Dora Murgu


Approaching Stress and Performance in RSI: Proposal for Action to Take Back Control
Dora Murgu
Proceedings of the Translation and Interpreting Technology Online Conference

The relationship between stress and performance and Remote Interpreting (RI)/Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI) has been widely studied in academic, professional and corporate research during the past fifty years. Most of such research has attempted to correlate RI/RSI with changes in stress levels and performance, with little to no relevant results to suggest causality. While no significant clinical causality has been found between RI/RSI and stress, self-perceived stress during RI and especially RSI among practicing conference interpreters is consistently high and recent studies suggest a tendency on the increase. Similar results have been observed with performance, which has been and is consistently self-assessed as poorer during RI/RSI by practicing interpreters compared to in-person interpreting, how-ever no significant decrease in performance was observed by independent reviewers. Several scholars have suggested a correlation between such low self-perceived performance / high self-perceived stress and a lack of control which might result from being exposed to unknown factors during RI/RSI, prominently technological elements, the performance of which no longer re-lies on third parties but lies with the interpreters themselves. This paper is centered on the same hypothesis and suggests a proposal for action that interpreters can undertake to help regain control and thus improve their attitude toward RI/RSI.