Bianca Prandi is a recent graduate of the Advanced School of Languages and Literatures, Translation and Interpretation (SSLLeTI) of the University of Bologna. She holds a BA in Intercultural Linguistic Mediation and an MA in Interpreting.She graduated with a dissertation on the integration of the CAI tool InterpretBank in the curriculum of interpreting students.She is currently working as a freelance translator and interpreter. Her working languages are English and German and she is studying Polish with a view to adding it to her language combination.Her main research interests are terminology management and Computer-Aided Interpreting.
The use of CAI tools in interpreters’ training: a pilot study
In the last few years, technology has played an increasingly important role in interpreters’ training. The SSLLeTI of the University of Bologna currently offers students of the Master’s Degree in Interpreting a course in Methods and Technologies for Interpreting, which addresses topics ranging from terminology management to Computer-Aided Interpreting (CAI). A recent addition to the tools presented to students is InterpretBank, a software program designed to assist interpreters during their entire workflow, from conference preparation to interpreting in the booth (Fantinuoli, C., 2012).
We carried out a pilot study to collect information on the students’ approach to the use of CAI tools during simultaneous interpreting, i.e. to look up terminology in the booth. The study aims at gaining insight in the students’ use of CAI software in order to better integrate it in the curriculum by identifying potential issues and suggesting solutions. Our study investigates the students’ behaviour in the booth and their simultaneous interpreting output with a focus on the terminology used.
The study was conducted from October to December 2014, during the first semester of the academic year 2014/2015. 12 MA interpreting students took part in the study and were divided into two groups of 6 students each. The first group attended 1 introductory lesson during which the software program was presented and 3 lessons during which they practiced simultaneous interpreting in the booth with the support of the tool, while the second group attended 3 lessons on the program and practiced once in the booth. Students of the first group always worked with a different boothmate. This structure was chosen to verify whether more extensive practice in the booth helped students develop a personal and efficient way of using InterpretBank and at the same time to verify whether more guidance by the teacher resulted in greater awareness in the use of the software program.