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How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

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How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby lovethebooth » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:25 pm

Hello,
I hope this is the right place to post this topic. I wonder if anyone knows whether it is possible to get a rusty A-language or mother tongue up to the required level for schools like ESIT and ETI, etc.. (some say it is impossible, some say it takes years, so I don't know what to believe)
I read many posts on this forum before, and seen some about how to improve a B-language, of course one could use those strategies to improve the A-language, but are there any tips specifically for a "rusty A-language" anywhere?
Such as for people who spent too many years outside of their home country??
Any tips would be highly appreciated, maybe someone is in a similar situation? :?:
thanks a lot!
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby cllamas » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:28 pm

I am in the same situation! I took the entry exam for ESIT last year and failed for that reason. I suppose there's no magic trick: read papers, watch news, spend as much time in the home country as possible,... But I also wonder if it's really possible to get your A language to the expected level after having been away from your country of origin for years. Maybe it's not realistic?

Clara
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby lovethebooth » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi Clara,
well I don't know, I once failed an interpreting school's very simple interview in my A-language ( I do not wish to name the school here on the forum but it was a very easy school to get in!) because of a weak A-language ( I was not even aware that my A was weak until after the exam), the following year I passed the same school, but failed my C-language. they had not told me the first time around that my C-language was weak too, so I did not even know.
Then I took another school's entrance exam a year later and failed all parts in the oral exam (I passed the written part, surprisingly, with all languages, ABC) , but I didn't know whether it was A/B/C-language related my failure, but I strongly suspect that it is related to mostly the A-language, and a bit the C as well.
I am now in the country of my A-, read papers all the time, watch and listen to news all the time, etc, but I still make mistakes that another native speaker who has not spent that many years abroad would never make.....(so I was told) :cry:
small mistakes that can only be detected in a complex conversation about a certain topic, not just "hi, how are you"...
and once a EU interpreter spoke of a so-called "dormant A-language", he said if the A-language is just in a passive dormant state, one might be able to "activate" it with a lot of hard work, but one absolutely needs a native speaker to correct one's mistake.
That I do not have access to, unfortunately. and so I am improving my passive A, but not improving much on the active side, not as much as required......
are you planning to take any entrance exams next year, by some chance?
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby laventera » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:49 pm

Hi there,

I guess I am in more or less the same situation (i.e. feeling more comfortable in my B language than in my A) but I think that it is possible to get your A language to the needed level.
I would advice to "avoid" people in your same situation for a while (people who tend to mix 2 or more languages all the time and of course stop mixing languages: if you start a sentence in one language you finish it in the same language), to force yourself to systematically check how you would say everything you listen to in your A language and to try to activate (and this should be easy because you know your own language) these words, expressions, etc... by trying to reuse them as much as possible when the context allows it.
Also, if you manage to enter an interpreting school, never ever ever let your teachers know how you feel because they will end up thinking that you have no A at all and they will somehow convince you of that...
And of course everything that Clara posted (read books, newspapers, spend some time (and if possible work) in a country where your mother tongue is spoken...)

Good luck!
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby Sono » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:56 pm

How about writing? As fas as I am concerned, nothing tops writing in the language I need to practice because it allows me to work on grammatical and lexical correctness at a high level. Besides, you can take all the time you need to express something well and also you can re-read your texts after a while. Of course, it's always better if someone can proof-read your texts... not least because it takes pressure off you. You really should feel at home in your languages (funny, heh?), so relax ; )
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby gitanerousse » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:06 pm

I am in a similar situation.
@ sushi des bois,
yes, writing is good, but what if the words in your mother tongue do not come out as quickly as they should in speaking, like automatic, for example when you do a sight translation into A, or a memory exercise from either B or C into A?
so you know the meaning, but need more time to find the word in your A that you should be spending, then what?
:(
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby Sono » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:11 pm

As a philosophy teacher once told me about the difficulties I encountered when trying to write decent dissertations : "C'est le métier qui rentre !". It means that the fact that you have trouble doing something means that you are learning how to do it properly. Practice is the best way to achieve your goals.
Writing is especially good because you have time to express yourself precisely, because you don't have to give up the search for the exactly right word after a couple of seconds. I believe that finding the right word is also a "habit": if you first get used to it in writing, then you can expand it to speaking.
Imagine an excellent dancer who's out of practice: surely she won't start training with the most difficult exercises, she'll take the time to do the simplest things as well as possible and work her way up from there (which probably won't take long as she only needs to regain some strength, flexibility and... automatisms).
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Shadowing to train rusty A-language?

Postby lovethebooth » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:18 pm

Hi,
has anyone tried to become more "automated" in their A-language by trying to shadow a speech in their mother tongue?
Some say it works wonders, I tried it a few times, but not often enough to be able to see any changes.
I wonder if anyone has any experience with this exercise?
thanks
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby marfil » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:32 pm

Hi lovethebooth,

I've only just seen your post, so I hope you're still around and rocking that A language!

Shadowing in your A does indeed work wonders - I've been doing it all semester and am definitely seeing the difference.

Good luck!
Un trozo de azul tiene mas intensidad que el cielo entero
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby schaemtsichfremd » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:09 pm

Hi marfil,

How much do you do at a time/how often do you do it? I'm considering doing this for my B language to keep it up while I study CI in the land of my C.

Thanks!
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby marfil » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:48 pm

Hi schaemtsichfremd (love your mystifying handle! hehe),

We had 2 2-hour classes a week, and I would spend on average half of each of those classes shadowing - a couple of 20-minute speeches and a shorter one. You might also want to try paraphrasing, it's really good for improving your register. Also, I found that it really quickened my reflexes, especially when I was paraphrasing a non-native speaker of English (which is supposedly my A, but I am a class-A alingual. Class-A - geddit? Sorry).

I find the Council of the European Union meeting webcasts (http://ue.eu.int/press/council-meetings?lang=en) really useful as well. You can select the interpretation you want to listen to, and it gives you some insight into how interpreters with your mother tongue there deal with the issues that arise.

Good luck!
Un trozo de azul tiene mas intensidad que el cielo entero
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Re: How to get a rusty A-language ready for CI training!!?

Postby schaemtsichfremd » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:03 am

Thanks, marfil!
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