Photo
Office Location
IIRC Building 5

Email Address
barry.olsen@miis.edu

Phone Number
831.647.4628

Language(s)
Español
Русский
português

Related Links

Multilingual Communication in a Globalized World: Why English Isn't Enough 

Interview with Found in Translation co-author Nataly Kelly

Barry Slaughter Olsen

Assistant Professor


Professor Olsen has been working as a conference interpreter and translator since 1993. Before joining our faculty, he was a translator in residence at American University in Washington, D.C. He has taught various courses on simultaneous and consecutive interpreting in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Over the years he has interpreted for the U.S. State Department, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, National Geographic Society, C-SPAN Television, and many other public and private sector clients. He is an active member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and the American Translators Association (ATA). In 2009, together with another Monterey Institute alum, he founded InterpretAmerica--a forum dedicated to raising the profile of interpreting.

Expertise

Simultaneous and consecutive interpretation, interpreter training and education, multilingual negotiations, political and diplomatic discourse, and interpreting and technology.

Recent Accomplishments

  • In 2011, Professor Olsen was instrumental in the negotiation of a memorandum of understanding signed with the Organization of American States for the creation of a postgraduate conference interpreter and translator training experience for qualified Monterey Institute graduates.
  • Outside of class, he continues to work as a conference interpreter. His most recent assignments include the G20 Presidential Summit in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the annual International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC).
  • Professor Olsen’s current research is focused on the creation of a cloud-based multi-channel audio conferencing system that makes remote simultaneous interpreting for teleconferences possible.

Publications

Interpreting and the Digital Revolution. Olsen, Barry Slaughter, The ATA Chronicle, January 2012.

Interpreting: Full Speed Ahead, Blazing a Trail Toward National Unity. Bancroft, Marjory, with Olsen, Barry S. and Allen, Katharine, 2011.

Brief of Amici Curiae: Interpreting and Translation Professors in Support of Petitioner, Brief submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Kouichi Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd., 2011.

How Do You Do That? (Translated from the original Portuguese by Barry Slaughter Olsen). Magalhaes, Ewandro, The ATA Chronicle, April 2010.

Education

MA, Conference Interpretation (English, Spanish, Russian), Monterey Institute of International Studies, BA, Spanish Translation, Brigham Young University

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

TIAG 8604 - Practicum in Interpretation      

Facilitates the transition from the classroom to the first professional assignment by offering students a wide range of interpretation experiences. Advanced interpreting students become comfortable with working in settings in which different modes of interpretation are called for and where relay interpretation is the norm. Students provide simultaneous and consecutive interpretation at Monterey Institute public events and taped conferences, for Institute interdisciplinary courses, and as part of community outreach; they also work intensively together in multilingual practice groups during the semester. Reinforces the concept of reflective practice, requiring students to evaluate their own performance as well as that of their peers. Students are expected to complete an interpretation portfolio.

Spring 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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TIRU 8501 - Intro to Interp into English      

Introduces students to conference interpretation in general and consecutive interpretation in particular. Lays a foundation for the development of professional skills in consecutive interpretation, emphasizing the ability to understand and analyze a message in the source language (SL) and convey it in the target language (TL) in a straightforward and clear manner. Develops students’ ability to identify, analyze, and paraphrase the meaning in the SL and establish logical relations between its components. Emphasis is placed on active listening and concentration skills, memory, the ability to abstract information for subsequent recall, and basic elements of note-taking. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret extemporaneous passages that are on topics familiar to them and are between three and five minutes in length.

In language-specific sessions and joint sessions with other language programs, students are introduced to the skill of consecutive interpreting in both theory and practice. They practice listening to and repeating the content of passages of increasing length and difficulty. Students hone their public-speaking skills by developing and delivering speeches. Content is interpreted on topics from daily life, current events and the media, and general areas of personal interest to students.

Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Fall 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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TIRU 8525 - Intrm Intrp-Consc into English      

Intermediate Interpretation – Consecutive and Simultaneous

Builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Introduction to Interpretation. Consists of both language-specific and joint sessions with other language programs.

In consecutive, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and further develops note-taking techniques. Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation. Students also expand their active vocabulary to include the terms and idioms that frequently occur in extemporaneous speeches. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are delivered extemporaneously, are of moderate difficulty, and are derived from professional settings. These passages vary from one to several paragraphs in length depending upon language combination, direction, and source content.

In simultaneous, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode in the booth. Begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are between eight and ten minutes in length.

Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with some emphasis placed on business and economics. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Course prerequisites: Introduction to Interpretation or the equivalent

Spring 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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TIRU 8527 - Intrm Intrp-Siml into English      

The course introduces basic skills in simultaneous conference interpretation from Russian into English. Various contemporary texts in Russian by a variety of speakers (mass media, presentations, conference papers) are used to practice simultaneous interpretation skills in class and to illustrate the process of interpretation. Classes include interpretation sessions, theoretical discussions and exercises. Major topics covered by the course are: stages of simultaneous interpretation from Russian into English, Russian language source text analysis, semantic transformations, input-output lag management, output quality control, mental preparedness. Special attention is paid to voice quality and voice training as needed by individual students. Students will have an opportunity to build basic simultaneous interpretation skills and improve their knowledge of Russian realia and their cultural knowledge to prepare themselves for more advanced texts and exercises. Reading assignments are required.

Final semester grade is calculated based on the midterm exam (30%), the semester exam (30%) and classroom performance (40%).

Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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TIRU 8635 - Adv Intrp I Consc into English      

This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring interpretation knowledge and skills up to the professional level. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year interpretation courses to produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting. Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on business, economics, science, technology, and other topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the language combination in question. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.

