Project

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Cognitive Load in Interpreting and Translation (CLINT)

Applicant Albl-Mikasa Michaela
Number 173694
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Departement Angewandte Linguistik Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften ZHAW
Institution of higher education Zurich University of Applied Sciences - ZHAW
Main discipline Interdisciplinary
Start/End 01.07.2018 - 31.10.2022
Approved amount 1'263'222.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Interdisciplinary
Applied linguistics
Psychology

Keywords (8)

electroencephalography; English as a lingua franca; cognitive load; ELF; expertise; stress; translation; interpreting

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Englisch ist die erste globale Lingua franca. Englisch als Lingua franca (ELF) verdrängt selbst in der mehrsprachigen Schweiz die vier Nationalsprachen in der internationalen wie inländischen Kommunikation. Was sich auf den ersten Blick als praktische Lösung für die Verständigungsprobleme in Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft oder Bildung etabliert zu haben scheint, hat seinen Preis. Bisher hat sich die Forschung allerdings noch kaum mit den Folgen befasst, die daraus resultieren, dass heutzutage Millionen von Menschen in zentralen Lebensbereichen in einer Fremdsprache kommunizieren.
Lay summary
Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts
Als Sprachexperten haben Dolmetscher und Übersetzer eine tragende Rolle bei der mehrsprachigen internationalen Verständigung inne und verfügen über die Kompetenzen und Strategien zur Verarbeitung von Texten und Reden, die mehr und weniger grosse Abweichungen vom (erlernten) Standard aufweisen. Trotzdem lassen erste Untersuchungen darauf schliessen, dass die wachsende Zahl von nichtmuttersprachlichen englischen Rednern oder Textautoren zu kognitiver Überlastung und Stress beim Dolmetschen und Übersetzen führt. Ziel des Projekts ist es, den Auswirkungen dieses Globalisierungsphänomens in einem interdisziplinären Team von Dolmetsch- und Übersetzungswissenschaftlern sowie Neuropsychologen auf den Grund zu gehen. Anhand vielfältiger Methoden werden die kognitiven Anforderungen an unterschiedlich weit fortgeschrittene Sprach-experten bei der Sprachverarbeitung von ELF und Standardenglisch verglichen, wobei neben auszubildenden und professionellen Dolmetschern und Übersetzern auch andere Mehrsprachige einbezogen werden.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext
Die Globalisierung lässt sich nicht aufhalten. Mit einem besseren Verständnis der Zusammenhänge zwischen Expertise, kognitiver Belastung und Stress bei der Verarbeitung einer globalen Lingua franca will das Projekt nicht nur zur Methoden- und Modellbildung in den entsprechenden Disziplinen (Translationswissenschaft, ELF-Forschung, Neuropsychologie) beitragen, sondern die Bürger auch über die Integration der Ergebnisse in Ausbildungsprogramme auf eine Zukunft im ‚global village‘ vorbereiten.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.05.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Conference interpreting and English as a lingua franca
Albl-Mikasa Michaela (2022), Conference interpreting and English as a lingua franca, in Tiselius Elisabet, Albl-Mikasa Michaela (ed.), Routledge, London, 546-563.
English as a lingua franca: A paradigm shift for translation and interpreting?
Albl-Mikasa Michaela (2022), English as a lingua franca: A paradigm shift for translation and interpreting?, in SLOVO, 13(1), 65-81.
Stress, cognitive, emotional and ergonomic demands in interpreting and translation A review of physiological studies
GieshoffAnne Catherine, LehrCaroline, Hunziker HeebAndrea (2021), Stress, cognitive, emotional and ergonomic demands in interpreting and translation A review of physiological studies, in Cognitive Linguistic Studies, 8(2), 404-439.
Situated translation: Cognitive load and the role of emotions
Hunziker Heeb Andrea, Lehr Caroline, Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen (2021), Situated translation: Cognitive load and the role of emotions, in Sun Sanjun, Martín Muñoz Ricardo, Li Defeng (ed.), Springer, Singapore, 47-65.
Cognitive load in processing ELF: translators, interpreters, and other multilinguals
Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen, Albl-Mikasa Michaela, Andermatt Katrin, Hunziker Heeb Andrea, Lehr Caroline (2020), Cognitive load in processing ELF: translators, interpreters, and other multilinguals, in Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 9(2), 217-238.
Cognitive load in relation to non-standard input: Insights from translation, interpreting and neuropsychology
Albl-Mikasa Michaela, Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen, Hunziker Heeb Andrea, Lehr Caroline, Boos Michael, Kobi Matthias, Jäncke Lutz, Elmer Stefan (2020), Cognitive load in relation to non-standard input: Insights from translation, interpreting and neuropsychology, in Translation, Cognition, Behavior, 3(2), 263-286.
