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Sight translation and interpreting: A comparative analysis of constraints and failures

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This experimental research describes sight translation by comparing it to simultaneous and consecutive interpreting. Since the beginning of interpreting research, sight translation has mostly been considered as a pedagogical exercise and interpreters are rarely trained in this task per se. However, sight translation, consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting are performed under different conditions, and these determine how cognitive resources are managed and what strategies are adopted. The study compares the performance of six professional interpreters in sight translation, simultaneous interpreting and consecutive interpreting with a view to identifying particular constraints and problems. Results show that interpreters face different difficulties and use different efforts in each mode. Sight translation emerges as a complex and unique technique, whose cognitive demands on the interpreter are by no means less than those of simultaneous and consecutive.
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Keywords: consecutive interpreting; constraints; efforts; listening; oral language; reading; sight translation; simultaneous interpreting; written language

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting
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