Variability in the perception of fidelity in simultaneous interpretation
AbstractIn a series of distinct operations, an English speech made at a conference and its inter-pretation into French were presented auditorily and visually to professional interpreters, students and other assessors to study what they considered errors and omissions, as well as their assessment of the overall fidelity of the target speech. Results include high intra-group variability in all categories of assessors, marked differences between the number of errors and omissions reported after auditory vs. visual presentation, a generally more lenient assessment by interpreters than by other assessors, and a lack of clear correlation between the number of errors and omissions reported and the general fidelity rating given by assessors. These results suggest that fidelity assessment per-formed by single assessors and by very small groups of assessors may be very un-reliable, and that variability in fidelity norms may be an important factor in fidelity assessment.
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