This article reports the findings of an empirical study on the process of note-taking in consecutive interpreting (CI). The focus is on the data collected via digital pen recording and voice recording while professional interpreters performed CI between Chinese (L1) and English (L2). In both directions of interpreting, the study found that the interpreters preferred language to symbol and English to Chinese. It was also found that the physical and temporal demands of symbol and abbreviation notes were lower than those of language and full word notes, respectively, whereas the ear-pen span (EPS) of symbol notes was longer than that of language notes. As to the relationship between note-taking and interpreting performance, the data showed that a higher percentage of English notes was correlated with a worse performance in both directions of interpreting. There were also some differences between the directions: in E-C interpreting, the performance was better when the EPS was shorter, when the participants used more symbol notes, and when they used fewer language notes, but in C-E interpreting, the quality of performance was positively correlated with the quantity of notes.
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