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An Expert-Novice Comparison of (Dis)fluency in Simultaneous Interpretation from English to Korean

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2018, 19(5), pp.173-203
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2018.19.5.007
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : November 4, 2018
  • Accepted : December 5, 2018
  • Published : December 31, 2018

CHOI MOON SUN 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to examine expertise in interpreting from the perspective of fluency/disfluency of interpreting renditions. The assumption that renditions by expert interpreters with professional experience are more likely to be fluent was put to test by comparing English to Korean simultaneous interpretation by experts and novices. Fluency was measured with a set of variables which represent the speed and smoothness of interpreting renditions. On average, the speech rate of the expert group was 310spm, which was close to the typical rate of Korean speech delivered by TV news personnel, while the novice group fell far behind with an average rate of 241spm. The number of unfilled pauses of 1.0 second or longer were found twice as much in the novice group, indicating the expert group was successful in keeping the speech running smoothly with a lower number of breaks. This naturally led to higher phonation/time ratio for the expert group, which was likely to be associated with greater completeness of their renditions. Also, disfluencies including filled pauses, repairs, repeats and reversal of typical sentence orders were more frequent in the novice group. However, both groups demonstrated similarities in the length of unfilled pauses, distribution of non-syntactic pauses and repair sequences. These similarities suggest the inherent difficulties of cognitive processing involved in simultaneous interpretation.

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