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Language Directionality and Omission as Strategy during Simultaneous Interpreting

Lee Migyong 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Simultaneous interpreting involves a complex deployment of concomitant tasks for which the interpreter needs to strategically allocate her available processing capacity to transfer Source Language message into Target Language. According to studies, simultaneous interpreters are able to carry out different tasks under severe time constraints characteristic to simultaneous mode of interpreting attributable to working memory span and strategies to overcome time constraint. In the course of strategically allocating limited amount of working memory for different tasks, the interpreter will search for ways to use minimum amount of processing efforts for maximum meaning delivery, which will be manifested in her Target Language re-expression. The aim of this study is to explore how interpreters are utilizing omission as a strategy during simultaneous interpreting process by examining omissions that occur in actual conference interpreting data by 4 conference interpreters. For the study, authentic data was collected from an international conference hosted in Seoul. The types of omissions, their frequencies as well as possible cause of their occurrences are examined. In addition, interpreting data of Korean into English and English into Korean are compared to see the implications of language directionality on interpreters’ choice of strategies for re-expression. Although some of the time saving strategies used by interpreters seemed to violate the principle of faithfulness in interpreting, the strategies helped interpreters overcome time constraints and ease cognitive load as well as enhance the communicative relevance of Target Language expression.

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