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  • Author or Editor: Agnieszka Chmiel x
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Simultaneous interpreting (SI) is a cognitively demanding task. This is why there are typically two interpreters working in a booth and taking turns every 30 minutes or so. Interpreters work in pairs not only to be able to overcome fatigue, but also to cooperate and help each other. This article is an attempt to shed some light on the process of booth teamwork. Cooperation in the booth is examined in the professional context, which leads to conclusions regarding the incorporation of this skill in conference interpreter training.A survey was conducted among 200 free-lance interpreters associated in AIIC and working on various markets to find out more about their expectations and needs as regards assistance from their booth partners. The respondents were asked about their mode of operation, activities in the booth when off-mike and their perception of the need to teach cooperation to interpretation trainees. It turns out that there are some factors that may impede teamwork in the simultaneous interpreting booth. Interpreters who are off-mike can engage in last-minute preparation using materials supplied by the organizers shortly before the commencement of a conference. Additionally, fatigue may prevent them from actively listening to the input and assisting their boothmate. The results of the survey may help answer the question if teamwork and turn-taking should be part of simultaneous interpreting courses.

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Reception studies are frequently used in audio description research to elicit preferences of the visually impaired about certain aspects and level of acceptance of various solutions. However, this research method is characterised by limitations, which are discussed in this article as regards the participants and the design of reception studies. We then present a study which we think has been successful in overcoming some of these limitations, conducted as part of the European project entitled ADLAB: Lifelong Access for the Blind on 80 visually impaired persons (VIPs) and 77 sighted controls from six project partners’ countries. The respondents were presented with various audio description solutions and answered preference, comprehension and visualisation questions to find out which solutions they preferred, how much they understood following a given description and how easy it was for them to imagine a given description. We conclude that eliciting subjective opinions of respondents might be inconclusive and that AD reception research should be more focused on the cognitive efficiency of AD.

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