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Title: Directionality and context effects in word translation tasks performed by conference interpreters
Authors: Chmiel, Agnieszka
Keywords: conference interpreting
word translation
bidirectional interpreting
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 52(2), 2016, pp. 269–295
Abstract: Professional interpreters employed by international institutions usually work into their L1 from their L2, while freelance interpreters tend to work both into and from their L1. A study was devised to see if the long-term interpreting unidirectional prac- tice (in the L2–L1 direction only), in contrast to bidirectional practice (in the L2–L1 and L1–L2 direction), influences the speed of lexical retrieval manifested through shorter translation latencies. Forty-eight professional conference interpreters pro- duced oral translations of nouns presented in isolation, in high context constraint sen- tences and in low context constraint sentences. Contrary to predictions, unidirectional interpreters did not manifest directionality asymmetry and their L2–L1 translation la- tencies were not shorter than L1–L2 translation latencies. Surprisingly, the L2–L1 di- rection advantage was found in the group of bidirectional interpreters. The data sug- gest that the dominant directionality in interpreting practice has little impact on the strength of interlingual lexical links in the interpreter’s mental lexicon or that other factors (such as language use, exposure and immersion) might offset any such im- pact. The study also revealed an expected context effect, which shows that interpret- ers use semantic constraint to anticipate sentence-final words.
DOI: 10.1515/psicl-2016-0010
Appears in Collections:Artykuły naukowe (WA)

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