14 Sep

James Nolan has served as Deputy Director of the Interpretation, Meetings and Publishing Division of the United Nations, Head of Linguistic and Conference Services of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Chief of the UN Verbatim Reporting Service, UN Senior Interpreter, and Linguist/Legal Writer with The Garden City Group. A graduate of the School of Translation and Interpretation of the University of Geneva and of New York Law School, he is admitted to the New York bar and accredited by the language services of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. State Department and the Canadian Government. Mr. Nolan has 30 years’ experience as a translator, interpreter, language services manager and trainer, and has practiced law in New York City and provided language services to major New York law firms such as Davis Polk & Wardwell. He has given lectures, courses and seminars on interpretation and translation at New York University, Glendon College, the University of Ottawa, Marymount Manhattan College, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Howard University, the Universidad de Belgrano, the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a consultant to the OSCE, the National Center for State Courts, the Canadian Forces Language School and the Canadian Language Industries Association (AILIA). His book Interpretation Techniques and Exercises is used for interpreter training by universities worldwide, by the European Parliament and the OSCE, and is cited as a study reference for the United Nations Interpreters’ Examination. Contact: jamespnolan@aol.com / j.nolan@aiic.net.

Second Edition of Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises

The first edition of Interpretation: Techniques and Exercises has been adopted by many interpreter training programs offered by institutions, universities and interpreters’ associations, including seminars and workshops for conference interpreters, court interpreters, military interpreters and community interpreters.  It is among the publications recommended on the United Nations Language Outreach Portal:  http://www.unlanguage.org/UNTraining/Links/default.aspx

Recently, the book gained recognition as one of the main authoritative works in the field by being cited in an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court: (http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs/10-1472_petitioner_amcu_professors.authcheckdam.pdf)

Using the book’s syllabus and exercises in a series of professional-level training events has provided me with fertile ground for creating innovative teaching scenarios.  Last year, in a seminar at the University of the Witwatersrand, we were able to develop video-based interpreting exercises and role-plays using several languages, including sign language.   This year, at a training course in Washington D.C., I used the book for the first time in a seminar for community interpreters grouping several different language combinations, adapting the exercises to their needs.

In the second edition I have made several improvements and brought the book up to date. First, I incorporated a number of suggestions I had gleaned from readers, students and book reviewers that I felt would make the book more useful.  I edited a number of exercises to make them useable with additional language combinations, and included a section of additional exercises to help develop short-term memory and to practice reformulation strategies.  Last but not least, I included in the bibliography a section of internet links providing quick access to audio or video speeches for listening and interpretation practice. This last feature will make the book better suited for use with the distance-learning interpretation courses that have recently been making their appearance, and may contribute to making those courses more effective. I will be teaching one such course myself this fall for Glendon College and I hope the experience will suggest further improvements that can be made to the book.

Wits Language School, Johannesburg

One Response to “JAMES NOLAN”


  1. JAMES NOLAN | jamespnolan - November 4, 2016

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