Remote vs face-to-face interpreting – Does it make a difference in interpreter performance?
|Dates:||25 March 2021|
|Times:||10:00 - 11:30|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, External researchers, Adults, Current University students, General public|
|Speaker:||Professor Sandra Hale|
Remote interpreting has traditionally been the least preferred option when face-to-face interpreting was infeasible (Skinner et al, 2018). Interpreters typically prefer face-to-face over remote interpreting (Wang, 2017). The current pandemic shifted the landscape, making remote interpreting the default in many if not most settings. Improved video conferencing technologies facilitated this transition. While many advantages of remote interpreting are acknowledged, such as access to more and better qualified interpreters, absence of travel and even increased confidentiality (Braun et al, 2018), many disadvantages are highlighted. Among the disadvantages are the lack of immediacy, coordination and management difficulties, internet connection and technology-related problems, inadequate working conditions, unclear protocols and lack of visual cues especially for telephone interpreting (Kelly, 2008; Määttä, 2018; Xu et al, 2020). The main question is whether remote interpreting has any impact on interpreter performance and interpreting quality. This paper presents results of an experimental study that compared the performance of 103 qualified interpreters in three language combinations (Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish), in three conditions (face-to-face vs video remote vs telephone remote interpreting) in the context of simulated police interviews. Interpreters’ preferences and perceptions were elicited and analysed, and their performance was assessed by independent trained raters using detailed marking criteria. Results showed no significant differences between face-to-face and videolink interpreting, but significant decrements in telephone interpreting performance. Over one third of interpreters perceived remote interpreting as more difficult. No differences emerged between the language groups.
Braun, S., et al. (2018). Video-Mediated Interpreting in Legal Settings: Assessing the Implementation. Here or There : Research on Interpreting Via Video Link. J. Napier, R. Skinner and S. Braun. Washington DC, Gallaudet University Press: 144-179.
Kelly, N. (2008). Telephone Interpreting: A Comprehensive Guide to the Profession. Bloomington: Trafford Publishing.
Määttä, S. K. (2018). Accuracy in telephone interpreting. The Interpreters' Newsletter, 23, 1-17.
Skinner, R., et al. (2018). Mapping of the Field. Here or There : Research on Interpreting Via Video Link. J. Napier, R. Skinner and S. Braun. Washington DC, Gallaudet University Press: 11-35.
Wang, J. (2017). ‘Telephone interpreting should be used only as a last resort.’ Interpreters’ perceptions of the suitability, remuneration and quality of telephone interpreting. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 26 (1), 1-17. doi:10.1080/0907676X.2017.1321025
Xu, H., et al. (2020). "Telephone interpreting in lawyer-client interviews: An observational study." The International Journal for Translation & Interpreting Research 12(1): 18-36.
Professor Sandra Hale
Organisation: University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Biography: Professor Sandra Hale is Convenor of the Interpreting & Translation programs at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, where she teaches Interpreting in community, legal and conference settings. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts in Interpreting & Translation, a Diploma of Education, a Master of Applied Linguistics, and a PhD in court interpreting/forensic linguistics. She is a pioneer in Community Interpreting pedagogy and research. She was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Antwerp for her ground-breaking research into Community Interpreting. She is currently involved in a number of large externally funded research projects dealing with different aspects of interpreting in court and police settings.
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