Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Barry Slaughter Olsen

Associate 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). In 2009, together with another the 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 2014, Professor Olsen, together with fellow MIIS Professor Holly Mikkelson, published the English translation of From Paris to Nuremberg: The birth of conference interpreting (John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2014). Originally written in Spanish by Jesús Baigorri-Jalón, the book is a seminal work on the genesis of conference interpreting and chronicles its development from the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to the end of the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.

Outside of class, he continues to work as a conference interpreter. His most recent assignments include the 2014 Ibero-American Presidential Summit in Veracruz, and the G20 Summit in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the annual International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC).

Professor Olsen’s research over the last five years helped to create a patented cloud-based multi-channel audio conferencing system that makes remote simultaneous interpreting for teleconferences possible. The system is now used by organizations around the world to conduct virtual meetings in multiple languages with the help of remote simultaneous interpretation. He continues to research the use of technology to provide interpreting services in new ways.

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.

Publications

Interpreting in the 21st Century: Bigger, More Diverse, Different, Olsen, Barry Slaughter, GALAxy Q3 Newsletter, September 2014.

Sound Brazilian! App. Intended for speakers of Spanish who would like to learn or are already learning Portuguese, it offers more than 50 tips on the words and phrases that speakers of Spanish who are learning Brazilian Portuguese find the trickiest to use correctly. B. Olsen, E. Brown and G. Silva, April 2014.

One Interpreting Practice Book to Train Them All, Olsen, Barry Slaughter, The ATA Chronicle, September 2013.

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. 

Translations 

From Paris to Nuremberg: The birth of conference interpreting, (Translated from the original Spanish by Holly Mikkelson and Barry Slaughter Olsen). Jesús Baigorri-Jalón, John Benjamins, June 2014

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

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