First Advisor

Beatrice T. Oshika

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language




Translating and interpreting



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iii, 133 p.)


Simultaneous interpretation (SI) is a special kind of translation where the interpreter listens to a speaker, processes the spoken (or signed) source language message and produces an equivalent output in a target language, i.e., the interpreter produces one part of the message in the target language while simultaneously listening to the next part of the message in the source language. This thesis examines the process of simultaneous interpretation from an information processing point of view and describes the implications of such an approach for practical SI. Following an overview of research issues in SI literature, a definition of SI is given, pointing out the special characteristics of SI and the features that distinguish it from written translation and consecutive interpretation. A model incorporating various structural and functional components is then used to describe SI in terms of information processing. The focus of this investigation is on the integrative use of bottom-up and top-down processing mechanisms as typical features of human information processing systems. Subsequently the implications of the observations made about SI as an information process are considered within the context of practical SI. The various factors that influence the quality, speed and reliability of interpretation at all stages of the process are examined. Finally suggestions for the training of simultaneous interpreters are made. The thesis is concluded with the observation that SI is indeed a special kind of human information processing. Modelling SI in terms of information processing can contribute to the understanding of this complex process and its components. It is a powerful tool to enlighten the mechanisms and skills involved in SI and to establish efficient training programs for simultaneous interpreters.


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