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'4 ",Í^/\ I (1; '{l\ /l .} J\-'

,"é *l$ o

A SURVEY PAPER ON PERSONALTTY PROFILES OF TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS
By
Ingrid Kurz, Elvira Basel, Doris Chiba, Wcrncr Patels and Judith Wolíliamrn Institut für Übersctzcr- und Dolmctschcrausbiltlung, Univcrsity of Vicnna

SCRIBE OR ACTOR?

l.

Introduction

translation and interpreting studies, very little material exists on the personality of translators and interpreters. A seminar class led by Prof. Ingrid Kurz at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Vienna, Austria, set

Despite the growing numbcr of publications on a varicty

of

Íhccts oí.

itself the task of identifying the personality traits considered typical of
translators and interpreters by practitioners and researchers in the field as well as by beginners and advanced students at the Vienna Institute. This paper deals with existing literature in the field as well as a survey conducted among two groups of students. Both the theoretical and empirioal parts of the paper are based on the communication value orientation model by Pierre Casse (1981: 127 ff). Personality traits considered necessary for or typical oftranslators and/or interpreters by various authors were identified and related to Casse's value orientations. Subsequently, Casse's self-assessment exercise was administered to beginners and advanced students at the Vienna Institute.

2.

Communication value orientations accordins to Casse

Thecommunicationvalue orientation model by Piene Casse (1981: 121 tr) distinguishes four groups of "communication value orientations": actionoriented, process-oriented, people-oriented, and idea-oriented.

I' Kurz, E' I]usel,

I'). Chi|sa, W, I,uttl,t utul

J, WolÍ|i.ttnnt

Figurc l: Communication valuc orienta(ions uccordinc to eusse
IVHAT
CETTINO THINOS OONE
AQHIEVINO
DOINO

(tilrl
c x('l

lil ls
()n(t

itllil
<
()il(:

WHY
THEoR|É8 TNNOV TION

HOw

ilUrl

CONCEPTS

sTH^T€GlEs
OROANIZATION

liur
irssi

FACTS

ol
zl0

s
r

coMr.UNIc^Í|ol{ FÉL^Í|oNa

w()l

lSuTn*
WHO

rcsl

cxl'
lusk

Adapted from: Casse, Pierre. 1981, Training fttr the Cross-eulturttl Mind: A Handbook frtr Cross-Cullurul Trainers and Consultants. Washington: Sietar.

intr

lhc
irrtr

-

The action-oiented style is dominant in people who "liko action, doing,
achieving, getting things done, improving, solving problems,'. The process-oiented style dominates in people who "like facts, organizing, structuring, setting up strategies, tactics".
,l

motivation".

The people-oiented style is typical of individuals who "like to focus on social processes, interactions, communication, teamwork, social systems,

by
tlÍ.

theories, exchange of ideas, innovation, creativity, novelty".

The idea-oiented style is considered typical of people who "like concepts,

wo

cri
tirr
tlÍ'
c()t

with. The value orientation model was chosen for this paper because it deals with intercultural communication. David and Margareta Bowen (D. Bowen 1994: l7g) used the same model and casse's self-assessment exercise to determine the weight ofthese value orientations on large groups of candidates to the enrance examination of the Division of Interpretation and Translation at Georgetown university, but do'not report any findings. The self-assessment exercise is easy to administer and score. However, the first-person statements used may lead respondents unconsciously to assess themselves rather than the "tvDical"

According to casse, everybody possesses all four value orientations to some extent, but has a dominant orientation or one he/she feels most comfortable

lnI

im
Íilr
EX pr(

tn

vu

Scribe or Actor?

translator or interpreter. Furthermore, as the language of Casse's self-assessment exercise is English, it cannot be excluded that some statements may have been misinterpreted by the beginners group in the present study.

of selected statements for each style is recorded, with ail four styles adding up to 40 and a maximum score of 20 for any one value orientation. A balanced result would therefore be a score of 10 for each value orientation.

four value orientations (action, process, people, idea), with 20 statements assigned to each orientation. To score the self-assessment exercise. the number

casse's questionnaire, which was used to analyze communication value orientation, consists of forty pairs of first-person statements which describe attitudes and personality traits. Respondents are asked to select in each pair the one they feel to be typical of their own personality' The Statements aÍe numbered consecutively I through 80; each statement is assigned to one of the

For the

purpose

respondents were required to select in each pair of statements the one they would expect to hcar from a translator resp. an interpreter. one half of the sample was asked to evaluate translators first, the other half began with the assessment of intelprcters. In addition, respondents were requested to give information as to their age and gendor and how long they had been students of translation and/or interprctation.
)lng,

of this study, the instruction was

changed

so

that

'ino

3.

