Minimal Pair

Resources for Court Interpreters

When a professional interpreter manages to carve out time for practice, the temptation can be to use that valuable time simply interpreting.  However, just as a professional violinist improves by practicing technique work as often as symphonies, an interpreter who invests the time developing basic skills can quickly progress to quality interpreting.

To that end, the exercises under this tab are designed to help you develop and improve the cognitive skills and mental agility you'll need to interpret successfully.  Access them before appointments to help yourself warm up.  Hold onto them and try to interpret them as your skills improve. Come back to them again and again to keep your technique sharp and your interpreting skills honed.  Let's begin!

Shadowing Exercises

Shadowing is a great technique exercise that can help you wake up your brain before a day's work and improve your pronunciation and comprehension.  To perform this exercise, adapt the following instructions to suit your needs.

  1. Gather headphones and a recording device.
  2. Play the recording through your headphones.
  3. Repeat what you hear in the same language you hear it.  Record yourself as you repeat.
  4. Review your recording and compare it to the scripts, which will soon be available for purchase.  What do you notice?  What are you doing well?  Where did your comprehension lag?  Why?
  5. Return to the exercise some day down the line to see if you've improved.


Shadowing Exercise #1 - Shadow. Alternate exercises:  Substitute synonyms for the words you hear; interpret.

Shadowing Exercise #2 - Shadow.  Alternate exercise: Interpret into your target language.


Shadowing Exercise #3 - Shadow.  Altermate exercise: Interpret.


Shadowing Exercise #4 - Shadow.  Alternate exercise:  Interpret.