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Interpreting

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ISSN 1384-6647
E-ISSN 1569-982X

<p><em>Interpreting </em>serves as a medium for research and debate on all aspects of interpreting, in its various modes, modalities (spoken and signed) and settings (conferences, media, courtroom, healthcare and others). Striving to promote our understanding of the socio-cultural, cognitive and linguistic dimensions of interpreting as an activity and process, the journal covers theoretical and methodological concerns, explores the history and professional ecology of interpreting and its role in society, and addresses current issues in professional practice and training.</p><p><em>Interpreting </em>encourages cross-disciplinary inquiry from such fields as anthropology, cognitive science, cultural studies, discourse analysis, language planning, linguistics, neurolinguistics, psychology and sociology, as well as translation studies.</p><p><em>Interpreting </em>publishes original articles, reports, discussions and book reviews.</p>


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  • Users’ experiences of interpreters: The critical role of trust
    • Authors: Rosalind Edwards, Bogusia Temple, and Claire Alexander
    • Source: Interpreting, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2005, pages: 77 –95
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    • This article explores the experiences of people who need interpreters to gain access to and use of a range of services, drawing on semi-structured interviews with people from Chinese, Kurdish, Bangladeshi, Indian and Polish minority ethnic groups living in Manchester and London, UK. We describe our research methodology, and place the study in its political and community context. We look at the qualities the people we interviewed considered made for a good interpreter, and their experiences using both professional interpreters, and family and friends as interpreters. We show how personal character and trust are important in people’s understandings of good interpreting, leading them to prefer interpreters drawn from their own informal networks. We consider the implications of this for policy and practice.
  • Roles of community interpreters in pediatrics as seen by interpreters, physicians and researchers
    • Author: Yvan Leanza
    • Source: Interpreting, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2005, pages: 167 –192
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    • This paper is an attempt at defining more clearly the various roles of community interpreters and the processes implicitly connected with each of them. While the role of the interpreter is a subject that has been widely discussed in the social science literature, it is less present in the biomedical one, which tends to emphasize the importance of interpreting in overcoming language barriers, rather than as a means of building bridges between patients and physicians. Hence, studies looking at interpreted medical interactions suggest that the presence of an interpreter is more beneficial to the healthcare providers than to the patient. This statement is illustrated by the results of a recent study in a pediatric outpatient clinic in Switzerland. It is suggested that, in the consultations, interpreters act mainly as linguistic agents and health system agents and rarely as community agents. This is consistent with the pediatricians’ view of the interpreter as mainly a translating machine. A new typology of the varying roles of the interpreter is proposed, outlining the relation to cultural differences maintained therein. Some recommendations for the training of interpreters and healthcare providers are suggested.
  • Working memory and expertise in simultaneous interpreting
    • Authors: Minhua Liu, Diane L. Schallert, and Patrick J. Carroll
    • Source: Interpreting, Volume 6, Issue 1, 2004, pages: 19 –42
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    • This study describes an experiment that aimed to determine if performance differences exist in simultaneous interpreting by individuals with similar general cognitive abilities, but different skills specific to the task of simultaneous interpreting. Professional interpreters’ performance in simultaneous interpreting from English into Mandarin was compared to that of two groups of student interpreters, beginners and advanced. The results showed that the professional interpreters who were not different from students in their general working memory capacity outperformed student interpreters.This difference was attributed, at least in part, to the development of specific skills in managing competing demands on limited cognitive resources. One important domain-specific skill observed in this study is the ability to select more important ideas from the speech input under conditions where stringent task demands jeopardize completeness and accuracy of the output.Professional interpreters’ generally superior performance is discussed withinthe descriptive framework of working memory theory.

  • Working memory performance in expert and novice interpreters
    • Authors: Barbara Köpke, and Jean-Luc Nespoulous
    • Source: Interpreting, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2006, pages: 1 –23
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    • Simultaneous interpreting is generally assumed to be particularly demanding with respect to cognitive resources such as attention and working memory, which are thought to gradually increase with professional practice. Experimental data to corroborate this assumption is still rather sparse, however. Here we report an in-depth investigation of working memory capacity among 21 professional interpreters (experts), 18 second-year interpreting students (novices) and two control groups (20 multilinguals and 20 students). Tests involved either short-term retention alone; short-term retention and processing in a recall task with articulatory suppression, a listening span task, and a category and rhyme probe task; or attention alone in a unilingual and bilingual Stroop test. No between-group differences in simple span tasks and the Stroop test were found. Significant group effects were observed in free recall with articulatory suppression, in the category probe task and in the listening span task. The best performance was always produced by the novice interpreters rather than by the experts. These findings are discussed in relation to (a) the novice–expert distinction and the role of working memory in the development of interpreting skills, and (b) the nature of the task and possible strategies involved.
  • The bilingual individual
    • Author: Francois Grosjean
    • Source: Interpreting, Volume 2, Issue 1-2, 1997, pages: 163 –187
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    • This article presents a general overview of the adult bilingual individual. First, the bilingual is defined and discussed in terms of the complementary principle, i.e. the fact that bilinguals acquire and use their languages for different purposes, in different domains of life, with different people. Next, the various language modes bilinguals find themselves in during their everyday interactions are examined. These range from the monolingual mode when they are communicating with monolinguals (and they have to deactivate all but one language) to the bilingual mode when they are interacting with other bilinguals who share their two (or more) languages and with whom they can mix languages if they so wish (i.e. code-switch and borrow). The article ends with a rapid survey of the psycholinguistics of bilingualism and, in particular, of how bilinguals access their lexicon when perceiving mixed speech. The regular bilingual is compared to the interpreter bilingual whenever possible.
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