Every language is unique in itself and requires a specific approach while processing speeches for interpreting. Uzbek has been developing through centuries enriching its vocabulary by borrowing as well as contributing to the glossaries of other languages. It goes without saying that the whole structure of the Uzbek language is based on the experience, history and culture of the nation. Latest developments in Uzbekistan, its achievements and present position in the world have turned simultaneous interpreting from Uzbek into English into a topical issue.
Through years Training Center for Interpreters of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy has been training interpreters most of whom were oriented to translate from English into Russian or from Russian into English. It was done not only due to certain traditional acceptations, there were a number of other reasons influencing this state of affairs. A common stereotype, a myth which reigned supreme within that period of time consisted in the idea which claimed that interpreting from Uzbek into English in simultaneous mode presented an insurmountable difficulty. It was considered that the main reason for this issue was Uzbek language sentence structure, its syntax. As we all know very well, a verb in Uzbek language comes at the end of the sentence and has a fixed position, whereas in English it directly comes after the subject as you can see it in the following example:
“Men kecha maktabga bordim” while in English the verb comes right after the subject: “I went to school yesterday”.
It’s clear that to interpret a speech delivered in Uzbek and keep an appropriate pace seems to be rather difficult. We should also take into account the fact that Uzbek speakers not rarely tend to switch into longish ornamental expression of ideas which also requires certain processing to make it clear to the English speaking people.
We have tried different approaches to overcome the problem under investigation. Not once we experienced setbacks while trying to interpret from Uzbek into English. The main drawback we used to encounter was the fact that the interpreter had to wait till the end of the sentence to hear the verb. It would require him to make a long pause so that he could give the correct translation. However, while working in simultaneous mode there is no time to wait for the end of the sentence as there is a threat that you can seriously leg behind the orator and miss his other ideas. At the same time, falling behind the orator exerts strong pressure on the interpreter and he can enter into race with him and that can result in mechanical translation which makes interpreting loose and inconvenient to listen to.
Continuous discussions of this problem in the course of our classes, seminars and roundtables brought us to the following solution: we had to find the way to be able to bridge the gap between the verb we had been pending for and the pause which inevitably aroused in this situation. In the hope to tackle this problem, we tried to apply various approaches while experimenting and exercising in the booth. In order to avoid pauses we started slipping in neutral words and sentences into speeches under interpreting. As for the standard interpretation tools, like reformulation, generalization compression and others, we tried to as much as possible adapt them to our needs. One of the methods which helped us a lot was application of anticipation. We’ll try to demonstrate our approach in the following example.
“Mamlakatimizning barcha hududi kabi poytaxtimizda ham sanoatni jadal rivojlantirish, kichik biznes va xususiy tadbirkorlikni qo‘llab-quvvatlash borasida keng ko‘lamli ishlar amalga oshirilmoqda”
If we had not heard this sentence clearly or had to wait to listen to its final part, we would have used a neutral sentence at the beginning of it so that we could have extra time to listen to the remaining part of the sentence to reformulate it. Here is the translated version:
“It goes without saying (neutral sentence) entrepreneurship and small businesses are steadily developing all over the country (reformulated sentence)”.
If we happen to interpret a speaker whose rate of delivery is too high, we can use generalization and compression. Changing the sentences from active voice into passive – is also helpful when interpreting from Uzbek into English.
As we have mentioned above, anticipation, as a tool, proved to be rather efficient too. While anticipating we pronounce a verb before we actually hear it relying on our background knowledge and overall meaning of the sentence. In the following example we’ll try to show how we use anticipation to help us interpret from Uzbek into English.
“2017-2021-yillarda mamlakatimizning iqtisodiy, siyosiy, ijtimoiy barqarorligini, fuqarolik jamiyatining har bir bo‘g‘inini, avvalombor, oila institutini, shuningdek, yoshlarga oid davlat siyosatini…(Notice, we haven’t heard the verb yet)”
“During 2017-2021 we should reinforce (anticipated verb) our policy to provide economic, political and social development of the country. At the same time, we should fuel growth into social institutions such as family institution and provide a good youth policy. (reformulated passage)
As you can see, it is possible to anticipate the verb with the help of background knowledge or making conclusion from the key words of the source language sentence such as “iqtisodiy, siyosiy, ijtimoiy barqarorlik”, “davlat siyosati”. What usually comes to our minds when we hear the word “policy”? We usually say “reinforce policy”, “implement or carry out policy” etc. If we keep abreast of the recent developments, we should be aware of the fact that in 2017-2021 the government of Uzbekistan is planning to “Reinforcing its policy” in different areas. So, in this sentence the word “Reinforce” seems to be appropriate to use.
Now that we have acquired a thorough grasp of what Uzbek-English interpreting is, we are looking for the ways to upgrade it. While practicing simultaneous interpreting we face many challenges and issues to be taken into account. We’d like to mention a few of them. These are the problems of pat phrases, terms and idioms usage. In our humble experience we have encountered these problems quite frequently. There is a great possibility that while working in simultaneous mode you can come to a deadlock, e.g. trying to translate an unknown term or an idiom. Due to this reason, continuous study of high frequency terms, idioms and pat phrases, especially in the fields of politics, business, law and others have become a serious part of our classes at TCI UWED. Now we know the rule to be followed by conference-interpreters: careful preparation for a given event saves you from undesirable flops.
Interpreting from Uzbek into English is different as compared to English-Russian interpreting. It requires specific approaches and ability to effectively use interpreting tools. Regular exercises at home and in the classroom help a lot to improve simultaneous interpreting from Uzbek into English. We hope that TCI UWED recommendations and hints adduced here will fuel growth in the number of students who are willing to try Uzbek- English simultaneous interpreting and develop their interpreting skills.
Sherzod Toshpulatov, Sanjar Norkuvatov