Lingua franca, interpreting (ELF)
Albl-Mikasa Michaela (2020), Lingua franca, interpreting (ELF), in Baker Mona, Saldanha Gabrielle (ed.), Routledge, London, 285-290.
Tracking the microstructural properties of the main white matter pathways underlying speech processing in simultaneous interpreters
Elmer Stefan, Hänggi Jürgen, Vaquero Lucía, Cadena Guillem Olivé, François Clément, Rodríguez-Fornells Antoni (2019), Tracking the microstructural properties of the main white matter pathways underlying speech processing in simultaneous interpreters, in NeuroImage, 191, 518-528.
ITELF: (E)merging interests in interpreting and translation studies
Albl-Mikasa Michaela, Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen (2019), ITELF: (E)merging interests in interpreting and translation studies, in Gentile Paola, Dal Fovo Eugenia (ed.), Peter lang, Oxford, 45-62.
The interpreter's brain during rest — Hyperconnectivity in the frontal lobe
Klein Carina, Metz Silvana Iris, Elmer Stefan, Jäncke Lutz (2018), The interpreter's brain during rest — Hyperconnectivity in the frontal lobe, in PLOS ONE, 13(8), e0202600-e0202600.
Fundamental concepts in T&I reconsidered in light of ELF
Albl-MikasaMichaela, Ehrensberger-DowMaureen, Fundamental concepts in T&I reconsidered in light of ELF, in Radicioni Maura, Silva Gisele (ed.), Leuven University Press, Leuven.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
3rd International Conference on Translation, Interpreting & Cognition (ICTIC3) Talk given at a conference Processing ELF: How do language professionals reflect on it? 02.11.2021 Forlí, Italy Gieshoff Anne Catherine; Hunziker Heeb Andrea;
Lodz-ZHAW Duo Colloquium Translation and Meaning Talk given at a conference Meaning-making in interpreting ELF input - the amplified role of context 02.09.2021 Winterthur, Switzerland Gieshoff Anne Catherine;
Łódź-ZHAW Duo Colloquium on Translation and Meaning Talk given at a conference Basic principles of interlingual mediation: relevance in ELF contexts 02.09.2021 Winterthur, Switzerland Albl-Mikasa Michaela; Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen;
17th International Pragmatics Conference Talk given at a conference Basic principles of interlingual mediation: Relevance in ELF contexts 27.06.2021 Winterthur, Switzerland Albl-Mikasa Michaela; Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen;
7th Young Linguists' meeting Talk given at a conference Interpreting quality and effort in expert and novice interpreters 23.04.2021 Poznan, Poland Gieshoff Anne Catherine;
2nd Hong Kong Baptist University International Conference on Interpreting Talk given at a conference English as a lingua franca-induced effects on cognitive load and interpreting quality 08.04.2021 Hongkong, Hongkong Albl-Mikasa Michaela; Gieshoff Anne Catherine;
The Łódź-ZHAW Duo Colloquium on Translation and Meaning (Lodz) Talk given at a conference From reproduction to creative approximation in English as a lingua franca contexts – a paradigm shift in T&I? 05.12.2020 Lodz, Poland Albl-Mikasa Michaela;
EST 2019 Congress Talk given at a conference Challenges of non-standard input for translation and interpreting 09.09.2019 Stellenbosch, South Africa Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen; Albl-Mikasa Michaela;
2nd International Congress on Translation, Interpreting and Cognition Talk given at a conference Introducing CLINT (Cognitive load in interpreting and translation) 04.07.2019 Germersheim, Germany Calzado Maura; Albl-Mikasa Michaela; Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen; Hunziker Heeb Andrea; Lehr Caroline; Valtchuk Oleksandra;
Waseda University Tokyo Invited presentation Individual talk ELF from the perspective of professional interpreting and translation 12.06.2019 Waseda University Tokjyo, Japan Albl-Mikasa Michaela;
3. Forschungstagung. Fachkommunikation – die wissenschaftliche Sicht Talk given at a conference Situated translation – A research agenda 29.03.2019 University of Hildesheim, Germany Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen;
6th International Workshop on Translation Process Research (TPRW6) Talk given at a conference Cognitive load in translation: the role of emotions. 21.01.2019 Murcia, Spain Lehr Caroline; Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen; Hunziker Heeb Andrea;
InPrint Prospect Seminar on Partnership Building toward Stronger Engagement in International Collaboration Talk given at a conference Current research in ZHAW Applied Linguistics 19.11.2018 UFMG, Belo Horizonte, Brazil Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen;
6th IATIS Conference on Translation & Cultural Mobility Talk given at a conference Challenges in studying interpreting, translation and English as a lingua franca (ITELF) 03.07.2018 Hong Kong, Hongkong Albl-Mikasa Michaela;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Einblick in eine immer aktueller werdende Thematik von globaler Bedeutung German-speaking Switzerland 2020

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
143819 Cognitive and Physical Ergonomics of Translation 01.01.2013 Interdisciplinary projects

Abstract

A consequence and driving force of the developments related to today’s increasingly interconnected yet greatly diversified world is the now ubiquitous use of English by non-native speakers. Even in multilingual Switzerland, English is replacing the four Swiss languages not only in international but also in intra-national communication. This first truly global lingua franca is pushing other languages into subsidiary roles in international business, finance, education, and science. The reality of millions of people communicating in a language that is not their first is sure to have enormous repercussions for multilingualism and multilingual societies. However, this reliance on English as a lingua franca (ELF*) can come at a cost. Despite the obvious relevance, there has been very little research into the personal costs and consequences for non-native speakers who have to work in English. The academic study of ELF has tended to focus on communicative success between non-native speakers and the linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of the phenomenon. Far less attention has been paid to the more negative aspects of processing non-standard language input. In particular, the cognitive load and stress associated with having to use a foreign language to conduct business, academic, and other professional communication have not been addressed. In addition, research into the implications of ELF for the traditional management of multilingualism, namely translation and interpreting, has been exceptionally rare. This project addresses these gaps by examining how translators and interpreters with different levels of expertise cope with ELF input compared with untrained multilinguals. Preliminary research suggests that the increasing number of ELF speakers at international gatherings impacts on professional interpreters’ capacity management and that the growing number of source texts written by non-native speakers of English is forcing translators to expend more time and effort on processing these ELF texts. Cognitive load seems to be the overriding issue for both groups of language experts, so the question logically arises as to whether untrained multilinguals also suffer cognitive overload when confronted with non-standard input in one of their non-native languages. A second major issue that the project examines are stress-related impacts of ELF on multilinguals’ language processes and professionals’ performance.This interdisciplinary project brings together researchers from the fields of ELF, interpreting, translation, and neuropsychology in order to gain a better understanding of the actual cognitive demands associated with ELF (as compared to Standard English) by describing and quantifying the influence of ELF on spoken and written language processing. A large number of multilingual participants will be recruited who have either no or various degrees of translation and interpreting experience in order to also evaluate whether there is a beneficial effect of language expertise on ELF processing. Our mixed-method approach ensures construct and concurrent validity. It includes audio and video recordings, eye-tracking and screen logging, physiological measurements, and stimulated-recall commentaries of processes in simulated workplace settings as well as product analyses; psychophysiological measurements in a controlled lab setting; and self-report through online surveys of members of the communities of professional practice (i.e. translators and interpreters). The various disciplinary perspectives will allow a rich description of challenges presented by ELF to experts and non-experts alike.The findings are expected to have implications not only for methodology and model-building in all of the disciplines concerned (i.e. ELF, translation and interpreting studies, neuropsychology), but also for language management and training in multilingual societies and corporations. Insights into the relationships between expertise, cognitive load, and stress when dealing with ELF input could be incorporated into undergraduate, graduate, and professional development programs in a wide variety of disciplines to better prepare the citizens of the future for this global phenomenon.* Reference to ELF has been avoided in the project title, so that study participants remain unaware of linguistic comparisons of interest.
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