Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X



In the current study we set out to investigate source language interference in the visual modality (in sight translation – ST) and in the auditory modality (in simultaneous interpreting – SI). We probed interpretations of cognates, interlingual homographs and passive structures in single sentence contexts as performed from English to Polish by 47 advanced interpreting trainees. We also analysed temporal measures: ear-voice span (in SI) or eye-voice span (in ST) as well as total translation time. The results showed a higher level of interference in ST in the case of homographs and a mixed pattern of results for the remaining measures. We also obtained interesting task-independent results, namely an 80% rate of global passive retention testifying to a high level of syntactic priming in both modes of interpreting. We discuss these results in the context of different types of interference occurring in interpreting and conclude that there might be a similar global level of interference in the two tasks, however with differing underlying patterns. This is the first study to date to directly compare interference levels between ST and SI in such controlled conditions. Our results contribute to the understanding of complex linguistic processes occurring across modalities in interpreting tasks.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Agrifoglio, M.
    (2004) Sight translation and interpreting: A comparative analysis of constraints and failures. Interpreting6 (1), 43–67. 10.1075/intp.6.1.05agr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.6.1.05agr [Google Scholar]
  2. Broersma, M., Carter, D. & Acheson, D. J.
    (2016) Cognate costs in bilingual speech production: Evidence from language switching. Frontiers in Psychology7, 1–16. 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01461
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01461 [Google Scholar]
  3. Chéreau, C., Gaskell, M. G. & Dumay, N.
    (2007) Reading spoken words: Orthographic effects in auditory priming. Cognition102 (3), 341–360. 10.1016/j.cognition.2006.01.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2006.01.001 [Google Scholar]
  4. Christoffels, I. K., de Groot, A. & Kroll, J. F.
    (2006) Memory and language skills in simultaneous interpreters: The role of expertise and language proficiency. Journal of Memory and Language54 (3), 324–345. 10.1016/j.jml.2005.12.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2005.12.004 [Google Scholar]
  5. Christoffels, I., Timmer, K., Ganushchak, L. & Heij, W. L.
    (2015) On the production of interlingual homophones: Delayed naming and increased N400. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience31 (5), 1–11.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Costa, A., & Santesteban, M.
    (2004) Lexical access in bilingual speech production: Evidence from language switching in highly proficient bilinguals and L2 learners. Journal of Memory and Language50 (4), 491–511. 10.1016/j.jml.2004.02.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2004.02.002 [Google Scholar]
  7. Costa, A., Caramazza, A. & Sebastian-Galles, N.
    (2000) The cognate facilitation effect: implications for models of lexical access. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition26 (5), 1283–1296.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Dailidėnaitė, A. & Volynec, J.
    (2013) Source language interference with target language in conference interpreting. Vertimo studijos. Research Journal for Translation Studies6, 34–49.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Dijkstra, T., Grainger, J. & van Heuven, W. J. B.
    (1999) Recognition of cognates and interlingual homographs: The neglected role of phonology. Journal of Memory and Language41 (4), 496–518. 10.1006/jmla.1999.2654
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1999.2654 [Google Scholar]
  10. Ferreira, F. & Patson, N. D.
    (2007) The ‘good enough’ approach to language comprehension. Language and Linguistics Compass1 (1–2), 71–83. 10.1111/j.1749‑818X.2007.00007.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-818X.2007.00007.x [Google Scholar]
  11. Filippi, R., Karaminis, T. & Thomas, M. S. C.
    (2014) Language switching in bilingual production: Empirical data and computational modelling. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition17 (02), 294–315. 10.1017/S1366728913000485
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728913000485 [Google Scholar]
  12. Fleischer, Z., Pickering, M. J. & McLean, J. F.
    (2012) Shared information structure: Evidence from cross-linguistic priming. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition15 (3), 568–579. 10.1017/S1366728911000551
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728911000551 [Google Scholar]
  13. García, A. M., Ibáñez, A., Huepe, D., Houck, A. L., Michon, M., Lezama, C. G., Chadha, S. & Rivera-Rei, Á.
    (2014) Word reading and translation in bilinguals: The impact of formal and informal translation expertise. Frontiers in Psychology5, 1–14.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Gernsbacher, M. A. & Shlesinger, M.
    (1997) The proposed role of suppression in simultaneous interpretation. Interpreting2 (1–2), 119–140. 10.1075/intp.2.1‑2.05ger
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.2.1-2.05ger [Google Scholar]
  15. Green, D. W.
    (1998) Mental control of the bilingual lexico-semantic system. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition1 (02), 67–81. 10.1017/S1366728998000133
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728998000133 [Google Scholar]
  16. Hansen-Schirra, S.
    (2011) Between normalization and shining-through: Specific properties of English–German translations and their influence on the target language. InS. Kranich, V. Becher, S. Höder, & J. House (Eds.), Multilingual discourse production: Diachronic and synchronic perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 133–162. 10.1075/hsm.12.07han
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hsm.12.07han [Google Scholar]
  17. Hartsuiker, R. J., Pickering, M. J. & Veltkamp, E.
    (2004) Is syntax separate or shared between languages? Cross-linguistic syntactic priming in Spanish-English bilinguals. Psychological Science15 (6), 409–414. 10.1111/j.0956‑7976.2004.00693.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00693.x [Google Scholar]
  18. Hejwowski, K.
    (2004) Translation: A cognitive-communicative approach. Olecko: Wydawnictwo Wszechnicy Mazurskiej.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Hoshino, N. & Kroll, J. F.
    (2008) Cognate effects in picture naming: Does cross-language activation survive a change of script?Cognition106 (1), 501–511. 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2007.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  20. Jereščenková, A.
    (2014) Interferenzen beim Vom-Blatt-Dolmetschen und beim Simultandolmetschen. MA thesis, University of Vienna.
  21. Kroll, J. F., Dussias, P. E., Bogulski, C. A. & Kroff, J. R. V.
    (2012) Juggling two languages in one mind. InB. H. Ross (Ed.), Psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 56). Oxford: Academic Press, 229–262. 10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑394393‑4.00007‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-394393-4.00007-8 [Google Scholar]
  22. Kroll, J. F., Michael, E., Tokowicz, N. & Dufour, R.
    (2002) The development of lexical fluency in a second language. Second Language Research18 (2), 137–171. 10.1191/0267658302sr201oa
    https://doi.org/10.1191/0267658302sr201oa [Google Scholar]
  23. Lamberger-Felber, H. & Schneider, J.
    (2009) Linguistic interference in simultaneous interpreting with text: A case study. InG. Hansen, A. Chesterman & H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Eds.), Efforts and models in interpreting and translation research. A tribute to Daniel Gile. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 215–236. 10.1075/btl.80.17lam
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.80.17lam [Google Scholar]
  24. Lambert, S.
    (2004) Shared attention during sight translation, sight interpretation and simultaneous interpretation. Meta49 (2), 294–306. 10.7202/009352ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/009352ar [Google Scholar]
  25. Lemhöfer, K. & Broersma, M.
    (2012) Introducing LexTALE: A quick and valid Lexical Test for Advanced Learners of English. Behavior Research Methods44 (2), 325–343. 10.3758/s13428‑011‑0146‑0
    https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-011-0146-0 [Google Scholar]
  26. Lijewska, A. & Chmiel, A.
    (2015) Cognate facilitation in sentence context – translation production by interpreting trainees and non-interpreting trilinguals. International Journal of Multilingualism12 (3), 358–375. 10.1080/14790718.2014.959961
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2014.959961 [Google Scholar]
  27. Maier, R. M., Pickering, M. J. & Hartsuiker, R. J.
    (2017) Does translation involve structural priming?The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology70 (8), 1575–1589. 10.1080/17470218.2016.1194439
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1194439 [Google Scholar]