Literature rcview

ton
)ms,
)pts,

of nrembcrs oÍ'thesc professions. As early as 1949, Paulovsky (1949: 39 fl) workcd out guidclincs for aptitude tests, in which he included roughly 100 (!) critcria lbr thc intcllcctual, moral, and practical qualities of candidates. At that

Litcratr.rrc on the subject is scarce; thcre are, howevor, some articles, mostly by practising translators ancl interpretcrs, clcaling with the personality structures

able

vith
78)
the lnce )wn
)asy

lcad
ral "

In the early cighries, a large-scale stress stucly was carried out among conl'ercncc intcrpreters by cooper et al. (1982). The outcome showed that intcrprcters tend to be slightly Type A oriented, a pattern of behaviour that irnplics the following pcrsonality factors; "oxtrcmos of competitiveness, striving lbr achicvcnrent, aggrcssivcncss, haste, impatience, rcstlessncss, hyperalertness, explosivencss oí'spocclr, tcnsencss ot facial musclcs, and íbeIings of being un<lcr pressure Öf time ancl uncler thc challengc of responsibility" (coopcr ct al. l9g2: 102), I-lowever, intcrpreters' Type A clrientation eliel not rcach a particularly vulnerable risk levcl. sinco thc survcy concenlmled on strcss rathcr than on

of interprcters.

timc, no clistinction was made between personality styles of translators and those

I. Kurz.,

E. lhtsel, I). Chibu,

W. l\tte:lr- arrrl .1. ttlitlJfnutrttr

pcrsonality stylcs,
oricntations.

rt cannot bc

direrctly conrparecr

with c^ssc,s

valuc

3.1

Comparisons with Cassc

modcl.

In tlrc f<lllowing, an attcmpl is nucle to .olnparo a sclcction oí' puhlicaticlns on personality traits of translators and intcrpretors with Cassc's valuc oricntation

3, I.

I

llerbert

In terIns oÍ Casse's cornmunication stylcs, this woulc| point tcl a paopltorientation (receptive) and an action orientation (quick-wittcrtnlss)
in intcrpreters.

requircd ol'interpretcrs:,"a capacity for hcing passivory rcccptivc', ancr ,,quickwittcdncss". Hc notcs that although thosc two qualitics "arc rrot cxccptionally rarc, (...) thcir combination is vcry uncolnnon".

Hcrbert (1952:5) risrs two basic quaritir:s, aparr

ri..r' a gr:od

rrrcnrory,

3.1.2

Henschelmann
ann

In an essay on thc training of translators, Henscrrerm translating in the following way;

(r974:72) dcscribes

consciousness rather than elitarian feeling.,,

perception and empathy, linguistic sensitivity, thoroughness an<l responsibility in detail, an enquiring mind, persistence aniendurance. It is sometimes coupled with stress and frustration and creates self._

absolutc concentration

"a task between understanding, searching and producing which requires

on the source text,

conscientiousness,

This would point to a people oientation (understanding, perception, empathy) and a process orientation (thoroughness, responsibility in detail) for
translators. outcome of her professional judgement.

Henschelmann's description is not the result of an empirical study but the

tL_.

Scribe or Actor?

3.1.3

Keiser

few years later, Keiser (1979: 17) describes personal qualities of in a paper on the selection and training of interpreters. From his experience as a professional interpreter and professor at the University of
interpreters Geneva, he includes the following personality requirements in his list:
(...) the faculty of analysis and synthesis, together with the ability to intuit meaning; the capacity to adapt immediately to subject matter, speakers, public, and conference situations; the ability to concentrate; good short- and long-term memory; a gift for public speaking and a pleasant voice; intellectual curiosity and intellectual probity; tact and diplomacy; above average physical endurance and good nerves.

