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Title: An empirical study of pauses in Chinese-English simultaneous interpreting
Authors: Wang, B
Li, T
Keywords: Characteristics and motivations
Chinese-English simultaneous interpreting
Empirical study
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Routledge
Source: Perspectives: Studies in translatology, 2015, v. 23, no. 1, p. 124-142 How to cite?
Journal: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 
Abstract: This empirical study explores the characteristics of and motivations for pauses in Chinese-English (C-E) simultaneous interpreting (SI). The data were collected from a simultaneous interpreting task in which five expert interpreters and five trainee interpreters interpreted an authentic speech from Chinese into English. A bilingual corpus was built comprising transcripts of the speech and the interpretations and pauses were codified for analysis. Retrospective interviews were conducted to stimulate subjects' recall of their motivations for unnatural pauses in SI production. The major findings are: First, pauses are less frequent but longer in C-E simultaneous interpreting than in the original speech. Second, there is a hierarchical distribution of pauses corresponding to syntactic complexity, except that pauses inside phrases are disproportionately frequent. Third, major motivations for unnatural pauses in C-E simultaneous interpreting can be attributed to SI-specific strategies such as waiting, formulating and restructuring. Fourth, compared with trainees, expert interpreters have fewer and shorter pauses and their pauses tend to be more appropriate and occur mainly at major syntactic junctions. Although both groups share major motivations for unnatural pauses, expert interpreters have remarkably fewer pauses due to formulating, waiting, conceptualising and split attention but more pauses due to monitoring and adoption of strategies.
ISSN: 0907-676X
DOI: 10.1080/0907676X.2014.948885
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