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Cognitive Load in Interpreting and Translation (CLINT)

In this interdisciplinary project, researchers in the fields of interpreting, translation and neuropsychology are studying the influence of non-standard English on language processing to determine the cognitive correlates associated with non-standard input and to measure its impact on the performance of interpreters, translators, and other bilinguals.

The spread of English as the first global lingua franca is a determining factor of the 21st century with enormous repercussions for multilingualism and multilingual societies. Preliminary research at the interface of interpreting, translation and English as a lingua franca (ELF) suggests that the increasing number of ELF speakers have impacts on professional interpreters’ capacity management and the time and effort that translators spend on processing source texts written by non-native speakers. Cognitive load seems to be an overriding issue for both groups, although these professionals have developed strategies to deal with it. Drawing on perspectives from translation and interpreting studies, ELF, and neuroscience, the present project will address the following research questions:

  • What processing problems do ELF speeches and texts cause compared with those in standard English?
  • What influence does interpreting or translation expertise have on processing ELF input?
  • What coping strategies do interpreters, translators, and other multilinguals use when processing ELF?
  • What physiological correlates reflecting cognitive load are associated with processing ELF?
  • What other challenges do ELF speeches and texts present to the communities of practice?

Project overview

The interdisciplinary research project 'Cognitive load in interpreting and translation' (CLINT) is a Sinergia project funded by SNSF. The recursive mixed-methods design combines perspectives from:

  • neuroscientific investigations on multilingualism
  • translation and interpreting studies
  • research on ELF

Methods

The mixed-method design of the research project CLINT includes

  • quasi-experiments of active language processing (i.e. interpreting, translation, summarizing) in simulated workplace settings including techniques such as video recordings, eye tracking techniques, and heart-rate measurements
  • covert language processing experiments (e.g. listening and reading) in the controlled setting of the neuro-psychology lab using EEG
  • self-report observations in an online survey

Publications

Publications from the project will be posted here.

Team

Principal investigator

Co-investigators

Team members

Former team members