1887
Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

This experimental study investigated the relationship between signed language interpreters’ working memory capacity (WMC) and their simultaneous interpreting performance. Thirty-one professional Auslan (Australian Sign Language)/English interpreters participated: 14 native signers and 17 non-native signers. They completed simultaneous interpreting tasks from English into Auslan and vice versa, an English listening span task and an Auslan working memory span task; each interpreting task was followed by a short semi-structured interview. Quantitative results for the sample as a whole showed no significant correlations between bilingual WMC and overall simultaneous interpreting performance in either direction. The same trend was established for both the native signers and the non-native signers, considered as two separate groups. The findings thus suggest that professional signed language interpreters’ WMC as measured by complex span tasks is not closely associated with the overall quality of their simultaneous interpreting performance. Data regarding educational and professional background showed mixed patterns in relation to participants’ interpreting performance in each language direction. In the interviews, participants reported various triggers of cognitive overload in the simultaneous interpreting tasks (e.g. numbers, lists of items, a long time lag, dense information, fatigue) and mentioned their coping strategies (e.g. strategic omissions, summarization, generalization, adjusting time lag).

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/intp.18.1.01wan
2016-04-08
2019-10-24
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Baddeley, A.D
    (2000) The episodic buffer: A new component of working memory?Trends in Cognitive Sciences4 (11), 417–423. doi: 10.1016/S1364‑6613(00)01538‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01538-2 [Google Scholar]
  2. Baddeley, A.D. & Hitch, G.J
    (2000) Development of working memory: Should the Pascual-Leone and the Baddeley and Hitch models be merged?Journal of Experimental Child Psychology77 (2), 128–137. doi: 10.1006/jecp.2000.2592
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jecp.2000.2592 [Google Scholar]
  3. Christoffels, I.K. , De Groot, A.M.B. & Waldorp, L.J
    (2003) Basic skills in a complex task: A graphical model relating memory and lexical retrieval to simultaneous interpreting. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition6 (3), 201–211. doi: 10.1017/S1366728903001135
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728903001135 [Google Scholar]
  4. Cokely, D
    (1992) Interpretation: A sociolinguistic model. Burtonsville, MD: Linstok Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Conway, A.R.A. , Kane, M.J. , Bunting, M.F. , Hambrick, D.Z. , Wilhelm, O. & Engle, R.W
    (2005) Working memory span tasks: A methodological review and user’s guide. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review12 (5), 769–786. doi: 10.3758/BF03196772
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196772 [Google Scholar]
  6. Crasborn, O. & Sloetjes, H
    (2008) Enhanced ELAN functionality for sign language corpora. pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/pubman/item/escidoc:61042:4/component/escidoc:61043/Crasborn_2008_enhanced.pdf (accessed3 August 2014).
  7. Daneman, M. & Carpenter, P.A
    (1980) Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior19 (4), 450–466. doi: 10.1016/S0022‑5371(80)90312‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(80)90312-6 [Google Scholar]
  8. Ericsson, K.A. & Delaney, P.F
    (1999) Long-term working memory as an alternative to capacity models of working memory in everyday skilled performance. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 257–297. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139174909.011
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139174909.011 [Google Scholar]
  9. Ericsson, K.A. & Kintsch, W
    (1995) Long-term working memory. Psychological Review102 (2), 211–245. doi: 10.1037/0033‑295X.102.2.211
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.102.2.211 [Google Scholar]
  10. Gile, D
    (2009) Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training (Rev. ed.). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/btl.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.8 [Google Scholar]
  11. Goswell, D
    (2011) Being there: Role shift in English to Auslan interpreting. In L. Leeson , S. Wurm & M. Vermeerbergen (Eds.), Signed language interpreting: Preparation, practice and performance. Manchester: St. Jerome, 61–86.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Johnston, T. & Schembri, A
    (2007) Australian sign language (Auslan): An introduction to sign language linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511607479
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511607479 [Google Scholar]
  13. Kane, M.J. , Hambrick, D.Z. , Tuholski, S.W. , Wilhelm, O. , Payne, T.W. & Engle, R.W
    (2004) The generality of working memory capacity: A latent-variable approach to verbal and visuospatial memory span and reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General133 (2), 189–217. doi: 10.1037/0096‑3445.133.2.189
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.133.2.189 [Google Scholar]
  14. Lépine, R. , Bernardin, S. & Barrouillet, P
    (2005) Attention switching and working memory spans. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology17 (3), 329–345. doi: 10.1080/09541440440000014
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440440000014 [Google Scholar]
  15. Liu, M. , Schallert, D.L. & Carroll, P.J
    (2004) Working memory and expertise in simultaneous interpreting. Interpreting6 (1), 19–42. doi: 10.1075/intp.6.1.04liu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.6.1.04liu [Google Scholar]