A

I

i.

immediately to subject mattor", process orientation in "the faculty of analysis and synthesis", idea orientarion in "intellectual curiosity".
a<lapt

All Íbur of Casse's value orientations can be found in Keiser's description of interpreters, with a clear prepondorance of people orientation (adapt immediately to speakers, public, and conÍbrence situations; a gift for public speaking and a plcasant voice; tact iurd diplomacy). Action orientation is represented in "to

3.l

.4

Henderson ( 1980)

A pcrsonality survcy was carriccl out by Henderson (1980) to compare thc pcrsonality traits oÍ. a samplc o|. interpreters with those clf a sample of trurrs|ators. All oí' the trans|atr:rs urd intorpreters participating in the survcy workctJ lbr intcrnational organizations, most of them as permanent stalT, The Íindings therelbrc rcl'lcct (o a largc dcgrec the situation oÍ. staff translators rux|
interprctcrs and not so nruch of frcc-lanccrs. Btuscd on rcspor]scs to a qucstion asking íbr a description ol' thc '.typical'' translator, llcn<icrson (1980:220) clcscribos the "typical" translator as follows:

(...) a pcrf.ectionist, sclÍ..sut.l.icicnt and l.airly adaptablc introvert, obviously intcrested in Ianguage and a rangc oÍ.other subjects, with linitecl antbition, liking routine, socially isolate<l an<l sul'íbring from artistic frustration, who is nt thc sanrc lime a sclf'-doubting, ecccntric
pcclant
!

"fhc .'typical,' translator would thercÍbrc score ra(hcr low on action ()rientdtiol| (pcrl'ectirrnist, lirnitccl ambition, liking routino) nnd cvcn lowcr on people orienkiliut (introvcrt, socinlly isolatcd), 'l'hc chnractcristics "intercstcd in (...) a

I. Kurz,,

E.

Ilctstl, D. Chiba, W. patcls and

J.

WolJliuurutr

rangeof othersub.iects''and'.suÍferingfrtlmartistic frustation,.scenl to point trl an idea orientation. As regards thc "typical" interpretcr, Hendcrson (1990: 223'l sumnrarizcs rhc responses to the rclevant qucstion as fbllows:

A self-reliant, articulate extrovcrt, quiok and intclligenr, ajack-of-ail, trades and something of an actor, superficial, arrogant, riking varicty and at times anxious and frustrated (...) Action orientation (quick)
variety".
and

apparent. Idea orientation could be dcduced from 'Jack-oí..all-traclcs'' anc| ',liking

people orientation (extrovcrt, actor) iuc botlr

3.L5

Henderson(1987)

In a more comprehensive personality survey, Hendcrson (19g7: 67 f0 administered cattell's sixteen Personality Factor euestionnaire to a sample of translators and interpreters. He identifies the resulting personality profilc of translators as follows:
reserved, intelligent, affected by feeling, practical, humble, sober, conscientious, shy, apprehensive, conservative, self_sufficient.

controlled, introverted, anxious, having tough poise, subdued.

Related to cassc's model, translators would score low on people orientation (reserved, shy, introverted) and high on process orientation (practical, sober, conscientious, controlled). As regards interpreters, Henderson presents the following profile: outgoing, intelligent, assertive, happy_go_lucky, venturesome, self_
having tough poise, independent.
assured, experimenting, group-dependent, tense, extraverted, anxious,

on casse's scale, this would point to a strong people orientation (outgoing, group-dependent, extraverted) and to an action oientation (assertive, happy_go_ lucky, venturesome).

3.I.6 '

Szuki

Another personality survey of translators and interpreters was carried out by Szuki (1988) at the university of Keio. His sample consisred only of so-called

Scribe or Actor?

rt to

interpreters, based wcll.lrtJaptc<l tranSlators and
t

on woÍk experience,

tnerr

i

the

rrr:livc.'fhey
rrrrrl

judgements' stinrirtion of the job and employers' humorous ard that translators are patient, cheerful, Szuki's Íindrngs suggest on the job and in daily i"t*cultural contact

.. in"t""-Ji"^'"t,,'

lilb,nnrlhaveanintt'"'t-inlookingafterothers(whichrequiresalotofpatience)

botlt

l(clatcdtoCasse'sfourvalueorientations'translatorshavelprocess people o.ientation (intercultural contact' ttricttttltkltt (patient)''j-; sírong ,, present (active), while idea ltltlking irÍier others) .'" e,,i,-, *t,,,o)ion people as ego-centered'
""tl'n,.,'nr"t'"rs, aocording to

voluntarY work'

iking

Jescribes.idea-oriented ttritttlaliotthardly exists,;;ő;" after include a strong interest for looking wlroroas Szuki's n"di";;;;;""tl*"tt

rrclticvoncnt lnotrves'
,'-y] |Í)

iilc

ple

<tl

ol-

in social communication antl journalism' r,rortttttunicalion as well as mass peoplc' deepening insight into issrrcs, plrysioal labor and in interpreiers therefore possess acllon ln lc'ns nt. corr",r'uutu" ori.nto,ions, (extroven' and strong people orientation r ( rtr trtion(high achiwement motives) by "progressive"" is suggested sociitl issttcs, ctc.)' Idea orientation the personality
tt,i

At

szuki' are progressive' oxtrovert and the same tlme' they are interested

have high

in

verbal

,l.lrc alrove

1rr,tt|.ilcs suruttrariz,ccl

'il1(ltl()ll
sol)L:
f
,

in 'fable i and TableIrr-:ndttrwardsprocess'"tu'totio'canbeobserved'Authorsclisagreeonpeople it present' Henschelmann irnd Szuki considcr ttrirtrlttlittnin t,nn'tatc.)i'' Wh"'"u' studies. lntcrpreters alre attributed in both his llorulcrson lirund the ,rpp".ri"ir""a
r, (, t i l,

""*ó;;;;._ú",*."n <lÍ' translatoJ. unJ in,",p."ters

!^i'ring litárature- on and Casse's value orientations are 2 below' As regarcls translators' an overall

n

( )

r i,(|,

l

taljon arrd sÍrong p e cl p I e

o ri

entat 0 |l,

'l'rr lt lr:

|:'l'ritnrlators' pcrsonality prolile
llcnse hclmann Henclerson
(

ptQ)-

lÍonclcrson

(l9!]I

Szuki

Acl i()ll
|)coDIc

a

a

o

o

aa

rltgolllg'
rpt)y.go-

l(lt:il

'l'rrblc 2l lnterprctors' personality profilc
I

A 0l l ()Íl
I

o

lcrbcrt

Keiscr

ttr

lccs

s

a a

Henderson (19!Q)

ttcnduson (1987)

Szuki

a

a

a

ItcrrtrIc

o

aa
a

a

ao

ao

d out by
so-cllle{l

Itlcrt

l0

I. Kurz, E. Bascl, D. Chibu, W. I'etttls ruul J. Wol/iuntnr

3.2

F-ortin

orientation

translators does not coincide with previous findings.

in Table 3 below. As above, interpreters receive high scores on action ud people orientation. However, the personality profile of

Quick reactions and the ability to grasp meaning immediately wcrc considered even more important for interprcters than for translators, suggesting an even higher action orientation. Process orientation was accorded as low an importance as for translators. Interpreters scorcd even higher than translators in terms of people orientation However, they scored very low on idea orientation. This tendency is further corroborated by Fortin's finding that aspiring translators arcorded much greater significance to the ability to abstract than did aspiring interpreters (Fortin 1992: 59). using the same legend as in Tables I and 2, Fortin's findings are represontcd

After this gcneral review o|provious Íindings and vicws hclt| by cxpcricnccd practitioners, teachers and researchers, an attcmpt will bc mtrdc to analyzc how bcginner students eif trans|ation and intcrprctíltion soe thc two prtlí.cssional groups. The analysis is basocl on a diploma the sis which invcstigatecl sociodemographic data of treginner studcnts at the Vienna Institutc (Fortin l992). Although tlre study did not primarily í.ocus on personality traits o|. translators and interpretcrs, these can be dct|uccd íiorn qucstions rcgarcling the skitls students considered esscntial in tho cxcrcise o[ tho two profcssions. The evaluation of thc answcrs to thosc qucstions suggcsts that (rilnslators ilB considcred by beginner students to havc ctcticttr orientatirsn, tts thcy nccd quick reactions and tlre ability to grasp mcaning irnmediatcl y' Process oricúaÍiott, cvaluated on the basis of how important a scientil'ic approach to problcms was considered, was accorded low importanoc. In contrast, peopl.c oricntcttktn was strongly reprcscnted. In terms of idea orientution, asscsscd on thc basis ol reactions to the statemcnt "I chose this course o1 study bccause it concentratcs on practical skills rather than theoretical knowledge", aspiring translators scorcd slightly below average on a six-point scalc.

Table 3; Beginning students' views of translators and interpreters (Fortin 1992) Translators

Action
Process People
Idea

o

Interpreters

o

aa o aa

blank space: no prediction made

o

aa

orientation not present orientation present strong presence of orientation

Scribe or Actor?

ll

4.

Questions and hypotheses

The study of the literature reviewed revealed a preponderance of process ud
people orientation among translators and of action and people orientation among interpreters, This leads to the following question:

Will

the results of the survey confirm the findings in the literature?

change in the course of their studies, as they are exposed to theory and practical training, another question may be raised:

Assuming that the views of students of translation and interpretation may

Will

beginners and advanced students differ translator and interpreter?

in their views of the

"typical"

validity in this respect and on the basis of the above questions, the following
hypotheses may be established:

On the assumption that Casse's value orientations and questionnaire have any

(1) Theresultsofthesurveywill reÍlecttheviewsexpressedintheliterature. (2) Beginncrs and advanced students may differ in their views of the "typical" translator and interpretcr, with the latter's view conesponding more closely
to the litcrature.

5. 5.1

Dcscription of samplcs Btginners

Thc sarnplc of beginner studonts consisted of participants in an introductory class requirod of all students, aiming at communicating basic thcoretical arxl prolbssional knowlcclge on translation and intcrpreting. This class was chosen on
thc assumption that participants would be at the very beginning of their studies and have littlc prior knowledge ol'translation and interprcting, i.e. they would be

largely unflwaro o[ studics carricd out hitherto on tho porsonality traits of

translators and intcrprctcrs. Of the 57 c;ucstionnaires returned by this group, 26 were eliminated for several rcásons' Six o|'thcsc questionnaircs wcro not takcn into considcration bccause thc rcspondcnts wcrc in thcir 4th or higher scmcster of study; it was assunrcd that they woultl alrcady havc bcen confrontcd with information arxl expcriences that rrright iní]ucncc thcir vicws of translntors and intcrpretors. one respondent ljtilctl to inclicatc tltc nurnbcr tlÍ. scmcstcrs hc/shc lrlrc| bccn stu<'lying.

12

L Kurz, I!. Iluscl,

I.).

Chilta, W. Patelti unt! J. Wril"lli.anun

l9 qucstionnaircs had not bccn complctccl; orrrissions rangccl ltclnr onc unanswercd pair oÍ stiltcnrcnts to wholo pages missing. of thc rcmaining 3l rcsponclcnts, 27 werc fcnralc a.rrcl thrcc wcro malci onc respondcnt lailcd to indicatc gcndcr. Thc average Írgo was 19.63 years; one responclent dicl not inclicate age. The averago numbcr of scmcsters was 1.26. onc respondcnt did not indicate a number of scmestcrs, but was assurncd to bc near thc bcginnirrg of hcr studies sn the basis of her age (20).
5.2 Advanced studcnts

I I

account for evaluation bccausc they were incomplctc. ot' the remaining 39 respondents, 32 wcre fcmalc and 6 were male; onc responclent lailc<t to indicate gender. The average age was 24.2r years; again, no data were available lbr onc respondent. The average numbor of semesters was 8.89; one respondent failcd to.r give relevant information, while another indicatcd that she had completed
graduate studies in translation.

The samplc o[advanced students consisted of participants in a meclium-lovcl consecutive interprotation class, an advanccd class in sirnultancous intcrprctation and an advanced translation class. of thc 42 questionnaircs rcturncd by this group, throc worc not takcn into

i

l

i

6. 6.1
of

Results of the survey
Translators

translators. Both sample groups scored translators highest orientation. Beginners assessed translators' process orientation

Table 4 and Figure 2 compare beginners' ánd advanced students' assessmont

and a score of9.333 from advanced students.

regards action orientation, beginners and advanced students both scored translators below 10, with beginners giving them 9.25g and advanced students giving them 8.231. Beginners' and advanced students' assessment of people oientation in translators did not differ significantly, at 9.29 and 9.359 resp. In terms of idea orientation, translators received a score of l0 from besinners

advanced students gave them 13.077. The difference between the two groups was significant (p = 0.05). The assessment of all other orientations yielded no significant difference. As

at

at

process

1r.452;

Scribe or Actor?

IJ

I
i;

one

Table 4: Translators as assessed by beginners and advanced students Beginners St.dev. Mean
Advanced

c; one
onc

Mean

St.dev.

r. Onc
rC neaf
ri

Action
.Process

9.258

2.30
3.69 3.48
2.21

8.231

n Á| 2.66

Difference n.s.
s. (p = 0.05)

t1.452
9.29

t3.o't'l
9.359 9.333

People
Idea

z.9l

t0

2.28

n.s. n.s.

:

i
ti-levc:l

Figure 2: Translators as assessed by beginners and advanced students
l4

ctation

:n into

ing

39

ndicatc lilr onc

rilcd to
nplctcd
0

issfilent
I)rol ass | 1.452; 0ps wils

6.2

Interpretcrs

As can bc sccn liom Table 5 and Figure 3, both sample groups s,cored people orierlttttiott in intcrpreÍcrs above l0, with beginners giving thcrn l0.968 atxl udvancccj studcnts giving them I L795. The diffcrcncc was not signifioant.

:ncc. Ari
scorcd

A signit]cant clifí.crcnce (p = 0'0l) was obtained for actitln orientation, where bcginners gavo intcrprctcrs 9.839, whilo advanccd studcnts acconled them
||,692, the sceoncl highcst scorc accorded to interpreters in th€ survoy' The rating of intcrprcters foÍ prclcess orientation was low. Advanced studcnts gavo them 7. 128, thc lowest result in thc entire survey, whilo bcginners Save thcnr 9.5l6, thc dií.l'-ercncc bcing significant (p = 0.0l). As regartls idea rlrientatlort, intcrprcters rcccivec| a scorc ell' 9.ó77 frorn
beginners and a scorc o|'9.359 Íronr advanced studcnts.

students

úion itt
cgr nne l's

t4

I. Kurz,

E.

Ilat;t:1,

D. Cltitru, W,

Irtt!ctls

tutet

J.

Wott'liitnuqr

Table 5; Interprctcrs as asscssccl try hcginners and nclvanced studcnts

f

r 'l

Bcginncrs
Mcan
S

Advancccl
t.rlc v.

Action
Process Peoplc
Idca

Mcan
||

9.83 9

l.ll)
3.09 3.04 2.29

.692

St.dcv.
2.7 2

Dil'fcrcncc
s. (P = 0.01 s. (n = 0.01)
n. s. it{lvrri

9.5l ó r0.968
9.677

7,t28
I

795 9.35 9

l

2.99
3.41

llllr'll
lllrtll
(

2.67

n.s.

Figurc 3: Interpretcrs as assesscd by boginncrs ancl advanced stuclcnts
l2

t!ll,lll

I

t0
8 6

Ix'lu
| ,rl rlr

4

l'tut
1

.ll::
lr

L'it

0

Action

P€opl€

ldeB

6.3

Dffirences between translators
beginners

cvtd

interpreters

as

/.1

parceived by
('xlr

Beginners' assessment of idea and action orientation significantly for the two professional groups.
Table 6: Beginners' assessment of translators and interpreters
Translators Mean St.dev. 9.258 2.30 l |.452 3.69 9.29 3.48
10

beginners' assessment of process orientation <tiffercd significantly (p = 0.05) for translators and interpreters (r r.452 ancl 9.516 resp.). The difference was also significant (p = 0.05) as regards people orientation (translators: 9.29; interpreters: 10.968).

As shown in Table 6,

llltil illll
sllrl
(

llir

did not

differ

llol
rr,ltt ttt it sl u(

Interbreters

(lu

t

Action
Process Peoole
Idea

Mean
9.83 9

St.dev.

Difference
n. s.

2.2r

9.516 r0.968 9.677

2.16 3.09 3.04
2.29

lltli
SiIII

s, (o = 0.05' s. (p = 0.05)

lll('
rrrrl

n.s

l)lil

Scribe or Actor?

15

6.4

Differences between translators and interpreters as perceived by advattced
students

As can be seen from Table 7, there was a significant difference (p = 0.01) in advancedstudents'assessment of process orientation in translators (13.077) ard
interpreters (7.128). The difference was also significant (p = 0.01) as regards people oientation (translators: 9.359; interpreters: 1 1.795). Unlike the sample group of beginners, advanced students also accorded significantly different scores (p = 0.01) to the two professional groups for action o rientation (translators: 8.23 I ; interpreters : I 1.692).

Thc only value orientation where advanced students saw no

difference

between translators and intelpreters was idea orientation (9.333 and 9.359 resp.). Table 7: Advanced students' assessment of translators and interpreters Translators Mean St.dev. Mean
|

Interpreters St.dev.
2,7 2

Difference
s. (o = 0.01 s. (p = 0.01 s. (o = 0.01)

Action
Process Peorrle
Idea

8.23

|

a A1

z,+

||

t3.0'7't 9.3 59

9.333

2.66 2.91 2.28

.692 7.128

2.99
3.41

r.795
9.3 59

2.67

n.s.

1

lbt
ll

7

. .I

Discussion of results Comparison of results to the literature

crctl

sp.).
kttictrt

dií1cr

ncc

n.s
0.05

whilc beginners in Fortin's study scored translators high on actktn and people orientation and failccl to see their pro cess orientation. However, a more dctailed analysis of the results for translators shows that the studcnts in tho two samples place even grcater weight on process orientation than tho authors rcvicwed. Both beginners and advanccd students attributed the highest scorc for process. As rcgards action $nd idea, the stuclents in the two samplos givc low to mcdium scorcs. Thc authors makc hardly any refcrence to these two valuc oricntations, an obvious sign thut they do not considcr them irnportant. With rcspcct to pcople orientation, Szuki is thc only author who placcs grcater wcight on this oricntntion.

