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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of topic familiarity on interpreting quality of eighteen Master of Translation and Interpreting (MTI) student interpreters in Chinese–English consecutive interpreting (CI) at a university in China. Data were collected from two interpreting tasks in a 2-hour interpreting course over a four-week period. The interpreting quality was assessed by using three analytic rating scales (i.e., information completeness, fluency of delivery, and target language quality) and a holistic rating. Semi-structured interviews with the students were conducted to gain some in-depth perceptions of the effects of topic familiarity on interpreting quality. The results showed that topic familiarity had significant effects on information completeness, fluency of delivery, target language quality, and holistic scores of the interpreting tasks. It was also found that topic familiarity strongly correlated with information completeness, fluency of delivery, target language quality, and holistic scores. The findings of the study indicate that topic familiarity should be included and highlighted in Chinese–English consecutive interpreting in classroom contexts. The study provides effective guidance for interpreting teaching, training, and research.

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