KA WORDCAST: Listen and Learn LESSON THREE: Seeking Advice

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LESSON THREE HERE! 

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In today’s lesson, entitled Seeking Advice, you will be listening to two letters.  In the first very short one, a young man seeks advice about a specific career choice.  The second longer letter is the reply and advice the young man receives. Listen carefully to the passage and then answer the questions that follow.  It’s always a good idea to take notes as you listen, but remember: don’t let your note-taking distract you from your listening.

Seeking Advice

Listen to Listen and Learn!

Lesson Three PASSAGE ONLY track:

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Dear Ms. Sato,
My name is Kazu Yamada. I am interested in becoming a Japanese-English interpreter and would like to learn more about your work as a freelance interpreter.  What do you like best about your job?  What can I do now to prepare for a career in interpreting?  I would be happy to receive any information and advice you have for me.   Thank you for your time.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Kazu Yamada

 

 

Dear Kazu,
I am pleased to hear that you are planning to become an interpreter.  You have chosen a challenging but a very rewarding and exciting career.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are two types of interpreting.  In Simultaneous Interpreting, or SI, the interpreter translates the source language into the target language “simultaneously,” that is, at the same time that the source-language speaker delivers his/her message.   The interpreter usually sits in a sound room and speaks into a microphone while the target-language audience listens to the interpreted message through earpieces.  SI is commonly used in situations where multiple languages are spoken, such as during United Nations assemblies and international academic and scientific conferences.
In Consecutive Interpreting, or CI, the interpreter sits next to or behind the speaker, listening and taking notes while the speaker delivers his/her speech in segments.  Then, during the pauses between the segments, the interpreter translates what the speaker has said.  CI is usually used in two-language situations such as business meetings, press conferences, and courts of law.  You’ll be happy to know that skilled interpreters of both kinds are in great demand in every field.  Some practitioners choose to specialize in a particular area of expertise, which is an option you might also consider.
What do I like best about my job?  As a freelance CI interpreter, I have the unique opportunity to take part in meetings and events of all kinds and to meet many fascinating people.  One day I’ll be the interpreter for an important business or intergovernmental negotiation; the next I’ll act as the mouthpiece for a Hollywood celebrity visiting Japan.  As I said, it’s a very gratifying and exciting way to make a living.
How should you prepare for your career in interpreting?  The best advice I can give you is this: read, read, read—in both languages, in as broad a range of subjects as possible.  Japanese and English are two very different languages, so to be able to accurately translate one language to the other, you must have a solid grasp of how each is structured.  Reading widely—and critically—will provide you with this essential understanding, as well as give you the extensive vocabulary and large stock of knowledge you will need to handle any interpreting assignment.
Let me know if you have any further questions, and if you would like to shadow me at work, feel free to get in touch with me, and we’ll schedule a day.
Good luck, Kazu!
Joanna Sato

  

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LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

Listen to Listen and Learn Lesson Two LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS ONLY track:

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Today’s listening comprehension questions will be TRUE or FALSE and based on FACTUAL CONTENT and LOGICAL INFERENCE.  Listen to each question carefully and mark your answer.  For the best results, always try to listen to the question without looking at the written questions on the website.  Feel free to pause the recording if you need a moment or two to think about the question.

1.         From the passage you can infer that Kazu speaks both Japanese and English.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

2.         In Simultaneous Interpreting, the source-language speaker takes pauses to allow the interpreter to translate.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

3.         In Simultaneous Interpretation, the target-language listening audience sits in a sound room and listens to the translated message delivered by the simultaneous interpreter over a loudspeaker.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

4.         Simultaneous Interpreting is often used during United Nations assemblies or other large international conferences.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

5.         In Consecutive Interpreting, the interpreter translates what the speaker has said between the pauses in the speaker’s speech or presentation.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

6.         Consecutive Interpreting might be used during a legal trial when a foreign-language speaker takes the witness stand.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

7.         Joanna Sato warns Kazu that interpreting jobs are scarce and hard to come by and that Kazu should think about training and working in some other field.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

8.         Joanna finds her job challenging, but at the same time tiresome and unfulfilling, mainly because she goes to the same meetings and meets the same people every day.   

