Translators deal with written language and have time to polish their work, while interpreters deal with oral language and have no time to polish their output. The implications are: (1) Translators need to be familiar with the rules of written language and be competent writers in the target language; interpreters need to master the features of oral language and be good speakers, which includes using their voice effectively and developing a ‘microphone personality’. (2) Any suplementary knowledge, for example terminological or world knowledge, can be acquired during written translation but has to be acquired prior to interpreting. (3) Interpreters have to make decisions much faster than translators. A subtler level of analysis of the skills required in translation and interpreting must await advances in psycholiguistics and cognitive psychology. Unlike translation, interpreting requires attention sharing and involve severe time constraints. Many recurrent interpreting errors may well prove to be the result of either saturation in or improper management of the interpreter’s processing capacity. The interpreter processing capacity and its role in interpreting and from the cognitive psychologists is known that some operations are ‘automatic’, in the sense that they require no processing capacity, others are ‘non-automatic’ and take up processing capacity, which is available in a finite amount. The effort models of interpreting, developed in an attempt to explain the recurrent and very frequent errors and omissions found in the performance of beginners and seasoned interpreters alike argues that the main components of the interpreting process are non-automatic. Simultaneous interpreting is divided into three sets of ‘Efforts’: (a) the Listening and Analysis Effort, which aims at comprehension of the (SL) Source Language speech, (b) the Production Effort, which aims at production of the (TL) Target Language speech, and (c) a Short-term Memory Effort, which handles information between perception and production in the TL.
As far as Consecutive Interpreting is concerned, this is divided into a listening phase, during which the interpreter listens to the speaker and takes notes, and a reformulation phase, during which the interpreter reformulates the speech in the TL. During the listening phase, the Efforts are the Listening and Analysis Effort, the Note Production Effort, and the Short-term Memory Effort for the management of information between the time it is received and the time it is taken down. During the reformulation phase, there is a Note-reading Effort, a Long-term Memory effort to remember the speech, and a speech Production Effort. Some argues that in competent interpreters only the first phase is critical, since the second is not paced by the speaker and does not involve much attention-sharing. For interpreting to proceed smoothly, two conditions have to be met in simultaneous and in the (critical) listening phase in consecutive: first, the sum of the individual Efforts’ processing capacity requirements should not exceed the total available capacity; second, at each point in time, the capacity available for each Effort should cover the requirements associated with the task the Effort is engaged in. If either condition fails to be met, the quality of interpreting deteriorates, resulting in errors, omissions, clumsy reformulation of the speech, and so on.