The Relationship between Personality Type and Iranian Undergraduate Simultaneous Interpreting Trainees’ Improvement Rate
AbstractHaving adopted as its departure point the impact of nonlinguistic factors on interpreting performance, the present empirical study has addressed the possible relationship between Iranian simultaneous interpreting trainees’ performance improvement and their personality type, i.e., extroversion/ introversion. Thirty five undergraduate students of English Translation at Allameh Tabataba'i University, both male and female aged 20–25, took part in the research. They received simultaneous interpreting training over eight months; with two contact hours per week, the total in-class training measured more than 60 hours. To objectively quantify the participants’ performance improvement, two tests of simultaneous interpreting (pretest and posttest) were administered and scored by three raters. Towards the end of the training period, a standard test of personality type was also conducted. The trainees’ simultaneous interpreting improvement rate was found to have almost no correlation with extroversion (r = -0.08) while it had a moderate positive correlation with the degree of introversion (r = 0.46) suggesting that introverts are better equipped for undertaking the mentally-challenging task of simultaneous interpreting.