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Source Text Difficulty in Interpreting Training: Trainers’ Perspective

최문선 1

1이화여자대학교 통번역대학원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Although source text (ST) difficulty constitutes one of the key criteria for selecting STs for classes and tests in interpreter training, few attempts have been made to explore what makes a given ST difficult for students to interpret and how to assess its difficulty level. The present study, undertaken as part of the author’s PhD research, aims to identify factors affecting ST difficulty in interpreter training. As implied in the use of the term ‘ST’, the scope of the study was confined to intra-textual factors, i.e. factors directly attributable textual features. Following literature review and a pilot study, a set of ST difficulty criteria was produced and categorized into a list of six key areas, i.e. topic, general vocabulary, syntax, logic, information density and re-expression in the target language. Based on this result, an experiment with 13 interpreting teachers was conducted where the participants were provided with 10 texts and asked to provide descriptions of the perceived difficulty and ratings of difficulty level on a Likert scale for individual texts. The result shows that 1) interpreting teachers make their judgment of ST difficulty mainly based on topic; and 2) ST’s overall difficulty rated by the interpreting teachers are strongly correlated with their perceived degree of topic difficulty.

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* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.