  28. Malkiel, B.
    (2009) When idioti (idiotic) becomes “fluffy”: Translation students and the avoidance of target-language cognates. Meta54 (2), 309–325. 10.7202/037683ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/037683ar [Google Scholar]
  29. Mandera, P., Keuleers, E., Wodniecka, Z. & Brysbaert, M.
    (2015) SUBTLEX-PL: subtitle-based word frequency estimates for Polish. Behavioral Research Methods47 (2), 471–483. 10.3758/s13428‑014‑0489‑4
    https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-014-0489-4 [Google Scholar]
  30. Meuter, R. F. I. & Allport, A.
    (1999) Bilingual language switching in naming: Asymmetrical costs of language selection. Journal of Memory and Language40 (1), 25–40. 10.1006/jmla.1998.2602
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1998.2602 [Google Scholar]
  31. Otwinowska, A.
    (2016) Cognate vocabulary in language acquisition and use: Attitudes, awareness, activation. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Pöchhacker, F.
    (1994) Simultaneous interpretation: ‘Cultural transfer’ or ‘voice-over text’?InM. Snell-Hornby, F. Pöchhacker & K. Kaindl (Eds.), Translation studies ‒ an interdiscipline. Selected papers from the Translation Studies Congress, Vienna, 1992. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 169–178. 10.1075/btl.2.22poc
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.2.22poc [Google Scholar]
  33. Runnqvist, E., Strijkers, K., Alario, F.-X. & Costa, A.
    (2012) Cumulative semantic interference is blind to language: Implications for models of bilingual speech production. Journal of Memory and Language66 (4), 850–869. 10.1016/j.jml.2012.02.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2012.02.007 [Google Scholar]
  34. Sadoski, M. & Paivio, A.
    (2013) A dual coding theoretical model of reading. InD. E. Alvermann, N. Unrau & R. B. Ruddell (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (Sixth ed.). Newark, NJ: International Reading Association, 886–922. 10.1598/0710.34
    https://doi.org/10.1598/0710.34 [Google Scholar]
  35. Schneider, W., Eschman, A. & Zuccolotto, A.
    (2002) E-Prime user’s guide. Pittsburgh, PA: Psychology Software Tools Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Seeber, K. G.
    (2011) Cognitive load in simultaneous interpreting: Existing theories – new models. Interpreting13 (2), 176–204. 10.1075/intp.13.2.02see
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.13.2.02see [Google Scholar]
  37. (2017a) Multimodal processing in simultaneous interpreting. InJ. W. Schwieter & A. Ferreira (Eds.), The handbook of translation and cognition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 461–475. 10.1002/9781119241485.ch25
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119241485.ch25 [Google Scholar]
  38. (2017b) Interpreting at the European Institutions: Faster, higher, stronger. CLINA: Revista Interdisciplinaria de Traducción, Interpretación y Comunicación Intercultural3 (2), 73–90. 10.14201/clina2017327390
    https://doi.org/10.14201/clina2017327390 [Google Scholar]
  39. Seleskovitch, D. & Lederer, M.
    (1989) Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation. Paris: Didier.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Setton, R.
    (2003) Words and sense: Revisiting lexical processes in interpreting. Forum1 (1), 139–168. 10.1075/forum.1.1.08set
    https://doi.org/10.1075/forum.1.1.08set [Google Scholar]
  41. Setton, R. & Dawrant, A.
    (2016) Conference interpreting – a trainer’s guide. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.121
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.121 [Google Scholar]
  42. Shlesinger, M.
    (2008) Towards a definition of Interpretese: An intermodal, corpus-based study. InA. Chesterman, H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast & G. Hansen (Eds.), Efforts and models in interpreting and translation research: A tribute to Daniel Gile. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 237–253.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Shlesinger, M. & Malkiel, B.
