Simultaneous Interpreting and Its Challenges
About Simultaneous Interpreting
In written translation, the classification between the types of translation is made according to the nature of the text to be translated. In oral translation, or in interpretation, the classification between the types of interpretation is made by the time period between the utterance of the original message and the translation or the interpretation. According to this classification, we have two types of interpretation: Simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation, each of them having different pshyco-linguistic particularities. The field of Simultaneous Interpreting is far more ample and complicated, even complex than the majority presumes. On one hand, not even modern psychology has discovered all the paths of this huge labyrinth that is our brain, or at least, the part of it that makes the connection between two languages and blends the words in similar canvases, very close to identification, bringing shades of colour design specific to each language. But, what makes simultaneous interpreting so different and special? Bantas et Croitoru (1999, 111) tell us that the features that distinguish simultaneous interpreting from other kinds of translation are: technical differences as work conditions which determines in a great measure some psychological aspects, and those aspects can have a negative or a positive influence over the quality of the translation. In simultaneous interpreting, the quantity (the quantity of information to be transmitted), the accuracy, the correctness of the utterance and the clarity of the pronunciation are probably of an equal importance, or very hard to differentiate them. The most differentiating feature of SI is tied to the work pace. Compared to other types of translation where the work pace is chosen by the translator or slowed by the other factors, in SI the pace is imposed from outside, for a translator whose wish is to translate someone’s words as they are uttered (quantitative and qualitative). Because we cannot study the processes that take place in the brain of an interpreter while translating, we can study the processes that make simultaneous interpreting possible, starting with the booth. In SI we can apply the scheme that applies to all types of translation:
1st Sender 1st Receiver 2nd Receiver (the speaker) 2nd Sender (the audience) (translator) In the booth where the interpreter works, he/she listens in the earphones the message of the 1st sender, conveys the message in a foreign language and utters the message into the microphone in his/her quality of first receiver and second sender for the second receiver – the public that does not know the language of the main speaker. But what really happens in the brain of the simultaneous interpreter? Analyzed from a scientific point of view, simultaneous interpreting reveals lots of mental processes connected to speech and language: storing the multitude of words (in this instance, in more than one language, the more the “storehouse” is better organised on denotation, connotation and synonymy levels, the better it is); retrieving the linguistic information (in this instance, instantaneous, in matters of tenths of seconds); checking up the words in a given context (based on previous knowledge in semantics, including polysemantic words); checking up a word in context from the point of view of the collocation, of the way in which the words combine in the grammatical micro-context; inserting the words in pattern, in logical phrases and expressions (according to syntax rules), as well as according to the needs of the macro-context; adapting the intonation and the diction to the situation (moulding after the speaker’s intonation, after his way of...
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