Simultaneous Interpretation of Numbers: Comparing German and English to Italian. An Experimental Study
An experimental study was carried out to investigate whether the difficulty of delivering numbers in SI is language-independent or whether some specific features – such as the different structures of the numerical systems in SL and TL – may also be relevant and influence SI performance negatively. To this end, a German text and an English text, both dense with numbers, were interpreted simultaneously into Italian by 16 students. The first language pair (ENIT) had a linear numerical system and the second one (DE-IT) did not, as in German the so-called inversion rule has to be applied. An initial analysis of the results suggested that the difficulty of delivering numbers in SI is language-independent.However, amore detailed analysis of the outcomes showed that a significant difference between the two language pairswas apparent in the distribution and typology of errors: transposition/position errors (including inversion errors) were evident in German but not in English.
The Interpreters' Newsletter
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Diletta Pinochi, "Simultaneous Interpretation of Numbers: Comparing German and English to Italian. An Experimental Study", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter 14/2009, Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2009, pp. 33-57