Memory and Interpretation

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Memory and Interpretation

by Hsienche Liu
Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation
Of National Chunghua University of Education

Abstract
This article mainly discusses the different categories and two different modes of interpretation. It also touches slightly on the interplay of interpretation and memory. Short-term memory is extremely important in interpretation. This paper analyzes different kinds of memory and their application for the interpreter’s training. This paper presents three types of memories which are sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. This paper goes on discussing about the major characteristic of these three memories. Through the memory’s point of view, the paper further discusses the implication for the memory in training an interpreter. This paper also tells about some steps to hone simultaneous interpreting skills so as to improve interpreting skills not only quickly but also effectively.

Key Words: Sensory Memory, Short-term Memory, Long-term Memory, Interpretation, Effort Model

Review of Literature
In Memory Training in Interpreting (Weihe Zhong 2003): The idea of short-term memory simply means that you are retaining information for a short period of time without creating the neural mechanisms for later recall. Long-term memory occurs when you have created neural pathways for storing ideas and information which can then be recalled weeks, moths, or even years later. (p.3) From this passage we can observe the difference between these two different types of memory. Because of their different characteristics, they can apply to diverse situation in which interpretation is performed. Since they are extremely important, they deserve to be delved into and carefully studied. If there is a way to improve or enhance them significantly, it would be a blessing to those who are eager to be interpreters for they can discover a way to do their job more efficiently.

1. What is Memory?
Memory adverts to the storage, retention and recall of information which is consisted of past experiences, knowledge and thoughts. Memory for detailed information can change extremely according to the individual and the individual’s state of mind. It can also vary along with the information itself. For this reason, if the information which is new or intriguing has the tendency to be remembered than that is boring or commonplace. The accurate and exact biological causation of memory is not fully comprehended and grasped. But most scientists believe that memory results from changes in connections or connection strengths between neurons in the brain.

2.Categories of Memory
Psychologists have long discovered that memory is consisted of two different parts. One lasts longer than the other. In 1890, according to William James, he defined memory as primary memory and secondary memory. He has helped lay the foundation for modern memory studies. But afterward, psychologists and memory researchers are mainly discussing memory for the duration they are expected to last and therefore, call them short-term memory and long-term memory. 2.1 Sensory Memory

Sensory memory refers to the fact that after experiencing a stimulus, information about this stimulus is shortly stored in the memory in the exact form that it was received. Usually, sensory memories could only last for only a few seconds before it decays or be overwritten by new information. While they last, sensory memories contain very specific information about the stimulus. Sensory memories allow us to take a quick look at our surrounding and to retain the information for only a short period. Only information that is transferred to another level of memory will be preserved no more than for a few seconds.

Even if sensory system does not send any information anymore, sensory memory still can take hold of a short impression of sensory information. Sensory is closely related to with the transduction of energy (change form...
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