Dealing with Cognitive Saturation in the English to Thai Simultaneous Interpreting of Quantity Numbers

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Sasee Chanprapun


Simultaneous interpreting is a task requiring high degrees of concentration and use of effort. It has been postulated that the three efforts involved in simultaneous interpreting are listening and analysis, use of short term memory, and speech production. The interpreter must manage these three efforts in a way that the simultaneous use of the efforts does not exceed his cognitive saturation level, after which his attempts to produce a good interpretation will fail. Additionally, it has been suggested that message density is a possible problem trigger in simultaneous interpreting while another probable cause for failure may be the absence of immediate lexical equivalents in the source and target languages. In the English to Thai simultaneous interpreting context, quantity numbers(sums) are known to be a problem trigger because they are dense in meaning and because certain magnitude numbers cannot be interpreted by mere replacement of a word in the source language with its pair in the target language, but require an additional analytical step. This paper will provide a detailed analysis of the above issues, suggest the use a technique/tool as a possible solution, and discuss the initial findings of a research on the use of mixed method note-taking among beginner level interpreting students. Research findings showed improvement in the subjects’ ability to simultaneously interpret sums from English to Thai after employing the mixed method note-taking for the interpreting of quantity numbers.


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How to Cite
Chanprapun, S. (2018). Dealing with Cognitive Saturation in the English to Thai Simultaneous Interpreting of Quantity Numbers. Journal of Studies in the English Language, 13(2), 1-27. Retrieved from


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