T'hc rcsults of the survey may bc said to be very much in line with thc views exprcssed by thc authors rcviewecl, who see translators as predominanlly process and people oriented, and interprcters as people and action oriented. This is bomc out by the rcsults obtained from b<lth sample groups, beginners and advanced students' Thcy, too, consider people and action orientaÍion to be the most charactcristic fcatures crí interpreters, a finding a|so clbtainetl in Fortin's stutly. Both samples in this study see (ranslators as mainly process anrJ people oiented,

t,

Kurr,,

L,

l]a',sel,

D. Chitla, W, I,tltrjl; tttul J' Wtl(Ji'tltttttt

tfri. ,tulfl' *no u,,.ibu," almost tho samo wcight to'prrr7r,r as 10 dctio, etricntation.of thc ^nl'lr1uo is r|rc only uo. t., n..u,.l ntcr'iuru u, ,..ung wciglrt :ii.'iJ:JT}""o;Í"''". Both samplcs oí. student.s scc intcrprctcrs to a.s preclominantl , ,,,,,;;,,::::s..

As filr intcrprcters, tr'rc autrrors rcvicwecr givc prccronrinancc to peopre uxJ actton oricnt.tirtn, witrt basicalry no mcntion <tf prticess ur4 iriuo. Ttris cont.u.ts with thc vicws cxprcssed
by bcginn"r ,toa"nt, in

fl

ll
lt tl
lr

7.2

Dilfe rcnces bctween beginners and advant:cc! stutlent.r

undersrandingof

explanation would

advanced students attribute

for transrators. Another difference, which is, however, not significant, concems people orientation. The rank ir second, *h";;ih;-beginners I:i":"d ""lenrsorientation. see it as rhe third mosr rmportant value one possible expranation * i" irr", as part or their studies, the advanced studenis have developed an understanding for the people element in translators'lives (having io n"gotiut" with clients, talking to experts to obtain information, etc.) insteaiof seeing them .'. .' as f"opl"'r".rua.a in an ivory tower' sulTounded only uí u""[. As far as interpreters (see t'atie 5) are'concerned, two significant differences may be identified between beginners'ana aavancea
-g,"u,".

thus, they considcr a process orientation essentiar

one cxplanation courd be that the acrvanced students have bccn exposed to a number of courses in transration theory, textual anarysis, textual criticism, etc. so that they have come better to undersíand th" p,o,,,,;;;"*.;;;""slation;

reviewed.

with rcgart to translators (see Tahrc +j, ,rri* hypothcsis has been conÍ.inned by tlre survey' There is only onc significant cliÍTcrcnoe 'iugcry bctwccn the two samples of students: the advanced studen score than thc beginners, group, which tics i.j Ti:flff""ffi"l j}-Í'"J

It was assumcd that thorc nrigltt bc cliÍl.crences in the vicws exprcssct| by beginncrs and a<Jviurcc<r studcnts Jn.r ,no, iir" vicws .r. trrc ratter woura show grcatcr corrcspondcncc
with thc literaturc rcvicwecl.

fiíff:;

;;

rl

tl ll
tl

orientatioa which the advanced students consider far ress i-pof*t tnun the beginners do. Again, the explanation might be that, b"cuuse ii.r. training, advanced students distinguish more clearly between "i ,t,"-.'ilJi, required of translators aÍId interpreters. process is
associated with translati on, actionwith interpretation.

their assessment comes closer to tt ui"*" The second significant^ difference " ,"g*d"" pror"ss

be that the rur,". tru"" been sensitized towards rhe actual int".p.ting
pi"""r,
its action"l";";1r. round in the riterature.

students.-For o"",ti"g, ,h" i.po.ián"" to action. A reasonable

l"

*a

an In facr,

ll

'l
lr t\

t)

Scribe or Actor?

I7

arrd

8. Conclusions

rsts

ute the

.to
as

by the findings of The two hypotheses (see 4.) have been largely confirmed has shown that the study the survey. uiing casset questionnaire, this empirical ,""n u. predominantly process and people oriented, whereas typical tránslatoiis however' interpreter ts considered to be people and action oriented;
the typical translators and interpreters othei orientations should not be neglected, as both values' have been shown to have fairly balanced communication
and interpreters Figure 4: Aclvanced students' assessment of translators

by

Actr cn

low
gcly
the
,(:cJ.t

hors
osecl
rstl)
!

