A.M. de Groot
- Simultaneous interpreting: A cognitive perspective.
- Book title
- Handbook of bilingualism: Psycholinguistic approaches.
- Pages (from-to)
- New York: Oxford University Press
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Simultaneous interpreting (SI) is one of the most complex language tasks imaginable. During SI, one has to listen to and comprehend the input utterance in one language, keep it in working memory until it has been receded and can be produced in the other language, and produce the translation of an earlier part of the input, all of this at the same time. Thus, language comprehension and production take place simultaneously in different languages. In this chapter, we discuss SI from a cognitive perspective. The unique characteristics of this task and comparisons with other, similar, tasks illustrate the demanding nature of SI. Several factors influence SI performance, including the listening conditions and the language combination involved. We discuss some processing aspects of SI, such as the control of languages and language receding. We ask whether experience in interpreting is related to some special capabilities and discuss possible cognitive subskills of SI, such as exceptional memory skills. Finally, we discuss the implications of SI for theories of language production.