Whether Consecutive Interpreting Should Be Taught Systematically In All Interpreter Training Programs Is A Frequently Debated Question. One Argument Made Forcefully Against Including CI Training Is That Consecutive Is Gradually Disappearing From The Market. This Claim Is Made Mostly In Western Europe; In Other Markets, and In Particular In Asia And In Eastern Europe, consecutive Seems To Be As Lively As Ever, due To Its Distinct Advantages Over Simultaneous (less Costly, less Cumbersome In Terms Of Equipment, more Flexible Over Time And Space) .
A Further Argument Made Against CI Training Is That In Programs Serving A Market Where This Mode Of Interpretation Is Not Required, learning Consecutive Means Devoting Much Time And Energy To The Acquisition Of Skills Not Relevant To The Market, time And Energy That Would Be Better Invested In Simultaneous. Some, however, counter This Argument By Claiming That Simultaneous Is Just An "accelerated Consecutive" And That The Skills Of Consecutive Are Therefore Relevant To Simultaneous.
This Paper Looks More Closely At The Nature Of Consecutive In Cognitive Terms, and Brings This Analysis Into The Debate.
2.Is Simultaneous An "accelerated Consecutive" ?
In Cognitive Terms, the Most Fundamental Problem In Interpreting Is That It Is Composed Of A Number Of Concurrent Operations Each Of Which Requires Processing Capacity (PC) , and The Amount Of PC Required Is Often As Much As - Or Even More Than - The Interpreter Has Available At The Time It Is Needed.
In Simultaneous, such Operations Can Be Pooled Together Into "Efforts" , such As:
- The Listening Effort (listening To And Analyzing The Source Speech);
- The Production Effort (producing A Target-language Version Of The Speech);
- A Short-term Memory Effort (storing Information Just Received From The Speaker Until It Can Be Rendered In The Target Speech) .
All Three "Efforts" Include Operations That Require Processing Capacity, as Is Well Known To Psycholinguists. Seemingly "effortless" Speech Production Does Require Attentional Resources, as Evidenced Inter Alia By Hesitation Pauses, which Reflect Intensive Efforts To Find An Appropriate Word And/or An Appropriate Syntactic Structure To Start, continue Or End A Sentence. This Is True Even In One's Native Language. Similarly, the Seemingly "spontaneous" And "automatic" Comprehension Effort Also Requires Attentional Resources. If These Are Not Invested Into Listening, words Can Be Heard And Forgotten Without Leaving Meaningful Traces In The Listener's Mind, as Can Be Seen In Consecutive When Too Much Attention Is Devoted To Note-taking And Not Enough To Listening.
In Consecutive, during The Listening Phase, operations Can Be Pooled Together Into: