The explicitation hypothesis of Blum-Kulka (1986), assuming that target texts tend to be more explicit than source texts, has been confirmed by numerous studies in the field of translation (e.g. Séguinot 1988, Klaudy 1993, Englund Dimitrova 1993, 2003, Nilsson 2004, Puurtinen 2004, etc.). There is also some evidence that this phenomenon is intrinsic to interpreting as well (Shlesinger 1995, Ishikawa 1999, Gumul - forthcoming).
Obviously, given the fundamental differences between written and oral translation as well as the intrinsic constraints impeding the interpreting process, such as a substantial temporal load, the linearity constraint, and limited short-term memory capacity, explicitation acquires a different dimension in interpreting. The two modes of translation differ substantially in terms of the extent and type of explicitating shifts. Little research has been conducted, however, into the possible causes triggering explicitation. There is a widespread debate in the translation research community whether explicitating shifts should be interpreted as a conscious strategy on the part of the interpreter or a by-product of language mediation.
In an attempt to investigate this problem, the present study offers some preliminary research into explicitation in simultaneous interpreting employing both product-oriented and process-oriented (think-aloud protocols) methods.