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2013-08-31 - Colloque/Présentation - communication orale - Anglais - 24 page(s)

Lenglet Cédric , "The Impact of Fluency on the Comprehensibility of Simultaneous Interpreting: A Pilot Study" in 7th European Society for Translation Studies Congress:Translation Studies: Centres and Peripheries, Germersheim, Allemagne, 2013

  • Codes CREF : Linguistique appliquée (DI5320)
  • Unités de recherche UMONS : Traduction spécialisée et Terminologie (T204)
  • Instituts UMONS : Institut de Recherche en Développement Humain et des Organisations (HumanOrg)
Texte intégral :

Abstract(s) :

(Anglais) Does the prosody of simultaneous interpreting influence speech perception? In other words, does the typical intonation of interpreters reduce the comprehensibility of interpreted speech? In a multilingual conference, the participants who use simultaneous interpreting most are those who do not understand the source language. These “true consumers” cannot assess interpreting quality on the basis of source-target correspondence. Instead, they rely on non-verbal cues such as the interpreter’s intonation and pauses, which can influence their assessment even more than the interpreter’s accuracy. Equally important, interpreted speech has peculiar prosodic features such as non-syntactical pauses or low-rise non-final pitch movements (Shlesinger 1994; Ahrens 2005). However, the perception of the prosody of interpreting has been understudied until now, even though prosodic features might influence not only quality evaluation, but also comprehension and therefore, successful communication. In my paper, I will present the results of two experimental pilot studies, which tested whether the prosody of interpreting alters the perception and comprehensibility of interpreted speech. I designed my experiment after Holub (2010), Rennert (2010) and Reithofer (2011). 43 university students of economics (study 1) and 29 translation students (study 2) watched a presentation in German and listened to one of two versions of an interpretation into French. Both versions had the same content, but one was a simultaneous interpretation and the other was its shadowing, i.e. its word-for-word parroted version. With a questionnaire and a listening test, I measured the students’ subjective and objective comprehension as well as their perception of several quality parameters. Neither subjective nor objective comprehension varied significantly according to experimental condition, although shadowing showed a slight tendency to reduce comprehension (study 2, p=.148). With regard to perception, translation students rated the prosody of interpreting as significantly less fluent (study 2, p=.016). Whatever the experimental conditions, the perception of fluency correlated significantly with subjective comprehension and perceived accuracy, as in Rennert (2010). To conclude, comparing shadowing and interpreting does not demonstrate that the prosody of interpreting reduces comprehensibility. With reference to perception, the results support previous findings in the sense that the perception of fluency influences overall quality ratings (e.g. Rennert 2010). Future research will explore further the differences between the prosody of interpreting, shadowing and reading aloud, with a larger experiment and a prosodic analysis.