Objective Assessment of Students' Interpreting Performance: An Experimental Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nahavand Higher Education Complex, Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran

2 Leiden University, The Netherlands and University of Pannonia, Hungary


The traditional metric of interpreting quality is a score given by human professional judges focusing on the interpreters’ performance. However, there is a poor agreement on what constitutes an acceptable interpretation. This study investigates the objective assessment of interpreter trainees’ performance. Two groups of 15 student interpreters were formed. Participants were assigned to groups at random, but with equal division between genders (seven males in each group). The control group was taught interpreting skills by the routine curriculum, while the experimental group spent part of the time instead on theoretical explanation and practical exercises emphasizing prosodic differences between Persian and English. Three raters assessed the quality of the interpreter trainees’ performance in a post-test. Then the interpreting performance of the students was assessed objectively through Praat software. The results show that the intersubjective ratings of the students’ interpreting performance can be adequately predicted from objective measures through multiple linear regression. These results have implications for designers of curricula for training interpreters, and material producers in interpreting education.


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