chapter  2
18 Pages

How humans interpret

WithJonathan Downie

Conference interpreting is making its way to becoming a fully fledged, recognised profession. While Eva Paneth’s dissertation covered a wide range of interpreting – from the aforementioned simultaneous interpreting to consecutive interpreting, commercial and military interpreting, chuchotage or whispered interpreting and telephone interpreting – the vast majority of other work on the cognitive side of interpreting concentrates on simultaneous interpreting in conference settings. The act of trying to explain how human interpreters do their job is closely linked to the task of trying to predict the conditions under which they will perform well or otherwise. While psychologists and psycholinguists might see in interpreting an intellectually stimulating way to probe human cognition; since a high proportion of interpreting researchers are actually interpreters or interpreter trainers, their interests will tend to be rather more practical and down to earth.