Conscious monitoring of attention during simultaneous interpretation
This study addresses for the first time on an experimental level the question of whether different modalities of conscious monitoring of attention (normal condition, attention focalization on the input, attention focalization on the output, condition with two voices) may affect the number and the type of mistakes made by simultaneous interpreters in different situations. The major results of the study are the following: (i) While the overall number of mistakes is influenced either by the translation direction, or by any of the four tested attention focalization modalities, a particular type of mistakes, i.e. those leading to loss of information, occur more often during active SI (from L1 into L2, i.e. from A to B) of difficult texts; (ii) during passive SI of difficult texts, missing information mistake are less frequent when interpreters listen to the incoming message with their left ear only; (iii) in active SI of difficult texts, attention should not be focussed on the incoming message in particular, so as to avoid so-called added mistakes. These results show that during simultaneous interpretation, conscious attention focalization on the input or on the output does not influence the interpreter's overall performance, however with an important exception: during active interpretation it could be useful for interpreters to focus their attention on the output, since this may help them to reduce in particular false starts, pauses, hesitations, corrections, additions and morphosyntactic mistakes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1996
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- International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting