Consecutive Interpreting Strategies: A Critical Review

Hossein Rahmanpanah


Consecutive interpreters encounter unexpected difficulties arising from source language interlocutors’ pronunciation or even their speech delivery rate. Hence, they usually take immediate actions to overcome these difficulties through employing certain strategies or tactics (Gile, 2009). Consecutive interpreting strategies are defined as conscious and subconscious decisions in which the interpreters take to clarify the arising problems and to transfer the source language interlocutor’ intended meaning in a precise manner. Nevertheless, as the use of strategies by consecutive interpreters is rarely explored in the available literature, this review aims at in-depth investigation of the process-oriented and product-oriented strategies employed by consecutive interpreters to tackle with the adverse effects of the source text interlocutors’ pronunciation particularities, source text density, or even acoustic and visual constraints.  The researcher first reviewed process-oriented and product-oriented strategies as well as comprehension-facilitating strategies to address specific source language comprehension-related or target language production-related problems. Then, the researcher highlights the fact that strategy training should be in the focal attention of interpreters’ trainers and practitioners as using interpreting strategy results in automatized strategic processes, moderating interpreters’ cognitive load. The automatized use of interpreting strategy decreases the cognitive load of interpreters’ memory, declines processing capacity saturation, and facilitates the interpreting process. Collectively, consecutive interpreting trainees should be trained to use interpreting strategies to tackle with cognitive and language-specific constraints. Overall, the employment of strategy by consecutive interpreters might ease the cognitive burden, improve the pace of delivery, and remove the collection of non-interpreted contents, preventing interpreters’ memory from being overloaded.   


Consecutive Interpreting, Interpreting, Strategy

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