Ever heard of the Memory Palace Technique?

Did you know that according to scientific research, for approximately two-thirds of the population visual memory is the dominant type of memory? So if you use memory as part of your professional career it’s crucial to use the best visual memory methods available.

The  Memory Palace technique is a way of memorising information by placing each detail along a visual map in your mind. This technique is also very effective in facilitating the recall of useful information. So why is this method not widely used in interpreting today? 

The art of listening to people speaking and relaying the information within a few minutes while not forgetting any of the valuable information, seems like the ideal setting for the Memory Palace technique. There is a big opportunity for the interpreters out there today to excel in their field by familiarising themselves with this powerful memory technique .

At TRANSLIT Pro we recognise the fact that the interpreter needs to remove all of the potential stresses and make their jobs as easy as possible. We follow the KISS principle, so why not Keep It Simple, Silly?

Svetlana O’Farrell is the Training Development Manager here at TRANSLIT Pro and she realised early that the Memory Palace technique was a very valuable tool for interpreters.

“I developed this technique for myself many years ago step by step, because I found it very useful and effective,” she said.

“It was only a couple of years ago that I realised that it was a well-known memory technique taught to public speakers, but I think my use of it in interpreting was pretty unique. 

“There is this idea of creating a memory palace. Once you have done a bit of preparation and given some time to create this Memory Palace structure for yourself, there are no limits to how you can use it. It is a simple technique, but when done correctly, it can be very powerful. 

“It was a no-brainer to package my own knowledge and experience of the Memory Palace technique into a course for interpreters.”

Ms O’Farrell is a professional interpreter with 30 years of experience in language services. And Memory Triggers and Note-taking Techniques for Interpreters is her latest TRANSLIT Pro course to receive CPD accreditation. 

Interpreters will earn three CPD points on successful completion of the course while it is available as an on-demand online course or as a live webinar .

Ms O’Farrell believes it is important that interpreters take control of their skill set and understand that they can make interpreting more accessible with the correct technique.  

“It can be very helpful. In the course I give nearly 30 percent of time to that particular technique because it is the novel approach for how you can use it ininterpreting,” she said.

TRANSLIT Pro is the TRANSLIT training department that was created as a result of the global pandemic last year. And this is the second of TRANSLIT Pro’s courses to become CPD accredited after the Community Interpreting Training Programme, in April. 

Ms O’Farrell is excited about the latest development with her favoured memory technique now recognised as part of this course.

“There is a simple visual trigger technique when a person is talking about something and you create visual images in your head. Images are like photographs they are easier to remember. You think back about the image and it reminds you about what you need to say as an interpreter,” she said. 

“The memory palace is an extension of the technique where you create a structure. You have these pictures like in picture frames around the wall. It makes it more logical and allows you to use many more visual triggers than you otherwise would be able to handle. 

“I developed it from practice and was using it thinking everybody does that. Then when I realised that it is used in some instances, but not really in interpreting, I worked to improve it and adapt it to use in consecutive interpreting, specifically”.

Here are some testimonials from the past students: 

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A very interesting topic also for professionals who’ve been working for many years: sometimes we tend to forget the things that we learnt at Uni. I especially appreciated the part in the visual triggers. The speaker was clear and well-prepared. /Michela Benuzzi/

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I have just attended your webinar “How to Use Memory Triggers in Interpreting” and it was really interesting. I have already known the Memory Palace technique, but I would have never imagined to use it for Consecutive. Thanks for the opportunity to attend this webinar! /Mariella Fiorillo /

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This Webinar was inspiring. I found all the techniques useful to enhance memory skills for a better understanding and quality of the  interpretation. /Nisia Puglia /

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It was such a great opportunity to attend your online workshop entitled “How to use memory triggers in interpreting”, as I am a new interpreter and your techniques really helped me and will be useful in the near future.   /Nikoletta Hondou/

Daragh Small

Daragh Small

Daragh Small hails from Galway in the west of Ireland and is the PR Manager at TRANSLIT. He is a Master of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts graduate from National University of Ireland, Galway, with over ten years’ experience as a journalist, editor and communicator.