Eye tracking sight translation performed by trainee interpreters

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This paper presents results of an eye tracking study involving sight translation. It was assumed that interpreting trainees at a more advanced stage of training would display more efficient reading patterns than their less experienced colleagues. Eighteen participants with either one year or two years of interpreting training were asked to sight translate a text from A language (Polish) into B language (English). The text included such independent variables as target sentence type (simple SVO sentences and complex non-SVO sentences) and low frequency lexical items. The dependent variables included measures assumed to indicate lexical access and syntactic processing, such as fixation count, fixation length and observation length. The study found no group effect in total task time and processing of lexical items, which indicates that one year of training might not be sufficient to show differences in the sight translation skill development. The study also revealed that sentence readability could be a better predictor of processing load than syntax and, as expected, that more readable sentences generated less cognitive load than less readable ones.


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