Chapter One of Sign Language Interpreting continued...
1.The text is permanently at the translator's disposal; thus, the translator is able to review the text in its entirety before beginning to translate;As Cokely indicates, translators can check their work (themselves or with assistance) and can see the whole source prior to translation with the option to refer back to past portions at any time. On the other hand, an interpreter must make fast decisions regarding the meaning of a text, without necessarily knowing the author's intent or meaning in advance. In translating into a language that denotes gender in pronouns from one that does not, a translator can read ahead to determine the gender of the pronoun's antecedent. However, an interpreter is left with the option of asking the speaker, guessing (risking error), or waiting for the information to be made clear (risking falling behind). An interpreter cannot refer back to prior portions of the discourse and rarely has the opportunity to incorporate feedback from others or to review his or her work before it is made public. Moreover, an interpreter cannot make use of reference materials (such as dictionaries), as translators do (Van Dam 1989). As a result of the time factor, Seleskovitch (1977) suggests that a fundamental distinction between translation and interpretation is that while both aim to convey an equivalent sense of the source message, translators have the time to address linguistic meaning whereas interpreters do not.
2. The text and its translation are written; the translator can refer back to previously translated sections and passages;
3. The translation can be reviewed; the translator has the option of seeking feedback from both bilingual and monolingual reviewers;
4. The translated text can be reviewed; the translator can make corrections. (1992, 16)
A benefit that interpreters receive from the time factor is that they generally have the opportunity to meet the source and recipients of their work. Translators often do not have this opportunity (Landsberg 1976; Wilss 1982). Furthermore, Seleskovitch (1977) suggests that the time limitation faced by simultaneous interpreters can actually be beneficial in the sense that the interaction of time pressures and short-term memory constraints require the interpreter to let go of linguistic forms while retaining the sense that is left behind.
While translation and interpretation can be seen to differ as a result of time constraints, the time factor can also differ with regard to the nature of interpretation. Interpreters can work either consecutively or simultaneously. In consecutive interpretation, the interpreter receives the source message first, and then renders an interpretation of it. The source message can be presented in parts or as a whole. Consecutive interpretation allows the interpreter a certain amount of input (and thus, an opportunity to make closure) as well as the opportunity to take notes. With simultaneous interpretation the interpreter must render a source message, producing a rendition even while listening to the ongoing message, and continue to interpret until the source message stops. Although consecutive interpreting is often considered to be the more accurate of the two, simultaneous interpreting is much more time efficient. It is for this reason that simultaneous interpreting first came into wider use at the Nuremberg Trials in the late forties (Ramler 1988).