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ITELF: (E)merging interests in interpreting and translation studies

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Albl-Mikasa Michaela, Ehrensberger-Dow Maureen,
Project Cognitive Load in Interpreting and Translation (CLINT)
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Translation and Interpreting. Convergence, Contact, Interaction
Editor , Gentile Paola; , Dal Fovo Eugenia
Publisher Peter lang, Oxford
Page(s) 45 - 62
ISBN 978-1-78707-752-2
Title of proceedings Translation and Interpreting. Convergence, Contact, Interaction
DOI 10.3726/b11437

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


The ubiquitous use of English by non-native speakers has become a hallmark of modern communication, even in a multilingual country with several national languages such as Switzerland. This phenomenon has prompted a great deal of research into English as a lingua franca (ELF), with most of it devoted to documenting its spread and investigating its communicative effectiveness. What appears at first glance to be a practical solution to facilitate exchanges in business, finance, education and science has a downside, however, because producing and processing a foreign language can add to cognitive load and stress. Since by definition ELF is not the same as standard English, additional effort must also be made on the part of native and non-native speakers alike to understand non-standard utterances. Professional interpreters and translators are especially affected by the increase in the use of ELF, because they have to cope with non-standard spoken or written input, respectively, while at the same time meeting high quality expectations for the target output. In this contribution, we explain where interpreting and translation studies converge with respect to the challenges associated with ELF and how process research techniques from the two disciplines can be merged in a mixed-method approach focused on determining the cognitive impact of processing non-standard language input. We suggest future directions in the under-researched area of interpreting, translation and ELF (i.e. ITELF) and outline what the implications of such research might be for model building, professional practice and training.