Conrado Portugal

I loved history in high school but I decided to study Conference Interpreting. I didn’t know that you could actually become a part of history or, better said, be a witness of how history unfolds while working as a conference interpreter during international negotiations, at trade union meetings, in medical symposia on healing an illness or at events to help developing countries. I never would have fathomed that as an interpreter, I would have so many doors open up to me, which are otherwise closed to others. I never would have dreamt that I would go to so many places, meet so many interesting people and learn so many different things from the assignments I have done. That’s why I love my profession.

As an active member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), I am particularly involved in the outreach programs and initiatives of AIIC (through the AIIC's VEGA network). I would like to pass on not only my knowledge and know-how, but also the help that I got from more accomplished colleagues during my studies and later on in my professional life. A sound training in conference interpreting (ideally by practicing conference interpreters) and honest guidance are key to a successful professional start after graduation.

Expertise

Simultaneous and consecutive interpreting: English, French, German into Spanish

Professor Portugal has been working as a freelance conference interpreter and organizing teams of conference interpreters for the last 12 years, mostly in northern Europe: Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Education

MA in Conference Interpreting, Zurich Interpreters’ School, Switzerland

BA in German Literature, University of Salamanca, Spain

Certificate in Medical Translation, University Jaume I, Spain 

Course List

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

TISP 8502 - Intro to Interp into Spanish      

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 2013 - MIIS

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TISP 8636 - Adv Intrp I Consc into Spanish      

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 2013 - MIIS

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TISP 8638 - Adv Intrp I Simul into Spanish      

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 2013 - MIIS

More Information »