Akten des 44. Linguistischen Kolloquiums 2009 in Sofia
Edited By Maria Grozeva-Minkova and Boris Naimushin
The interpreter as performer
← 278 | 279 → Boris Naimushin (Sofia)
Browsing through the JSTOR archive, I came across some interesting testimonials from US civil affairs officers regarding the use of interpreters. As part of their preparation to assume duties in Italy in 1944–1945, these officers received three-month Italian language instruction at Harvard University in the framework of the US Army’s Civil Affairs Training Program.
The Army’s Civil Affairs Training Program was an extension of the training instituted at the School of Military Government at Charlottesville, Virginia, in the spring of 1942. Recognition of the importance of the administration of territories occupied by the Allied military forces coupled with high demand for civil affairs offices running beyond the capacity of the School of Military Government led to the involvement of ten US universities in the training. The objective in language instruction was to provide maximum proficiency in speaking and understanding the spoken colloquial language with 120 to 136 contact hours during the two months including at least 80 hours in conversational drill sessions with not more than 8 officers present (Harris 1943: 694; Hyneman 1944: 342 etc.).
Many of the graduates of the Italian language program wrote personal letters of appreciation to Robert J. Clements, who organized the Italian instruction in Harvard’s School for Overseas Administration.
Cautioned by Robert Clements and other instructors not to count upon native interpreters in Italy “too hopefully”, an officer expresses reservations about the value of such interpreters reiterating his firm resolve...
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