Syntactic processing in sight translation by professional and trainee interpreters
Professionals are more time-efficient while trainees view the source text less
The study examines how professional and trainee interpreters process syntax in sight translation. We asked 24 professionals and 15 trainees to sight translate sentences with subject-relative clauses and more difficult object-relative clauses while measuring translation accuracy, eye movements and translation durations. We found that trainees took longer to achieve similar translation accuracy as professionals and viewed the source text less than professionals to avoid interference, especially when reading more difficult object-relative sentences. Syntactic manipulation modulated translation and viewing times: participants took longer to translate object-relative sentences but viewed them less in order to avoid interference in target language reformulations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that reading measures in sight translation should be analysed together with translation times to explain complex reading patterns. It also proposes a new measure, percentage of dwell time, as an index of interference avoidance.
Keywords: sight translation, interpreter, interpreting trainee, eye-tracking, syntactic processing
Published online: 28 May 2019
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