One question that students learning simultaneous interpreting often have is whether they should look at the speaker or the screen, or both while interpreting. Teachers, Professional interpreters and textbooks generally tell them to look at both the speaker and the screen to make use of cues such as the speaker's body language, the speaker's PowerPoint slides, interactions and dynamics in the room to assist with their interpreting. But students often feel they should focus on the screen because they believe the ppt slides on the screen can help them remember and/or understand what the speaker is saying. At the core of the conflicting answers or suggestions are two questions:
1. Is looking at the speaker or the screen, or both at all helpful in simultaneous interpreting?
2. Is looking at one or the other, or both more helpful?
This talk intends to answer these questions, based on evidence of an eye-tracker experiment we recently conducted on where interpreters look and how their eye fixation patterns correlate with their interpreting performances.