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

9.         Joanna advises Kazu to read as much as possible in both Japanese and English as a way to understand the different structures of and build up his vocabulary in both languages.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

 

10.      Joanna offers to allow Kazu to accompany her as she carries out one of her interpreting assignments.

a)        TRUE

b)        FALSE

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Now that you have completed today’s listening comprehension exercise, it’s time to check your answers and see how well you did.  The correct answers will follow immediately after the closing jingle, so stay tuned.  Answers are also available on the KA Wordcast website as a separate track.   You can also download the lesson in PDF format and keep it for your reference.    And be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track.   This will improve your understanding of the passage itself and give you a bigger, better active vocabulary.

LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS and ANSWERS HERE!:

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You may also download the lesson in PDF format to keep for your reference.
PDF DOWNLOAD: KA WORDCAST Listen and Learn Lesson Three SEEKING ADVICE

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KA WORDCAST:  Listen and Learn!  Lesson THREE

KEY VOCABULARY

Be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track.   This will help you improve your understanding of the passage itself and give your vocabulary a big boost.

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A REWARDING career choice.

1. REWARDING

You have chosen a challenging but a very REWARDING and exciting career. 

REWARDING is an adjective that means worthwhile and satisfying.  An activity that is REWARDING makes you happy because you feel that you are doing something useful and important.  Some synonyms include fulfilling and gratifying.

There is nothing more REWARDING to a mother than to see her children happy and enjoying their lives.

After four-and-a-half challenging but very REWARDING years as an intern and resident at Seattle Grace Hospital, Meredith finally fulfilled her dream of becoming a heart surgeon.

I am sure you will find volunteering a few hours a week working with underprivileged youths to be a REWARDING experience.

REWARDING can also mean profitable or having the potential to make a lot of money.

I know that being an elementary school teacher is not financially REWARDING, but I love my job—and the kids I teach.

In this economic climate, it’s not easy to find a job REWARDING enough to make ends meet.

 

 

2. ACADEMIC

SI is commonly used in situations where multiple languages are spoken, such as during United Nations assemblies and international ACADEMIC and scientific conferences.

ACADEMIC is an adjective that refers to schools, education, or scholarly research.  Educational and scholastic are some near equivalents.

The ACADEMIC year in countries south of the Equator begins in January and ends in December.

Please ask your ACADEMIC advisor to verify whether a summer internship position would count as credits towards your degree.

Several parents complained when it came to light that some teaching assistants without any ACADEMIC qualifications were being left in charge of the children.

If you are able to complete all of the required ACADEMIC subjects by the end of your junior year, you can graduate from high school a year ahead of schedule.

A school or institution that is ACADEMIC puts great emphasis on education and learning.  A person who is ACADEMIC (as opposed to athletic or artistic, say) excels at studying and gets good grades.

We would prefer that our children attend a more play-based kindergarten than one that is too ACADEMIC. 

Noel is not very ACADEMIC, but his sunny disposition and positive attitude will get him far in life. 

My son is ACADEMIC and scholarly while my daughter is more of a free spirit and more creative.

As a noun, an ACADEMIC usually refers to a person who pursues scholarly work.  Researcher, scholar, expert, and professor are some near synonyms.

Most of the other people at the party were serious ACADEMICS and literary critics with whom I had little in common.

ACADEMICS and environmental experts from around the globe met in Cairo last weekend to present the results of their recent research on “The Future of Water.”

ACADEMIC, by the way, has another interesting usage.  It can be used to describe an idea, discussion, or even a meeting that is not really important or relevant.

The city council’s debate about whether to build the new stadium proved to be ACADEMIC because the mayor had already made up her mind to build it.

 

 

3. EXPERTISE

Some practitioners choose to specialize in a particular area of EXPERTISE, which is an option you might also consider.

EXPERTISE is a noun that means skill or knowledge in a particular field or area of study.  Competence, proficiency, prowess, and aptitude are the nearest synonyms.

The parents of the children at our school represent a diverse range of EXPERTISE that we can draw on when planning our end-of-the-school-year show. 

The knowledge and EXPERTISE you will gain from your job-placement experience at the nursing home will help you prepare for a career in nursing.

As Ontario prepares to upgrade its current railway system, China has stepped in, eager to bring its bullet train EXPERTISE to Canada.

