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Application of Anticipation Tactic in English to Chinese Simultaneous Interpretation of Live TV Broadcast


It is commonsense that speakers do not always read from texts, otherwise each sentence is carefully written and well structured, which will put simultaneous interpreters under grave pressure to process the intensive information and leave no room for anticipation. In real cases, different speaking modes can be expected. Additionally, interference factors such as noise during the speech might be countered by redundancy, for interpreters can draw clues from the speaker and better adapt to the context to anticipate and produce more accurate interpretation. The author assumes that redundancy does help understanding (Gaiba, 1998). This study aims to investigate the relationship between redundancy level in source speech and anticipation strategy interpreters adopt in simultaneous interpreting (SI). It is mainly based on a theoretical framework which combines Chernov's probability prediction model, Gile's effort model, relevancy theory and redundancy theories. These above-mentioned theories assist to explain why anticipation is necessary and feasible in SI and how redundancy in source text can exert certain effect on anticipation on the part of simultaneous interpreters (Chernov, 1979).

In this paper, the author tries to explore redundancy-based anticipation in SI. Many concepts will be defined and discussed in this chapter at appropriate point. This chapter will mainly review efforts made by previous researchers in the domain of SI, in anticipation in particular and redundancy studies.

Literature Review on Simultaneous Interpretation

Definition of SI

There are many versions when it comes to the definition of Simultaneous Interpretation. In “Interpreting for International Conferences”( Seleskovitch, 1978: 3) , Seleskovitch describes  that simultaneous interpretation expresses a message from one language into another in time, to be specific, nearly at the same time as it is conveyed in the original language. While Nicholson (1992), another famous pioneer in Simultaneous Interpretation research, gives a definition that simultaneous interpreting can be taken as such kind of act, an act of simultaneously perceiving, analyzing, interpreting and expressing so as to successfully communicate the message or contents delivered in the original language into another language.

Two Theoretical Models of Simultaneous Interpreting

The Interpretive Theory

This theory can be traced back to an article, “L’interpretet dans les conferences internationals” from a distinguished name in the field of interpreting theories, Danica Seleskovitch. In 1960s, he and other interpreting researchers introduced the interpretive theory, or sense-based theory (Liu Heping, 2006: 20-26) on the basis of the article. This theory focuses on the understanding of the meaning of ideas in the source language, instead of simply translating the two languages in the lingual form. That means the demand for the interpreter is higher, to the level of presenting the audience the sense of the speakers. Generally, the process of the simultaneous interpreting can be divided into three phases. Firstly, the interpreters need to comprehend the sense of the source language in a relatively comprehensive and accurate way, which depends on the good command of both linguistic knowledge and more importantly, their own background knowledge prepared before and the analyzing skills. The second step, deverbalization, or expression, is the key phase in the process. Actually, this can definitely explains that the essence of SI lies in the reconstruction of the meaning to a more idiomatic level rendered by the interpreter. Then re-expression is the third phase, which requires the interpreters to keep faith to the source speech, to the largest extent be the same with the content and the feeling of the speakers, and at the same time to reach the final goal of the whole process, delivering that to the audience. As Namy describes in his “Reflections on the Training of Simultaneous Interpreters--A Metalinguitic Approach” in Language Interpretation and Communication (Namy, 1978: 26) that the re-expression should be very clear, unambiguous and immediately comprehensible, that is to say, perfectly idiomatic, so that in this case, the listener does not have to mentally re-interpret the message that reaches him through the earphones.

The Effort Model of Simultaneous Interpreting

According to Daniel Gile, the Effort Model can generally summarize the interpreting process as three efforts.

a. The effort L

Listening and analysis, that is how Daniel Gile (Gile, 1995: 162) defines all the comprehension-oriented efforts, Here he introduced a physical concept, the sound waves uttered by the speaker, and the interpreter in such a process has to analyze them and finally turns them into the specific meaning.

b. The effort P

Standing for production, Gile defines the effort P as follows: the effort P is actually the set of operations. These operations extend from the mental representation of the message which is to be delivered to the speech planning and the performance of the speech plan as well.

c. The effort M

M is for memory (Gile, 1995: 168). As Gile explains: the short-term Memory Effort essentially dealing with memory operations from the time a speech segment is heard to the time it is reformulated in the target speech or disappears from memory.

In sum, these three elements are the fundamental ones for almost all the interpreting mode. And there is another significant element added to the mode of simultaneous interpreting, coordination. In Gile’s opinion, under normal circumstances, the interpreters have to exhaust their processing capacity, but it remains a big challenge for the interpreters to behave beyond their available capacity sometimes, which may leads to the failure of the interpretation.