Computer-assisted preparation in conference interpreting

Claudio Fantinuoli


Preparation has been proposed in the literature as one of the most important phases of an interpreting assignment, especially if the subject is highly specialised. Preparing an assignment in advance aims at bridging the linguistic and extra-linguistic gap between conference participants and interpreters and at reducing the cognitive load during interpretation. For these reasons it is considered crucial in ensuring higher interpreting quality. Yet, preparation is generally time-consuming and interpreters may often experience the feeling of not knowing exactly how to perform this task efficiently. Information technology could change this. Even though the first computer-assisted interpreting software has entered the profession in recent years, no tool has been specifically developed to satisfy the needs of interpreters during the preparatory phase. After analysing different theoretical frameworks of interpreting preparation, this paper aims at presenting a tool that implements a corpus-driven approach to preparation. According to this approach, the process of knowledge and language acquisition needed to perform well as an interpreter is optimized by making it corpus-driven: browsing the terminology of the domain in a specialised corpus, interpreters are able to reconstruct its conceptual structure, prepare subject-related glossaries and rationalise the preparatory work.


interpreting, computer-based interpreter preparation, terminology, CAI tools

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