchanges: Studies in Dialogue Interpreting. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing
  • Wadensjö, Cecilia. (1998) Interpreting as Interaction, London & New York: Addison Wesley Longman