    (2005) Comparing modalities: Cognates as a case in point. Across Languages and Cultures6 (2), 173–193. 10.1556/Acr.6.2005.2.2
    https://doi.org/10.1556/Acr.6.2005.2.2 [Google Scholar]
  44. Shreve, G. M., Lacruz, I. & Angelone, E.
    (2010) Cognitive effort, syntactic disruption, and visual interference in a sight translation task. InG. M. Shreve & E. Angelone (Eds.), Translation and cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 63–84. 10.1075/ata.xv.05shr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ata.xv.05shr [Google Scholar]
  45. Spalek, K., Hoshino, N., Wu, Y. J., Damian, M. & Thierry, G.
    (2014) Speaking two languages at once: Unconscious native word form access in second language production. Cognition133 (1), 226–231. 10.1016/j.cognition.2014.06.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2014.06.016 [Google Scholar]
  46. Strobach, T. & Schubert, T.
    (2017) Mechanisms of practice-related reductions of dual-task interference with simple tasks: Data and theory. Advances in Cognitive Psychology13 (1), 28–41. 10.5709/acp‑0204‑7
    https://doi.org/10.5709/acp-0204-7 [Google Scholar]
  47. Teich, E.
    (2003) Cross-Linguistic variation in system and text: A methodology for the investigation of translations and comparable texts. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110896541
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110896541 [Google Scholar]
  48. Tercedor, M.
    (2011) Cognates as lexical choices in translation: Interference in space-constrained environments. Target22 (2), 177–193. 10.1075/target.22.2.01ter
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.22.2.01ter [Google Scholar]
  49. Tindle, R. & Longstaf, M. G.
    (2015) Writing, reading, and listening differentially overload working memory performance across the serial position curve. Advances in Cognitive Psychology11 (4), 147–155. 10.5709/acp‑0179‑6
    https://doi.org/10.5709/acp-0179-6 [Google Scholar]
  50. Titone, D., Libben, M., Mercier, J., Whitford, V. & Pivneva, I.
    (2011) Bilingual lexical access during L1 sentence reading: The effects of L2 knowledge, semantic constraint, and L1–L2 intermixing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition37 (6), 1412–1431.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Tymczyńska, M.
    (2012) Trilingual lexical processing in online translation recognition. The influence of conference interpreting experience. InD. Gabryś-Barker (Ed.), Cross-linguistic influences in multilingual language acquisition. Berlin: Springer, 151–167. 10.1007/978‑3‑642‑29557‑7_9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-29557-7_9 [Google Scholar]
  52. Van Assche, E., Duyck, W. & Hartsuiker, R. J.
    (2012) Bilingual word recognition in a sentence context. Frontiers in Psychology3, 1–8.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Van Heuven, W. J. B., Mandera, P., Keuleers, E. & Brysbaert, M.
    (2014) SUBTLEX-UK: A new and improved word frequency database for British English. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology67 (6), 1176–1190. 10.1080/17470218.2013.850521
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2013.850521 [Google Scholar]
  54. Verhoef, K., Roelofs, A. & Chwilla, D. J.
    (2009) Role of inhibition in language switching: Evidence from event-related brain potentials in overt picture naming. Cognition110 (1), 84–99. 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.10.013
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2008.10.013 [Google Scholar]
  55. Viezzi, M.
    (1989) Information retention as a parameter for the comparison of sight translation and simultaneous interpretation: An experimental study. The Interpreters’ Newsletter2, 65–69.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Wang, B. & Zou, B.
    (2018) Exploring language specificity as a variable in Chinese-English interpreting. A corpus-based investigation. InM. Russo, C. Bendazzoli, & B. Defrancq (Eds.), Making way in corpus-based Interpreting Studies. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 65–82. 10.1007/978‑981‑10‑6199‑8_4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-6199-8_4 [Google Scholar]
  57. Weinreich, U.
    (1953/1979) Languages in contact: Findings and problems. The Hague: Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Wickens, C. D.
    (2002) Multiple resources and performance prediction. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science3 (2), 159–177. 10.1080/14639220210123806
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14639220210123806 [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