Interpreter Strip Questions

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Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby balbes » Thu May 28, 2009 4:02 pm

The requirements to earn the interpreter strip are:

1. Carrying on a 5-minute conversation in this language.
2. Translating a 2-minute speech or address.
3. Writing a letter in the language (Does not apply for sign language)
4. Translating 200 words or more from the written word.

My questions are -

I'm assuming they have to do all 4, not "one of the following", even though that's not explicitly stated.

Does #2 have to be from an audio speech, or can the scout translate a transcript of the speech? If the latter, how is that different from #4?

None of them say if the scout should be translating TO the foreign language, or FROM the foreign language. Is it their choice?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide,

Lisa
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Thu May 28, 2009 4:13 pm

Yes, I would assume that #2 means audio. #1 and #3 would require translating TO the language; as I read #2 and #4, they are FROM.

In the same way that earning BSA Lifeguard is for the BENEFIT OF THE TROOP, the purpose of the Interpreter's Strip is for Scouts who speak a different language to be helped by the Interpreter. I can recall a number of students who went through all four years of HS Spanish that would not be able to earn this. Mine are working on Japanese and Latin. I'm not convinced #1 will be able to fulfill #2 unless he can find a speech or address that is spoken verrrrrrrry slowly. ;-)
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby balbes » Thu May 28, 2009 4:24 pm

Thanks! That is quite helpful.

What about finding a podcast speech, and playing it back on a device so it could be paused and/or rewound? Or is that cheating?

I'm not trying to let them get away with something, just trying to figure out how "fluent" they are supposed to be in order to earn this. We have no official counselors, and the spanish teacher at the school told me "I'll do whatever you want - let me know if you want me to pass him or not."
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu May 28, 2009 4:48 pm

I just finished Wood Badge and we had a deaf Assistant Scoutmaster taking the course. Two staff ASL translators were brought in to help and one of the students was also ASL qualified. This "diversity" issue was used as a great teaching moment. We even learned some basic signs for the chorus of "Back to gilwell..."

But back to the OP.....The "translate a speech" is meant to be just like having a signer at an event or the quiet voice over during the latin mass of a Pope's funeral, that is translate as they go.
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby Quailman » Thu May 28, 2009 7:37 pm

ThunderingWind wrote:...The "translate a speech" is meant to be just like having a signer at an event or the quiet voice over during the latin mass of a Pope's funeral, that is translate as they go.
...or the interpreters at the UN. I don't know how they do it, with the speech coming into their ears in one language and the words nearly-simultaneously exiting their mouths in another.

As for the from/to question, I would think that translating a speech or document to or from the foreign language would both be important. Either would demonstrate interpretive skill on the part of the scout.
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby alex gregory » Fri May 29, 2009 1:30 pm

Quailman wrote:
ThunderingWind wrote:...The "translate a speech" is meant to be just like having a signer at an event or the quiet voice over during the latin mass of a Pope's funeral, that is translate as they go.
...or the interpreters at the UN. I don't know how they do it, with the speech coming into their ears in one language and the words nearly-simultaneously exiting their mouths in another.

As for the from/to question, I would think that translating a speech or document to or from the foreign language would both be important. Either would demonstrate interpretive skill on the part of the scout.


So what exactly is a 2-minute written speech? When I get into my New Yorker mode, I can say a lot of words in 2 minutes. I'm a fluent Spanish speaker, and meet the requirements for Italian and French - most native speakers tend to speak quickly and there can be a lot of content in 2-minutes of speech. What we can all agree on is that 2 minutes is 120 seconds, regardless of word count.

Simultaneous interpretation from another language to English is hard. That's why it is such a valuable skill, and demonstrates high proficiency or fluency. It also happens to be the most useful interpretation skill (Sacajawea would not have been all that helpful if all she could do was read Shosone).

I guess a generous "interpretation" of the requirement would allow for translating a transcript of a 2-minute speech. But when you look at the requirements it is pretty clear to me that #1 and #2 are intended to show high proficiency in the spoken language (including Sign), while #3 (Sign excluded) and #4 are intended to show proficiency in the written language (which is usually a lot easier).

Sorry if I offend - but if an interpreter cannot keep up with interpreting 2-minutes of simultanteous interpretation of normal spoken speech from another language to English than he or she is not much of an interpreter.
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby Cowboy » Sun May 31, 2009 8:28 am

The way that we do it in our Troop:
Provide the HS teacher with the requirements and ask her to let us know when a Scout (we also give her a list of the Scouts) meets those requirements. This eliminates the need for a person who does not speak the language needing to be a judge on fluency. Once again, we are fortunate to have a small school (grade size averages 60 students) so teachers are pretty willing to help Scouts, and have some time to work with them also.
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby balbes » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:17 am

Thanks for the suggestion - that's what I did. The scout went to his language teacher, but after 6 months she had not evaluated his work. I took it to another teacher at the same school, who basically told me she'd pass the scout if I told her to, or fail him if that's what I wanted. I'm trying to understand what the requirements are, so I can explain it to the language teachers.

Probably a moot point until Fall, but I'm trying.

Thanks for all the advice,

Lisa
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby Cowboy » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:46 am

Gotta love the ones that say "Tell me what you want and I will do it." Just a suggestion, don't have that one register as a MB Counselor.
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby balbes » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:59 am

LOL! Thanks, it had not occurred to me to do that.
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby ThunderingWind » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:12 am

Cowboy wrote:Gotta love the ones that say "Tell me what you want and I will do it." Just a suggestion, don't have that one register as a MB Counselor.

Wait one, over.

How about taking this teacher, registering her as an MBC and TEACHING her the proper way to handle the requirements? She obviuosly has the proper enthusiam to support Scouting.

Take it to the next level...get her registered and trained. Then use her as "in" to other teachers to help support Citizenship in the C, N, & W etc......
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Re: Interpreter Strip Questions

Postby balbes » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:35 am

I like this idea! Unfortunately, I do not think that will work with these two teachers - neither of them is interested in doing anything outside of school hours.

Fortunately my son is taking the same language, so we'll get a new teacher at the start of the new school year. I plan to start at the beginning of next school year - talking about the requirements, asking to meet with her and a few scouts who want to earn it. Then I'll get her to help me make contacts into other languages.......slow and steady.

Lisa
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