  16. López Gómez, M.J. , Bajo Molina, T. , Padilla Benítez, P. & Santiago de Torres, J
    (2007) Predicting proficiency in signed language interpreting: A preliminary study. Interpreting9 (1), 71–93. doi: 10.1075/intp.9.1.05lop
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.9.1.05lop [Google Scholar]
  17. Macnamara, B.N. & Conway, A.R.A
    (2014) Novel evidence in support of the bilingual advantage: Influences of task demands and experience on cognitive control and working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review21 (2), 520–525. doi: 10.3758/s13423‑013‑0524‑y
    https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-013-0524-y [Google Scholar]
  18. Macnamara, B.N. , Moore, A.B. , Kegl, J.A. & Conway, A.R.A
    (2011) Domain-general cognitive abilities and simultaneous interpreting skill. Interpreting13 (1), 121–142. doi: 10.1075/intp.13.1.08mac
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.13.1.08mac [Google Scholar]
  19. Major, G. & Napier, J
    (2012) Interpreting and knowledge mediation in the healthcare setting: What do we really mean by ‘accuracy’?Linguistica Antverpiensia11, 207–225.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Miyake, A. & Shah, P
    (Eds.) (1999) Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139174909
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139174909 [Google Scholar]
  21. Moser-Mercer, B. , Frauenfelder, U. , Casado, B. & Künzli, A
    (2000) Searching to define expertise in interpreting. In B. Englund Dimitrova & K. Hyltenstam (Eds.), Language processing and simultaneous interpreting: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 107–132. doi: 10.1075/btl.40.09mos
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.40.09mos [Google Scholar]
  22. Napier, J
    (2002) Sign language interpreting: Linguistic coping strategies. Coleford, Gloucestershire: Douglas McLean.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. (2004) Interpreting omissions: A new perspective. Interpreting6 (2), 117–142. doi: 10.1075/intp.6.2.02nap
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.6.2.02nap [Google Scholar]
  24. (2006) Comparing language contact phenomena between Auslan-English interpreters and deaf Australians: A preliminary study. In C. Lucas (Ed.), Multilingualism and sign languages: From the great plains to Australia. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 39–77.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Nicodemus, B
    (2009) Prosodic markers and utterance boundaries in American Sign Language interpretation. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Taylor, M.M
    (1993) Interpretation skills: English to American Sign Language. Edmonton, Alberta: Interpreting Consolidated.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. (2002) Interpretation skills: American Sign Language to English. Edmonton, Alberta: Interpreting Consolidated.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Timarová, Š
    (2012)  Working memory in conference interpreting . PhD dissertation , University of Leuven .
  29. Timarová, Š , Cenkova, I. , Meylaerts, R. , Hertog, E. , Szmalec, A. & Duyck, W
    (2014) Simultaneous interpreting and working memory executive control. Interpreting16 (2), 139–168. doi: 10.1075/intp.16.2.01tim
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.16.2.01tim [Google Scholar]
  30. Tzou, Y.-Z. , Eslami, Z.R. , Chen, H.-C. & Vaid, J
    (2012) Effect of language proficiency and degree of formal training in simultaneous interpreting on working memory and interpreting performance: Evidence from Mandarin-English speakers. International Journal of Bilingualism16 (2), 213–227. doi: 10.1177/1367006911403197
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006911403197 [Google Scholar]
  31. Van Dijk, R. , Christoffels, I. , Postma, A. & Hermans, D
    (2012) The relation between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition15 (2), 340–350. doi: 10.1017/S1366728911000198
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728911000198 [Google Scholar]
  32. Wang, J
    (2013a)  Working memory and signed language interpreting . PhD dissertation , Macquarie University .
  33. (2013b) Bilingual working memory capacity of professional Auslan/English interpreters. Interpreting15 (2), 139–167. doi: 10.1075/intp.15.2.01wan
    https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.15.2.01wan [Google Scholar]
  34. Wang, J. & Napier, J
    (2015) Measuring bilingual working memory capacity of professional Auslan/English interpreters: A comparison of two scoring methods. The Interpreters’ Newsletter19, 45–62.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. (in press) Directionality in signed language interpreting. Meta60 (3). 
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Wang, J. , Napier, J. , Goswell, D. & Carmichael, A
    (2015) The design and application of rubrics to assess signed language interpreting performance. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer9 (1), 83–103. doi: 10.1080/1750399X.2015.1009261
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2015.1009261 [Google Scholar]
  37. Winston, E. & Monikowski, C
    (2000) Discourse mapping: Developing textual coherence skills in interpreters. In C. Roy (Ed.), Innovative practices for teaching sign language interpreters. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 15–66.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Zhang, W
    (2009a) Working memory and simultaneous interpreting performance: A report on empirical research among Chinese interpreters of English (in Chinese). Foreign Language and Literature25 (4), 128–134.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. (2009b) Working memory in different directions of simultaneous interpreting (in Chinese). Foreign Language Teaching and Research41 (5), 371–378.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/intp.18.1.01wan
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