Many companies lack the EXPERTISE to combat cyber-terror attacks and hacking. 

 

 

4. NEGOTIATION

One day I’ll be the interpreter for an important business or intergovernmental NEGOTIATION; the next I’ll act as the mouthpiece for a Hollywood celebrity visiting Japan.

In the sentence above, NEGOTIATION is a noun that means a formal discussion between two or more people who are trying to reach an agreement.

I’ve put an ad in the local newspaper to sell my car for $2,500, but the price is open for NEGOTIATION.

The terms of the contract are still under NEGOTIATION, but First Reads Publishing has agreed to publish the storybook for children I have written.

Jerry has agreed to come back to work for us when his current contract runs out, but his salary is still subject to NEGOTIATION. 

NEGOTIATION is based on the verb NEGOTIATE, which means to try to reach an agreement through formal discussions.

British Prime Minister David Blair stated in a press conference recently that he would not, under any circumstances, NEGOTIATE with terrorists. 

After NEGOTIATING for nearly three weeks, the union representing the striking bus drivers and the city have finally reached an agreement.

NEGOTIATION is often used as a plural noun, as in:

The cease-fire NEGOTIATIONS broke down when one side made a comment that the other side construed as racist and hostile.

 

 

5. SOLID

Japanese and English are two very different languages, so to be able to accurately translate one language to the other, you must have a SOLID grasp of how each is structured.

SOLID is an adjective that has lots of different uses.  When you have a SOLID grasp of something, as in the sentence above, you know and understand that thing very well.  SOLID can also mean dependable, reliable, valid, or convincing.

Despite not having had any formal education, Amanda’s knowledge of Renaissance art is as SOLID as any academic’s.

With SOLID support from women and minorities, the president is assured of re-election.

Without any SOLID physical evidence to back up the so-called eyewitness’s testimony, the prosecution had to abandon its case against the defendant.

Sometimes, though, SOLID is used to mean merely good and steady, but not excellent or especially outstanding.  Competent, satisfactory, and acceptable are the nearest synonyms.

Jessie is a SOLID player, but he’s simply not talented enough to make it as a professional golfer.

Apart from the costumes, which were not all from the period, the play about the American Civil War that our high school drama club put on last week was pretty SOLID. 

SOLID also has some other uses.   For one, it can mean hard and firm as opposed to liquid or gaseous.

It was so cold last night that the water in the birdbath in our garden was frozen SOLID this morning.

The inner planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars—have SOLID surfaces, while the surfaces of the outer planets—Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn—are made up of gases.

SOLID can also describe something that has no holes or spaces in it.  Pure is a good equivalent.

We bought a big, beautiful bed made of SOLID oak for the guest bedroom.  

The construction crew had to dig through several kilometers of SOLID rock to forge a railway tunnel through the mountain.

You can also use SOLID to talk about something that is strong and well made.

I’m sure it’s all right to leave your bicycle here overnight.  Your lock looks pretty SOLID. 

And finally, SOLID refers to a continuous or uninterrupted period of time.

It’s been raining for two SOLID weeks!

I haven’t had a SOLID night’s sleep since my baby was born last year.

 

 

6. EXTENSIVE

Reading widely—and critically—will provide you with this essential understanding, as well as give you the EXTENSIVE vocabulary and large stock of knowledge you will need to handle any interpreting assignment.

In the above sentence, EXTENSIVE is used to describe knowledge and experience and is synonymous with comprehensive, broad, and thorough.

For a nine-year-old, Joey’s knowledge of classical piano music is very EXTENSIVE and highly impressive. 

My experience with Mac software is not EXTENSIVE, but I learn quickly, and I’m confident that I can do the job. 

In its most common usage, EXTENSIVE means great in amount or covering or affecting a large area, as in:

All our students and teachers have full access to the school library, which boasts an EXTENSIVE collection of books and reference materials as well as the latest video and digital media.

The new Italian restaurant in Meguro is open for lunch and dinner and has an EXTENSIVE selection of ice creams and other desserts.  

Initial reports say that the damage resulting from this morning’s earthquake in Mexico is very EXTENSIVE.

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PDF DOWNLOAD: KA WORDCAST Listen and Learn Lesson 3 KEY VOCABULARY