The relationship between working memory capacity and simultaneous interpreting performance: a mixed methods study on professional Auslan/English interpreters

Wang, Jihong (2016) The relationship between working memory capacity and simultaneous interpreting performance: a mixed methods study on professional Auslan/English interpreters. International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting, 18 1: 1-33. doi:10.1075/intp.18.1.01wan


Author Wang, Jihong
Title The relationship between working memory capacity and simultaneous interpreting performance: a mixed methods study on professional Auslan/English interpreters
Journal name International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1384-6647
1569-982X
Publication date 2016
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1075/intp.18.1.01wan
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 18
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 33
Total pages 33
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing Company
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract This experimental study investigated the relationship between signed language interpreters’ working memory capacity (WMC) and their simultaneous interpreting performance. Thirty-one professional Auslan (Australian Sign Language)/English interpreters participated: 14 native signers and 17 non-native signers. They completed simultaneous interpreting tasks from English into Auslan and vice versa, an English listening span task and an Auslan working memory span task; each interpreting task was followed by a short semi-structured interview. Quantitative results for the sample as a whole showed no significant correlations between bilingual WMC and overall simultaneous interpreting performance in either direction. The same trend was established for both the native signers and the non-native signers, considered as two separate groups. The findings thus suggest that professional signed language interpreters’ WMC as measured by complex span tasks is not closely associated with the overall quality of their simultaneous interpreting performance. Data regarding educational and professional background showed mixed patterns in relation to participants’ interpreting performance in each language direction. In the interviews, participants reported various triggers of cognitive overload in the simultaneous interpreting tasks (e.g. numbers, lists of items, a long time lag, dense information, fatigue) and mentioned their coping strategies (e.g. strategic omissions, summarization, generalization, adjusting time lag).
Keyword Cognitive overload
Working memory capacity
Signed language interpreting
Correlation
Simultaneous interpreting performance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 11 May 2016, 11:16:18 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures