The impact of non-native English on students' interpreting performance

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English has become the world’s <i>lingua franca </i>and dominant conference language. Consequently, interpreters are increasingly confronted with nonnative speakers whose pronunciation differs from Standard English. Non-native source texts which deviate from familiar acoustic-phonetic patterns make perception more difficult for the interpreter, who, according to Gile’s Effort Models, is forced to devote a considerable part of his processing to the <i>Listening and Analysis Effort</i>. For students and novices in the interpreting profession such situations are particularly difficult to cope with. The paper describes some of the major findings of a study carried out by Dominika Kodrnja (2001) as a diploma thesis under the author’s supervision to demonstrate the detrimental effect of a strong non-native accent on students’ interpreting performance.


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