The Impact of Grammatical Differences on Simultaneous Interpreting
I am is a Senior Lecturer in Mandarin Chinese, Translation and Interpreting at Swansea University, the UK. My PhD is on the impact of grammatical differences on simultaneous interpreting and my research interests include linguistics, translation and interpreting. I have also been working as a freelance conference interpreter, proof-reader and translator since 2008 and have been interpreting and translating for British and Chinese governmental bodies, companies and international conferences held in the UK and the rest of Europe.
In the paper, I investigate the impact of grammatical differences on English-Mandarin Chinese simultaneous interpreting (SI), drawing upon an empirical study of nine professional interpreters and twelve student interpreters. The paper focuses on the effects of three English grammatical categories including passives, adverbials and noun phrases and of three Mandarin Chinese grammatical categories including coverb phrases, noun phrases and topic-prominent clauses on SI between the two languages. For each category, I compare interpretations of instances in which the grammatical structures are the same across the two languages with interpretations of instances in which the grammatical structures differ across the two languages, focusing on accuracy of content and appropriateness of delivery of the simultaneous interpretations. The qualitative and statistically quantitative assessment of the interpretations is based on a classification of seven parameters, namely, good in content (CG), omission in content (CO), substitution in content (CS), good in delivery (DG), grammatical error in delivery (DGE), correction in delivery (DC) and complete omission in delivery (DCO). The results indicate that grammatical differences have a statistically significant impact on the interpreting performance of both professionals and students, although the impact of expertise is also attested through the consistently better performance of professionals than of students. The paper significantly enhances the understanding of the impact of linguistic differences on SI between them and emphasizes that language-related strategies are also a necessary part of interpreting teaching and training. The paper also stresses that apart from the knowledge of contrastive linguistics, a better understanding of the nature of SI (its processes, its features and its challenges), of interpreters’ capacity (memory and physical limitations) and of outcome expectations (interpreters’ communicative role, speaker’s intention and audience’s response) should also be taken into account in interpreting training and teaching so that students become able to build professionalism as early as possible.
domingo, 03 de mayo de 2020, 16:00 - Sala 2