Sophie Pointurier-Pournin (FR)

Saturday September 13th 2014

14:20-15:00         Sophie Pointurier-Pournin (FR)

“SL interpretation: challenges, tactics and efforts”

What happens in the head of the interpreter the heat of the moment? What are the challenges? What are the tactics of the interpreter and what are their impacts on the process of interpretation? Our demonstration is based on Daniel Gile’s Efforts Model of simultaneous interpreting (1985, 1995 and 2009). This model relies on the notion of attentional resources and processing capacities developed in cognitive psychology. Simultaneous interpretation is not an automatic operation, as the realization of the process is controlled and requires “energy”, which means attentional resources and processing capacities. All of the cognitive operations involved in interpretation can be grouped into subsets called “Efforts”. They are three Efforts in this model: the Listening and Analysis Effort, the Production Effort, the Memory Effort, plus a Coordination Effort which corresponds to the resources required to coordinate the three other Efforts. Information processing is more or less flexible within each subset and depends on several factors: the interpreter itself, the technical nature of the speech, the flow of the speaker, etc. The “Tightrope Hypothesis” explains the model and states that problems occur when total processing capacity requirements exceed available processing capacity and when processing capacity available for a given effort is not sufficient for the task the interpreter is engaged in. The empirical approach of our research has allowed us to highlight several findings: first we identified the major SL interpreters’ challenges (linguistic, social, space, etc.) and their impacts on the interpreter’s production. Then, we focused on the main tactics available: paraphrasing, scenarising, borrowing, fingerspelling and transcoding. We analyzed the cognitive impact of these tactics on the general process of SL interpretation. Our conclusions allowed us to make a proposition of an adaptation of Gile Efforts’ model applied to SL interpreting. The lecture will include the presentation of this model.