Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730



This study addresses cognitive aspects of turn-taking and the role of experience in dialogue interpreting, by investigating the temporal and textual properties of the (i.e. the original utterance and its interpretation). A comparison was made using a video-recorded scripted role-play between eight interpreters, with Swedish-French or Swedish-Spanish as working languages and with different levels of experience. Cognitively challenging long stretches of talk were introduced in both directions of the working languages and analyzed with a multi-modal approach. We identified a number of quantitative measures, such as the number of coupled turns and the time used. Furthermore, we qualitatively analyzed the types of renditions. The findings suggest that the mean length of time of the coupled turn, which we label , is a measure that is not primarily related to interpreting experience but rather reflects the constraints of the interpreter’s working memory. A further finding is that the inexperienced interpreters have a higher percentage of reduced renditions than the experienced interpreters, and this difference is statistically significant.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Arumí Ribas, M., & Vargas-Urpi, M.
    (2017) Strategies in public service interpreting. Interpreting, 19(1), 118–141. 10.1075/intp.19.1.06aru
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.19.1.06aru [Google Scholar]
  2. Babcock, L.
    (2015) The neurocognitive fingerprint of simultaneous interpretation. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzanti, Trieste, Italy.
  3. Barik, H.
    (1973) Simultaneous interpretation: Temporal and quantitative data. Language and Speech, 16(3), 237–270. 10.1177/002383097301600307
    https://doi.org/10.1177/002383097301600307 [Google Scholar]
  4. Cokely, D.
    (1986) The effects of lag time on interpreter errors. Sign Language Studies, 53, 341–375. 10.1353/sls.1986.0025
    https://doi.org/10.1353/sls.1986.0025 [Google Scholar]
  5. Corps, R. E., Gambi, C., & Pickering, M. J.
    (2018) Coordinating utterances during turn-taking: The role of prediction, response preparation, and articulation. Discourse Processes, 55(2), 230–240. doi:  10.1080/0163853X.2017.1330031
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853X.2017.1330031 [Google Scholar]
  6. Dal Fovo, E., & Falbo, C
    (2020) Non-close renditions: Ways and consequences of saying something different in interpreter-mediated healthcare interactions. Health Communication. Advanced online publication. doi:  10.1080/10410236.2020.1735704
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1735704 [Google Scholar]
  7. Davitti, E.
    (2018) Methodological explorations of interpreter-mediated interaction: Novel insights from multimodal analysis. Qualitative Research, 19(1), 7–29. doi:  10.1177/1468794118761492
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794118761492 [Google Scholar]
  8. De Groot, A. M. B.
    (1997) The cognitive study of translation and interpretation: Three approaches. InA. De Groot, J. H. Danks, G. M. Shreve, S. B. Fountain, & M. K. McBeath (Eds.), Cognitive processes in translation and interpretation (pp.25–56). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Englund Dimitrova, B.
    (1991) När två samtalar genom en tredje: Interaktion och icke-verbal kommunikation i medicinska möten med tolk [When two people converse through a third person: Interaction and non-verbal communication in interpreted medical encounters]. Stockholm, Sweden: Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning vid Stockholms universitet.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. (1997) Degree of interpreter responsibility in the interaction process in community interpreting. InS. E. Carr, R. Roberts, A. Dufour, & D. Steyn (Eds.), The critical link: Interpreters in the community (pp.147–164). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.19.17eng
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.19.17eng [Google Scholar]
  11. Englund Dimitrova, B., & Tiselius, E.
    (2016) Cognitive aspects of community interpreting: Toward a process model. InR. Muñoz Martín (Ed.), Reembedding translation process research (pp.195–214). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.128.10eng
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.128.10eng [Google Scholar]
  12. Gavioli, L., & Wadensjö, C.
    (2020) Reflections on doctor question – patient answer sequences and on lay perceptions of close translation. Health Communication. Advanced online publication. doi:  10.1080/10410236.2020.1735699
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1735699 [Google Scholar]
  13. Geiger Poignant, E.
    (2020) Tolkade publika författarsamtal: Berättande och triadisk interaktion över språkgränser [Interpreted public literary conversations. Storytelling and triadic interaction across language boundaries] (Doctoral dissertation). Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. Retrieved fromsu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:1417217
  14. Goldman-Eisler, F.
    (1972) Segmentation of input in simultaneous interpretation. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 1(2), 127–140. 10.1007/BF01068102
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01068102 [Google Scholar]
  15. Heldner, M., & Edlund, J.
    (2010) Pauses, gaps and overlaps in conversations. Journal of Phonetics, 38, 555–568. 10.1016/j.wocn.2010.08.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2010.08.002 [Google Scholar]
  16. Herring, R. E.
    (2018) “I could only think about what I was doing, and that was a lot to think about”: Online self-regulation in dialogue interpreting (Doctoral dissertation). University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved fromhttps://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:108626
  17. Holler, J., Kobin, H., Kendrick, M. C., & Levinson, S. C.
    (2016) Editorial: Turn-taking in human communicative interaction. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1919), 6–9. doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01919
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01919 [Google Scholar]
  18. Lamberger-Felber, H.
    (2001) Text-oriented research into interpreting: Examples from a case-study. Hermes, Journal of Linguistics, 26, 39–63.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Lee, T.-H.
    (2002) Ear voice span in English into Korean simultaneous interpretation. Meta, 47(4), 596–606. 10.7202/008039ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/008039ar [Google Scholar]
  20. Levinson, S. C., and Torreira, F.
    (2015) Timing in turn-taking and its implications for processing models of language. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 731. doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00731
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00731 [Google Scholar]
  21. Licoppe, C., & Veyrier, C.-A.
    (2020) The interpreter as a sequential coordinator in courtroom interaction: “Chunking” and the managing of turn shifts in extended answers in consecutively interpreted asylum hearings with remote participants. Interpreting, 22(1), 56–86. 10.1075/intp.00034.lic
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.00034.lic [Google Scholar]
  22. Liu, M.
    (2008) How do experts interpret? Implications from research in interpreting studies and cognitive science. InG. Hansen, A. Chesterman, & H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Eds.), Efforts and models in interpreting and translation research (pp.159–178). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.80.14liu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.80.14liu [Google Scholar]
  23. Mellinger, C. D., & Hanson, T. A.
    (2019) Meta-analyses of simultaneous interpreting and working memory. Interpreting, 21(2), 165–195. 10.1075/intp.00026.mel
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.00026.mel [Google Scholar]
  24. PACTE
    PACTE (2005) Investigating translation competence: Conceptual and methodological issues. Meta, 50(2), 609–619. 10.7202/011004ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/011004ar [Google Scholar]
  25. PACTE
    PACTE (2011) Results of the validation of the PACTE translation competence model: Translation project and dynamic translation index. InS. O’Brien (Ed.), Cognitive explorations of translation (pp.30–53). London, England: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Roy, C. B.
    (1993) A sociolinguistic analysis of the interpreter’s role in simultaneous talk in interpreted interaction. Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, 12(4), 341–364. 10.1515/mult.1993.12.4.341
    https://doi.org/10.1515/mult.1993.12.4.341 [Google Scholar]
  27. Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. E., & Jefferson, G.
    (1974) A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking in conversation. Language, 5(4), 696–735. 10.1353/lan.1974.0010
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1974.0010 [Google Scholar]
  28. Shlesinger, M.
    (1998) Interpreting as a cognitive process: What do we know about how it is done?InL. Félix Fernandez & E. Ortega Arjonilla (Eds.), II estudios sobre traducción e interpretación (pp.749–767). Málaga: University of Málaga.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Stivers, T., Enfield, N. J., Brown, P., Englert, C., Hayashi, M., Heinemann, T., Hoymann, G., Rossano, F., de Ruiter, J. P., Yoon, K.-E., & Levinson, S. C.
    (2009) Universals and cultural variation in turn-taking in conversation. PNAS, 106(26), 10587–10592. 10.1073/pnas.0903616106
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0903616106 [Google Scholar]
  30. Thomsen, T.
    (2018) Tolkningsstrategier i ljuset av språkkompetens, tolkningsriktning och tolkerfarenhet [Interpreting strategies in light of language competence, interpreting direction, and interpreting experience] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1217466/FULLTEXT02.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Timarová, S., Dragsted, B., & Hansen, I. G.
    (2011) Time lag in translation and interpretation: A methodological exploration. InC. Alvstad, A. Hild, & E. Tiselius (Eds.), Methods and strategies of process research: Integrative approaches in translation studies (pp.121–146). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.94.10tim
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.94.10tim [Google Scholar]
  32. Tiselius, E., & Albl-Mikasa, M.
    (2019) Cognitive processes in dialogue interpreting: Introduction. Translation, Cognition & Behavior, 2(2), 233–239. doi:  10.1075/tcb.00027.tis
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tcb.00027.tis [Google Scholar]
  33. Tiselius, E., & Englund Dimitrova, B.
    (2019) Asymmetrical language proficiency in dialogue interpreters: Methodological issues. Translation, Cognition & Behavior, 2(2), 305–322. doi:  10.1075/tcb.00031.tis
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tcb.00031.tis [Google Scholar]
  34. Tiselius, E., & Sneed, K.
    (2020) Gaze and eye movement in dialogue interpreting: An eye-tracking study. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 2(2), 1–8. 10.1017/S1366728920000309
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728920000309 [Google Scholar]
  35. Vranjes, J.
    (2018) On the role of eye gaze in the coordination of interpreter-mediated interactions: an eye-tracking study. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). KU Leuven, Leuven/Antwerp. Belgium.
  36. Wadensjö, C.
    (1992) Interpreting as interaction: On dialogue interpreting in immigration hearings and medical encounters (doctoral dissertation). University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden.
  37. (1998) Interpreting as interaction. London, England: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Wen, H., & Dong, Y.
    (2019) How does interpreting experience enhance working memory and short-term memory: A meta-analysis. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 31(8), 769–784. 10.1080/20445911.2019.1674857
    https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2019.1674857 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error