Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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The present study focuses on (in)congruence of input between the visual and the auditory modality in simultaneous interpreting with text. We asked twenty-four professional conference interpreters to simultaneously interpret an aurally and visually presented text with controlled incongruences in three categories (numbers, names and control words), while measuring interpreting accuracy and eye movements. The results provide evidence for the dominance of the visual modality, which goes against the professional standard of following the auditory modality in the case of incongruence. Numbers enjoyed the greatest accuracy across conditions possibly due to simple cross-language semantic mappings. We found no evidence for a facilitation effect for congruent items, and identified an impeding effect of the presence of the visual text for incongruent items. These results might be interpreted either as evidence for the Colavita effect (in which visual stimuli take precedence over auditory ones) or as strategic behaviour applied by professional interpreters to avoid risk.


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