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Anticipation of Predicates in Simultaneous Interpretation between Different Word Order Languages: A study of Korean-English interpretation classrooms


Anticipation, broadly defined as the act of predicting words or phrases before their verbalization by the speaker, is a pragmatic simultaneous interpretation strategy enabling interpreters to minimize the temporal gap between the source and target languages, expedite the retrieval of equivalent words or phrases, and mentally prepare for the progression of the source discourse or speech. The literature on anticipation as an interpretation strategy explains that interpreters harness both linguistic and extralinguistic resources to engage in anticipation during simultaneous interpretation (SI). Linguistic resources include idioms, set phrases, lexical transition probabilities, and common sentence structures, whereas extralinguistic resources include the contextual information about the source text and the interpreter’s background knowledge about the topic, setting, and speaker. Anticipation is particularly crucial to use during simultaneous interpretation from Korean into English. The structural difference between Korean, characterized as a subject-object-verb (SOV) language, and English, a subject-verb-object (SVO) language, necessitates interpreters' adept anticipation, particularly anticipation of predicates that typically conclude Korean sentences. Predicates in Korean sentences, besides indicating tense, also convey semantic content in the form of verbs or adjectives. Thus, anticipating predicates is often a crucial determinant of the success of SI. However, anticipating predicates is a skill to be obtained and trained that may not be effectively employed by interpreting students. This study examined a set of interpretation outputs from a sample of 22 graduate students to examine their utilization of anticipation during SI from Korean into English. The analysis of their interpretation focused on their attempts to anticipate predicates as well as the accuracy of their predictions. The analysis of the students’ anticipation attempts and anticipation accuracy revealed a discernible but weak correlation between the two variables. Additionally, the analysis discovered a tendency among the students to predict the auxiliary verb only and wait for more input (English) to complement or repair their partial anticipation of a predicate. This study offers insights into the ways in which students employ anticipation and provides avenues for interpreting trainers to design methods to train students’ anticipation skills employed during SI.


simultaneous interpretation, simultaneous interpretation strategy, anticipation, Korean-English simultaneous interpretation, interpreter training



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