Current comprehension models recognize the role of prior topic-specific knowledge in the processing of general and specialized discourse (e.g. Gernsbacher 1990; Johnson-Laird 1983; Kintsch 1988). In interpreting, there is widespread consensus that interpreters work better when they prepare in advance. However, research on how preparation affects interpreting has encountered such methodological challenges as high variability and the need for appropriately sensitive measures and tasks (Gile 2005). This article reports an experimental study to assess the effect of advance preparation on simultaneous interpreting of specialized speeches, comparing seven professional interpreters and sixteen interpreting students. All participants did two simultaneous interpretations, into Spanish (their ‘A’ language) from English, of presentations from scientific congresses: one with preparation materials provided half an hour beforehand, the other without preparation. Each source text contained both ‘neutral’ and ‘difficult’ speech segments (the three types of difficulty being terminology, syntactic complexity and lack of redundancy). Dependent variables were accuracy of interpretation and length of ear-voice span (EVS), the rationale being that longer EVS probably reflects processing difficulties. The results show that both groups worked significantly better after advance preparation, this being reflected both in accuracy and in ability to maintain a shorter EVS. Interaction between preparation and type of difficulty was also examined.
(1998) Formación de intérpretes de conferencias en el ámbito bio-sanitario inglés-español. La experiencia de la Facultad de Traducción e Interpretación de la Universidad de Granada. In L. Felix Fernandez & E. Ortega Arjonilla (Eds.), Traducción e interpretación en el ámbito bio-sanitario. Granada: Comares, 287–297.
(2004) A practical guide for professional conference interpreters. [URL] (accessed 8 August 2013).
(2009) Code of professional ethics. [URL] (accessed 8 August 2013).
AIIC Training Committee
(2006) Advice to students wishing to become conference interpreters. [URL] (accessed 8 August 2013).
Alexander, P., Kulikowich, J. & Schulze, S.
(1994) The influence of topic knowledge, domain knowledge and interest on the comprehension of scientific exposition. Learning and Individual Differences 6 (4), 379–397.
Alonso Bacigalupe, L.
(1999) Sobre la doble recepción del mensaje y la preparación del texto: Resultados de un estudio experimental en IS. In A. Álvarez Lugrís & A. Fernández Ocampo (Eds.), Anovar/Anosar: Estudios de traducción e interpretación, Vol. II1. Vigo: Servicio de Publicacións, Universidad de Vigo, 11–25.
(2009) Schema activation in translation and reading. Psicológica 301, 59–89.
(1973) Simultaneous interpretation: Temporal and quantitative data. Language and Speech 16 (3), 237–270.
Bloomfield, A., Wayland, S., Rhoades, E., Blodgett, A., Linck, J. & Ross, S.
(2010) What makes listening difficult? Factors affecting second language listening comprehension. (Technical Report TTO 81434 E3.1). College Park, MD: University of Maryland Center for the Advanced Study of Language.
Boersma, P. & Weenink, D.
(2014) Praat: Doing phonetics by computer [Computer program]. Version 5.3.77. [URL] (accessed 18 May 2014).
Chi, M., Feltovich, P. & Glaser, R.
(1981) Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices. Cognitive Science 51, 121–152.
Chiesi, H.L., Spilich, G.J. & Voss, J.F.
(1979) Acquisition of domain-related information in relation to high and low domain knowledge. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 18 (3), 257–273.
(2006) The influence of experience and deliberate practice on the development of superior expert performance. In K.A. Ericsson, N. Charness, P. Feltovich & R.R. Hoffman (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 685–706.
Ericsson, K.A. & Kintsch, W.
(1995) Long-term working memory. Psychological Review 102 (2), 211–245.
(1990) Language comprehension as structure building. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
(1969/2002) The effects of source language presentation rate on the performance of simultaneous conference interpreters. In F. Pöchhacker & M. Shlesinger (Eds.), The interpreting studies reader. London: Routledge, 52–66.
(1975) A psychological approach to simultaneous interpretation. Meta 20 (2), 119–128.
(2002) The interpreter’s preparation for technical conferences: Methodological questions in investigating the topic. Conference Interpretation and Translation 4 (2), 7–27.
(2005) Empirical research into the role of knowledge in interpreting: Methodological aspects. In H. Dam, J. Engberg & H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Eds.), Knowledge systems and translation. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 149–171.
(2001) Text-oriented research into interpreting. Hermes, Journal of Linguistics 261, 39–64.
(2003) Performance variability among conference interpreters: Examples from a case study. In A. Collados Aís, M. Fernández Sánchez & D. Gile (Eds.), La evaluación de la calidad en interpretación: Investigación. Granada: Comares, 147–168.
(2001) Expertise in simultaneous interpreting: A working memory analysis. PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin.
(2008) How do experts interpret? Implications from research in interpreting studies and cognitive science. In G. Hansen, A. Chesterman & H. Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Eds.), Efforts and models in interpreting and translation research: A tribute to Daniel Gile. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 159–177.
(1985) The Kintsch and van Dijk model of discourse comprehension applied to the interpretation process. Meta 30 (1), 37–43.
(2002) La Interpretación en el ámbito científico-técnico. In A. Alcina & S. Gamero (Eds.), La traducción científico-técnica y la terminología en la sociedad de la información. Castellón: Publicaciones de la Universidad Jaume I1, 107–124.
McNamara, D.S. & O’Reilly, T.
(2009) Theories of comprehension skill: Knowledge strategies versus capacity and suppression. In A. Columbus (Ed.), Advances in psychology research. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 113–136.
McNamara, D.S., de Vega, M. & O’Reilly, T.
(2007) Comprehension skill, inference making, and the role of knowledge. In F. Schmalhofer & C.A. Perfetti (Eds.), Higher level language processes in the brain: Inference and comprehension processes. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 233–253.
McNamara, D.S., Louwerse, M.M., Cai, Z. & Graesser, A.
(2013) Coh-Metrix version 3.0. [URL] (accessed 23 May 2014).
Means, M.L. & Voss, J.F.
(1985) Star Wars: A developmental study of expert and novice knowledge structures. Journal of Memory and Language 24 (6), 746–757.
Miyake, A., Just, M.A. & Carpenter, P.A.
(1994) Working memory constraints on the resolution of lexical ambiguity: Maintaining multiple representations in neutral contexts. Journal of Memory and Language 331, 175–202.
(1978) Simultaneous interpretation: A hypothetical model and its practical application. In D. Gerver & H.W. Sinaiko (Eds.), Language interpretation and communication. New York: Plenum Press, 353–367.
(1992) Terminology documentation in conference interpretation. Terminologie et Traduction 2 (3), 285–303.
Ozuru, Y., Dempsey, K. & McNamara, D.S.
(2009) Prior knowledge, reading skill, and text cohesion in the comprehension of science texts. Learning and Instruction 191, 228–242.
Padilla, F., Bajo, M.T. & Macizo, P.
(2005) Articulatory suppression in language interpretation: Working memory capacity, dual tasking and word knowledge. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 8 (3), 207–219.
Padilla, P., Bajo, M.T., Cañas, J.J. & Padilla, F.
(1995) Cognitive processes of memory in simultaneous interpretation. In J. Tommola (Ed.), Topics in interpreting research. Turku: University of Turku, Centre for Translation and Interpreting, 61–71.
(1978) Chronometric explorations of mind. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
(1976) Interpretation: A psychological approach to translating. In R.W. Brislin (Ed.), Translation: Applications and research. New York: Gardner Press, 92–116.
(1978) Interpreting for international conferences: Problems of language and communication. Washington, DC: Pen and Booth.
(2012) Working memory in simultaneous interpreters: Effects of task and age. International Journal of Bilingualism 16 (2), 198–212.
(2008) “The genetics of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders”. NIH Neuroscience Seminar Series, Washington, DC, March 17th, 2008. Lecture, webcast. [URL] (accessed 2 May 2014).
(1995) Processing strategies in simultaneous interpreting: “Saying it all” vs. synthesis. In J. Tommola (Ed.), Topics in interpreting research. Turku: University of Turku, Centre for Translation and Interpreting, 109–119.
(2003) “Synapses and the self”. Reith lectures: The emerging mind series, London, April 9th, 2003. Lecture, webcast. [URL] (accessed 2 May 2014).
2021. The effects of topic familiarity on information completeness, fluency, and target language quality of student interpreters in Chinese–English consecutive interpreting. Across Languages and Cultures 22:2 ► pp. 176 ff.
2021. Translating Chinese Neologisms Without Knowledge of Context: An Exploratory Analysis of an Eye-Tracking and Key-Logging Experiment. In Explorations in Empirical Translation Process Research [Machine Translation: Technologies and Applications, 3], ► pp. 315 ff.
2022. The process and product of note-taking and consecutive interpreting: empirical data from professionals and students. Perspectives 30:2 ► pp. 258 ff.
2022. “It Made Me Think Like a Nurse”: Virtual Simulations With Interpreters. Journal of Nursing Education 61:6 ► pp. 334 ff.
2019. Conceptualizing and Operationalizing a Formative Assessment Model for English-Chinese Consecutive Interpreting. In Quality Assurance and Assessment Practices in Translation and Interpreting [Advances in Linguistics and Communication Studies, ], ► pp. 89 ff.
2020. The Application of Text Categorization Technology in Adaptive Learning System for Interpretation of Figures. In Advances in Harmony Search, Soft Computing and Applications [Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 1063], ► pp. 130 ff.
2022. A Synthetic Review of Cognitive Load in Distance Interpreting: Toward an Explanatory Model. Frontiers in Psychology 13
2020. The Impact of Rote Repetition Impacts Simultaneous Interpreting Performance: An Explorative Study. Modern Linguistics 08:02 ► pp. 261 ff.
2021. The Two-Way Relationship between Interpreting Experience and Working Memory—A Review of Empirical Evidence. Modern Linguistics 09:01 ► pp. 187 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 26 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.