Inference and Anticipation in Simultaneous Interpreting

A probability-prediction model

Editor and foreword authors
ISBN 9789027216632 (Eur) | EUR 115.00
ISBN 9781588115836 (USA) | USD 173.00
ISBN 9789027294982 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
Until now, Ghelly Chernov’s work on the theory of simultaneous interpretation (SI) was mostly accessible only to a Russian-speaking readership. Finally, Chernov’s major work, originally published in Russia in 1987 under the title Основы Синхронного Перевода (Introduction to Simultaneous Interpretation) and widely considered a classic in interpretation theory, is now available in English as well. Adopting a psycholinguistic approach to professional SI, Chernov defines it as a task performed in a single pass concurrently with the source language speech, under extreme perception and production conditions in which only a limited amount of information can be processed at any given time.

Being both a researcher and a practitioner, Chernov drew from a rich interpreting corpus to create the first comprehensive model of simultaneous interpretation. His model draws on semantics, pragmatics, Russian Activity Theory and the SI communicative situation to formulate the principles of objective and subjective redundancy and identify probability prediction as the enabling mechanism of SI. Edited with notes and a critical foreword by two active SI researchers, Robin Setton and Adelina Hild, this book will be useful to practicing interpreters in providing a theoretical basis for appreciating the syntactic and other devices that can be used by both students and experienced interpreters in fine-tuning their performance in the booth.

[Benjamins Translation Library, 57]  2004.  xxx, 268 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Editors’ critical foreword
Abbreviations and symbols
1. The psycholinguistic approach to SI research
2. Speed, memory and simultaneity: Speech processing under unusual constraints
3. The semantic and pragmatic structure of discourse
4. Semantic structure and objective semantic redundancy
5. Communicative context and subjective redundancy
6. A probabilistic anticipation model for SI
7. Theme and compression
8. Rheme and information density
9. Syntax and communicative word order
10. SI and Anokhin’s theory of activity
11. Anticipation and SI: An experiment
12. Conclusion
Appendix A. Buenos Aires corpus — UN, 1978, Experiment in Remote Interpreting
Appendix B. United Nations General Assembly sessions
Appendix C. Texts with two types of test items used as input in an SI probability anticipation experiment (Chernov 1978)
“This book is written by a longstanding Russian UN interpreter and well-known academic and theortician of interpreting. If we add that he has solid background in linguistics, discourse analysis, theory of verbal activity and communication, clearly visible in the book, then there are few persons who can write about interpreting in a more competent way. The editors also have rare expertise in the field, especially Robin Setton, who has a number of important publications on the subject to his credit. The result is top reading on the subject. [...] the book makes fascinating and challenging reading.”
“In this book, not only does Ghelly Chernov introduce Russian psychology and linguistics to the West, he also admirably combines the contributions of Western and Russian research in building a model of inference and anticipation, two elements that play an essential role in simultaneous interpretation. ”
“As I see it, the publication under review is a magnificent landmark document of research into simultaneous interpreting and a well-deserved, albeit posthumous tribute to Chernov's pioneering work. Chernov even now contains many valuable messages for all those who are training or aspiring to become simultaneous interpreters because theoretical, didactic and practical issues are uniquely interwoven here. I can only subscribe to the views expressed about this author in the Interpreting Research Reader, which describes Chernov as "the leading representative of the 'Soviet School' of Interpreting Studies" (Pöchhacker & Shlesinger 2002:98), and recommend his English book as absolutely worth reading.”
“Ghelly V. Chernov's study of simultaneous interpreting is a major contribution to Translation Studies internationally and to simultaneous interpreting in particular. He discusses many new aspects and formulates highly relevant scholarly issues that will no doubt serve as the starting points for new research as well as be taken into account in other investigations.”
“If you have never read Ghelly V. Chernov before, this is where to start. At last, all those of us who are not familiar with Russian have access to more than just a few articles of the leading representative of the ‘Soviet School’ of interpreting studies. A classic that deserves a place in every library.”
“It is a great pleasure for me to be informed that the late Ghelly Chernov’s main work on the theory of simultaneous interpreting will at long last be available to the many Translation Studies scholars not conversant with Russian, the language in which the book was published in 1987. As a professor at the Moscow State Linguistic University and with experience from the international scene (such as the UN), Chernov’s teaching of interpreting and his theory on the nature of simultaneous interpreting had an immense impact on his peers and students. Chernov’s ideas thus became an integrated part of interpreting theory as well as training programmes in all parts of the world in which Russian was spoken. The publication of his most important work in English will make it clear to those outside that world why Chernov exerted such a great influence on Russian Interpreting Studies. It will also add new insights to Translation Studies in the West in which much Russian Translation Theory is largely ignored.”
“I find this book a rich and comprehensive contribution to the field of interpreting research. What is most significant about Chernov's work is that it tries to explore the link between psychological theories and the practice of simultaneous interpretation as a bilingual activity that is performed under pressure. It is also noteworthy that this book sheds light on the Russian school of research in the field of interpreting which, might have a lot to contribute in this emerging field of research. [...] this book can be considered as a usefuk reference for those interested in inter-disciplinary studies in general and interpreting research in particular.”
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Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: JM – Psychology
BISAC Subject: PSY000000 – PSYCHOLOGY / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004059145