Interpreter training: Devising a model for aptitude testing for simultaneous interpreters
AbstractThe proper selection and training of simultaneous interpreting candidates would ensure that they meet all essential requirements and are fully prepared to face any professional assignment they might encounter. Aptitude tests for entrance to training courses may be a step on the path to improving interpreting quality and strengthening the professionalisation of the field. As a result, this study aimed to design a comprehensive, custom-made aptitude test for simultaneous interpreting relevant for the South African context. A further aim for this test was for it to be used in practice to differentiate between those students who have the ability to succeed as interpreters and those who do not, in order to ultimately improve the quality of the professional field of interpreting. This aim was accomplished through a qualitative research design. First, a review was conducted on the available literature on interpreter aptitude testing. Further analysis showed that only eight of these tests had been proven to reliably predict aptitude for interpreting. Second, online surveys and in-person, semi-structured interviews were utilised to gather the opinions of interpreter trainers and potential interpreting students. The trainers were asked, among other questions, which cognitive and personality traits they would wish to test for in prospective students. The students were also asked, among other questions, to rate on a Likert scale their confidence in successfully completing the different available aptitude tests. Through this data, it was found that there is a need for aptitude testing for the training of simultaneous interpreting students in South Africa, and that both trainers and students advocated for its use. Moreover, it was possible to determine the most effective aptitude tests from among those that are available and, furthermore, those that would be easy to administer and complete.
Copyright (c) 2021 Simoné Gambrell, Harold Lesch
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).