In consecutive interpretation, students prepare by researching topics before each session, with emphasis on sequential logic in notetaking and accurate terminology in delivery. Students continue to hone their skills by diagnosing and correcting problems at all stages from listening through delivery, while progressing to increasingly difficult and challenging material. In simultaneous interpretation, the techniques learned in the previous semester are consolidated, which enables students to polish their delivery and language register. Focuses on nuance of meaning, accuracy of interpretation, research and preparation for conferences, and glossary development. Special attention is given to maintaining concentration while under significant psychological stress. Students learn to recognize SL discourse patterns and render them effectively in TL.

At the end of the course, students are able to interpret difficult passages that are derived from professional settings. In consecutive, students are able to interpret passages up to several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous interpretation, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Fall 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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TIRU 8645 - Adv Intrp II-Consc to English      

The course is designed to continue building students’ consecutive interpretation skills for the Russian into English combination with the goal of preparing for Professional Exams. Heavy emphasis is placed on learning to interpret high register political texts from Russian into English as may be done in the context of major international organizations. Topics include: current political events, international organizations, diplomatic protocol, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, resolution of political and economic conflicts. Students are expected to be able to interpret in a variety of simulated professional situations.

Final semester grade is calculated based on the midterm exam (30%), the semester exam (30%) and classroom performance (40%).

Spring 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

TISP 8501 - Intro to Interp into English      

Introduces students to conference interpretation in general and consecutive interpretation in particular. Lays a foundation for the development of professional skills in consecutive interpretation, emphasizing the ability to understand and analyze a message in the source language (SL) and convey it in the target language (TL) in a straightforward and clear manner. Develops students’ ability to identify, analyze, and paraphrase the meaning in the SL and establish logical relations between its components. Emphasis is placed on active listening and concentration skills, memory, the ability to abstract information for subsequent recall, and basic elements of note-taking. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret extemporaneous passages that are on topics familiar to them and are between three and five minutes in length.

In language-specific sessions and joint sessions with other language programs, students are introduced to the skill of consecutive interpreting in both theory and practice. They practice listening to and repeating the content of passages of increasing length and difficulty. Students hone their public-speaking skills by developing and delivering speeches. Content is interpreted on topics from daily life, current events and the media, and general areas of personal interest to students.

Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

TISP 8525 - Intrm Intrp-Consc into English      

Intermediate Interpretation – Consecutive and Simultaneous

Builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Introduction to Interpretation. Consists of both language-specific and joint sessions with other language programs.

In consecutive, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type. Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and further develops note-taking techniques. Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation. Students also expand their active vocabulary to include the terms and idioms that frequently occur in extemporaneous speeches. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are delivered extemporaneously, are of moderate difficulty, and are derived from professional settings. These passages vary from one to several paragraphs in length depending upon language combination, direction, and source content.

In simultaneous, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode in the booth. Begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style. At the end of the course, students are able to interpret passages that are between eight and ten minutes in length.

Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with some emphasis placed on business and economics. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Course prerequisites: Introduction to Interpretation or the equivalent

Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

TISP 8637 - Adv Intrp I Simul into English      

This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring interpretation knowledge and skills up to the professional level. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year interpretation courses to produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting. Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on business, economics, science, technology, and other topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the language combination in question. Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.

In consecutive interpretation, students prepare by researching topics before each session, with emphasis on sequential logic in notetaking and accurate terminology in delivery. Students continue to hone their skills by diagnosing and correcting problems at all stages from listening through delivery, while progressing to increasingly difficult and challenging material. In simultaneous interpretation, the techniques learned in the previous semester are consolidated, which enables students to polish their delivery and language register. Focuses on nuance of meaning, accuracy of interpretation, research and preparation for conferences, and glossary development. Special attention is given to maintaining concentration while under significant psychological stress. Students learn to recognize SL discourse patterns and render them effectively in TL.

At the end of the course, students are able to interpret difficult passages that are derived from professional settings. In consecutive, students are able to interpret passages up to several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous interpretation, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Fall 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

TISP 8647 - Adv Intrp II-Siml into English      

Advanced Interpretation II – Consecutive and Simultaneous

This course is the counterpart to Advanced Interpretation I. Students are expected to interpret speeches of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional settings. Provides final preparation for the Professional Examinations.

In consecutive interpretation, emphasis is placed on both science and technology and political rhetoric, requiring particular attention to nuance and tone. Students learn the vernacular of political speeches and other challenging material while sharpening listening, processing, and notetaking functions.

In simultaneous interpretation, advanced instruction is given for difficult speeches. Emphasizes following the logic of complex scientific and technical discourse, and remaining faithful to the style and tone of persuasive political discourse. Students are also introduced to simultaneous interpretation with text. They learn how to draw upon outlines, transcripts, slides and transparencies, and other written materials to enhance the accuracy and completeness of their interpretation. Emphasis is placed on text preparation strategies and efficient use of textual materials while on the air.

Content on a wide range of topics and current events is interpreted, with emphasis placed on topics congruent with current market demand for interpretation in the relevant language combination(s). Course assignments include readings and research on class topics, presentations, practice, graded exercises, and peer and self-assessment.

At the end of the course, students are expected to interpret difficult speeches in professional settings. In consecutive, students are called upon to interpret passages that are several paragraphs in length. In simultaneous, students are able to interpret passages that are between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Course prerequisites: Advanced Interpretation I or the equivalent

Spring 2010 - MIIS, Spring 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

More Information »