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Translation Studies and Translation Practice: Proceedings of the 2nd International TRANSLATA Conference, 2014

Part 1


Edited By Lew N. Zybatow, Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski

TRANSLATA II was the second in a series of triennial conferences on Translation and Interpreting Studies, held at the University of Innsbruck. The series is conceptualized as a forum for Translation Studies research. The contributions to this volume focus on humo(u)r translation, legal translation, and human-machine interaction in translation. The contributors also regard computer-aided translation, specialised translation, terminology as well as audiovisual translation and professional aspects in translation and interpreting.

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Simultaneous Interpreting into a “B Language”: Considerations for Trainers and Trainees (Kilian G. Seeber)


Kilian G. Seeber, FTI/University of Geneva

Simultaneous Interpreting into a “B Language”: Considerations for Trainers and Trainees

Abstract: Intuitive truths and ideological convictions about the implications of working into one’s B language have long dominated this discussion and only recently given way to a more evidence-based approach. Against this background, I set out to relate some of the aforementioned truths to some of the findings from the fields of bi- and multilingual processing.

1. Simultaneous interpreting and bilingualism

One of the most fundamental skills enabling simultaneous conference interpreters to perform the daunting task of speaking one language whilst listening to another is the ability to communicate in more than one language. This feat fascinates lay people and researchers alike, for while it is estimated that more than half the world’s population can speak more than one language (Grosjean 2010), at least from a cognitive perspective, this ability is not inconsequential (Christoffels / de Groot 2005). The experts studying bilingualism are as of yet unable to fully explain the phenomenon. They have, however, formulated likely hypotheses about the mechanisms allowing bilinguals to speak and understand two languages without confusing them in any major way (Yudes et al. 2012). The relevance of these insights into the workings of the bilingual brain for aspiring interpreters and interpreter trainers appears obvious, since being a conference interpreter also means being bilingual – or does it?

2. Understanding and speaking one language

Although people speaking...

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