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Real Bridges di Stamp Jerold Wilfred
Interpreting, Translation, & Consulting
Interpreter, Translator, & Consultant - Italian-to-English/Multilanguage Projects/Business Services
Via Arch. B. Mancini, 13
97013 Comiso (RG) Italy
VAT NO. IT01109500880
The Taormina G-7 Summit
When the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights was tasked with monitoring the right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly for the 43rd G-7 Summit to be held in Taormina, Sicily, in May 2017, they asked me to translate documents and interpret for a meeting that would be held with assembly organizers, the local police force, the Carabineers responsible for security at the G7, and the Mayor of Giardino Naxos. In short, their task was to ensure the assembly organizers, Carabineers, and police forces had coordinated in such as easy as to guarantee the Freedom of Assembly for protestors while providing security for the world leaders at the event.
Before the event, I translated the OSCE documents they requested and familiarized myself with the specific jargon I would need to know.
This job was particularly interesting because of my customer's extraordinarily friendly personalities and the police officials' and security forces' professionalism and preparedness.
The most challenging part was when a Colonel of the Italian Carabineer force began talking spontaneously for approximately ten minutes detailing how the police gear and response would intensify progressively as the marchers passed certain geographical barriers and approached a certain restricted area leading to the Summit. Far off from the restricted area, the police would wear normal attire and bear no arms whatsoever. Beyond a certain barrier, they would have shields and batons. At another point still, they would bear arms that fired rubber bullets, have canisters of tear gas, and employ water cannons. There were machine guns and armored vehicles at the entrance of the armored vehicles!
As the Colonel described the active tactics they would employ to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to the G-7, guaranteeing safety for the world leaders and demonstrators themselves, I was very impressed with the organization and professionalism. The police had to protect the right to assemble and, at the same time, provide effective security for the world leaders attending the Summit.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
How was I able to interpret the Colonel's lengthy presentation without leaving out any salient details? … With the method of the Loci.
While the Colonel spoke, I created mental images of his discourse, converting key concepts into an animated series of cartoon-like images, which I immediately associated with various "loci" on the wall behind the Colonel. I used absurd, exaggerated, and funny images that overall provided a vivid, easy-to-remember account of the Colonel's presentation. I complimented this imagery with notetaking for long numbers or odd names.
When my turn came to interpret, I looked at the wall, and since this is an effective technique, I was immediately reminded of the image associated with each given loci. These images, in turn, brought to mind the key concept of the discussion, which I was able to relate in sufficient detail. I laughed to myself when the Colonel, facing me with his back to the wall, turned around to see what I the heck I was looking at!.
I had taught myself this technique in my high school years while reading The Memory Book by Jerry Lucas. Then, in college, I had successfully applied the technique to study my academic subjects, and I had used it throughout my professional career to carry out my work.
I felt satisfied and somewhat proud because I had just accomplished the most challenging part, and it had gone very well.