Recall and recognition among conference interpreters
Among the tasks usually carried out by conference interpreters, the question was which task demands most attention or is the deepest in terms of the depth of processing hypothesis proposed by Craik and Lockhart (1972). Simultaneous interpretation is a complex form of human information processing, involving the perception, storage, retrieval, transformation and transmission of verbal information. Shadowing involves the imediate vocalization of auditorily presented stimuli in the same language, whereas simultaneous interpretation involves translation of the incoming message. Mic consecutive interpreter listens to a message in L1, makes concurrent notes in L2, and then delivers an oral translation of the original speech by way of his notes. In Experiment I, conference interpreters (both trainee and professional) shadowed, interpreted simultaneously and consecutively, as well as listeneýd to French passages before (a) recalling in English and (b) answering three recognition tests in source language measuring lexical, semantic and syntactic retention. Listening and consecutive interpretation, which yielded significantly higher recall scores than did shadowing, were considered deeper forms of processing than shadowing. Also, simultaneous listening and speaking impaired recall of the material. A second experiment eliminated the translation variable. Subjects listened to, shadowed and interpreted consecutively, English passages, followed by retention ffeasures in the same language. Only consecutive interpretation (labeled as 'consecutive reiteration') yielded scores that were significantly higher than shadowing. Listening and recalling in the same language demands less processing or effort than listening in one language and recalling in another. In a third experiment designed to examine the role played by notes, subjects (a) listened to, (b) interpreted a text consecutively and (c) took notes but had their notes unexpectedly removed and were asked to recall the original without rehearsal. Consecutive interpretation with notes kept during delivery yielded significantly higher retention scores than either other condition. Listening is as good a form of attending to a message as note-taking when notes are an external form of encoding. Notes coupled with review represent a useful strategy for subsequent recall but note-taking alone is of questionable value.