Investigating the effects of speech rate and accent on simultaneous interpretation

a mixed-methods approach

Chao Han, Mehdi Riazi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The issue addressed in this study is effects of speakers' fast speech rate (FSR) and strong accent (StrA) on simultaneous interpretation (SI) quality. Although it is perceived that FSR and StrA negatively affect overall SI quality, such effects have been mostly derived from small-sample quantitative studies and have not been consistently borne out by empirical evidence. The present mixed-methods study therefore draws upon a sample of 32 professional interpreters to shed both quantitative and qualitative insights into the issue. In particular, a parallel mixed design was used in Phase I of the study to explore the effects of FSR and StrA on three measures of SI performance (i.e., fidelity, fluency and expression), followed by Phase II where data quantitizing was performed to verify an emerging finding from Phase I. Overall, FSR produced differential effects on the three measures, while StrA exerted a consistent detrimental effect across the measures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-259
    Number of pages23
    JournalAcross Languages and Cultures
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • fast speech rate
    • mixed-methods research (MMR)
    • simultaneous interpretation
    • strong accent

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