Pmfle

lion;
Ithcr

'l'hc

)t

osl
ol'
thc

rt

parts of the literature Admittedly, it may be argued that the survey and large To attempt a rcvicwod reflect but stcreotypc views of translators and interpreters. gone beyond the scopc of more complex pcrsonality iroÍile stu<ly would have
personality this papei. Wc ar" als.i o*,ue o1' the fact that any modol of Bowen (1994: 189) ori.niotlun, involvcs the risk of simplification. As M.

'

rg to
:cl in inco:i , thc nable

rightlypointsout,woshoultl'.bcwareeifoversimplifications,''as''[the]introvert and thc extrovort tran,lator would havc a har'd time dealing with clients
rcstrictcd''' intcrprotcr is ccrtain to Íjnd social contacts at wclrk rather
findings icrtainly, it wclultl be intcresting to compare the views. and proÍilos of a sample of prcscntccl in ttrls papcr with thc actual persona|ity that Casse's practising translaiors ancl interpreters. Therefore' we suggcst of represcntatives of these tw<r iurrtion*i." be aclministerecl to a sample held by the prof'essions in orclcr to seo how their scores compare with the vicws iwo samplos of stuclents ancl the authors reviewed'

s r

alll

fhct,
the (he iuxl ll.

r,

rclcnls

9,
"I.he

Acknowlctlgcmcnts

Mr,

Kaiscr arxl autlrtlrs tlf this papcr woulcl likc to thank Ms. FÜrthaucr, Mr. the survoy to bc canicd out during Piichhackcr, thc tcilchers who allowcrj

I
i i

8

I. Kurz,, E. Ilase I, D. Chilta, W. l,rilt:ls utrd J. Wolltruttttt

their classes, as wcll as nll ilrc stu<lcnts who participutctr in trrc survey. A sincerc thank you also gocs to Ms' Waldherr or ihc lnstitutc o| Psyclroíogy cl|. tlto University of Vicnna lbr hcr hclp wirh thc statistical evaluation.

Bibliography Bowen, David (1994): "Teaching and rearning styres", in
Amsterdam/philadelphia, Benjamins, pp.

Lindegaard (eds.), Tcaching Translation

and
l.

c.

Doilerup
Inte

Scries, Vol. VIL Amsrcrclam/philactclphia, Bcnjanrins, pp. t S t - t VZ. casse, Piene (1981): Training fer the cross-curturar Mind: A irandbook

Bowen, Margarota (1994): "Ingrcdients to success as a ranguage spccialist,,, in Deanna L. Hammond (ed'\, Professional Issuei 7c,í rinstators en! Interpreters' American Translators' Association sehotarly Monograph
C ros s - C uI t u ral T rai ne r s and Co ns ulÍantl, Washin gton, Sietar. Cary L.; Davies, Ráchel & Tung, Rosalic t-' (iqaz): ,,Interprctilrg

175_ l g

& A. rytretittlq 2,

Jitr

Cooper,

Fortin, Robert (1992):

Stress: Sources of job stress among conÍbrcnce interprcters,,, Multilingua I -2, pp. 97 _toj .

University press. Hensche'mann, Káthe (|974): ''Die Ausbildung des Übersetzers',, (ed.), Übersetzer und Dolmetscher, Heidelberg,

Studienwahl, Unpublished M.A. thesis, Univeisity of Vienna. Henderson, John A. (1980): "Siblings observed", Babet 35/i, pp.2l7-225. Henderson, John A. (1987): personarity and the Linguist, Bradford,

Stuclienanf(ngerlnnen c]er Übersetzerlnnen- und Dolmetscherlnnenausbildung: Soziodemographische

Daten

untl

Bradfonl

in V.

pp.72-86.

QueIle

&

Kapp Meyer,

Keiser, walter (1979): "selection and training of conference interpreters,,, in D. Communicatlon, New york, plenum fress, pj. n_24. Paulovsky, Louis H. (1949): ''Prinzipien der akadernischen Übersetzer- und Diplomdolmetschausbildung", in p. Reiner (ed.), schrifienreihe

Herbert, Jean (1952): The Interpreter's Handbook: How to Becomc a conference Interprete r, Geneva, Librairie de l'Université.

Gerver

& H.W. Sinaiko

(eds.), Language Interpretation

ad

szuki, Atsuko (r988): "Aptitudes of XXX[yl, pp: 108_114.

Neuphilologen.

Moderne Sprachen, Wien, Verband der

östeneichischen

transrators and interp reters,,, Meta

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