Photo
Office Location
McCone Building 205

Email Address
laura.burian@miis.edu

Phone Number
831.647.3554

Language(s)
中文

Laura Burian

Associate Professor, GSTILE-T&I


Prior to coming to MIIS to teach in the year 2000, I worked as an in-house translator, interpreter, and legal assistant in the Beijing office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and freelanced as both a translator and interpreter in the US, mainland China, and Taiwan.

I am still active in my freelance work, primarily as an interpreter. My private sector clients are mostly in the fields of law, medicine, computers, online technologies, mobile internet, venture capital, new energies, biology, human rights, and education. In my work for the US government (including the Departments of State, Energy, and Commerce, the US Embassy in Beijing, etc.) I have been lucky enough to work behind the scenes for a number of high-level meetings between the US and PRC. As proof, my picture can be found in a book by former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, and I have been caught on film interpreting for former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, among others.

As much as I enjoy the world of translation and interpretation, my first love is teaching, for I learn more from my students than they could ever imagine. I enjoy sharing my experience while teaching interpretation skills not only here at MIIS, but also as a guest lecturer in conferences, workshops, and universities in the US and internationally. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with an incredible group of colleagues and students here at MIIS. I also feel privileged to have a front-row seat as my students grow and blossom into accomplished professionals.

I was honored to be given the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 2004, the Allen Griffiths Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005, and the Dr. Leslie Eliason Teacher of Excellence Award in 2008.

Expertise

Simultaneous and consecutive interpretation of Chinese and English, pedagogy for teaching simultaneous and consecutive interpretation.

Education

- MA, Translation and Interpretation, Monterey Institute of International Studies
- BA, Comparative Area Studies, Duke University
- Study abroad, National Taiwan Normal University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Nanjing 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.

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

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TICH 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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TICH 8527 - Intrm Intrp-Siml 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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TICH 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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TICH 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 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

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TICH 8645 - Adv Intrp II-Consc to 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 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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