Language access and language selection in professional translators

A. J. Ibáñez, P. Macizo, M. T. Bajo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Two experiments were conducted measuring self-paced reading to study language access and language selection in professional translators and bilinguals when they understood sentences randomly presented in their first language (L1, Spanish) and second language (L2, English). These sentences contained a critical cognate word or a control matched word. The effect of cognate words was considered an index of between-language activation while the inhibition of the non-target language was examined with the asymmetrical switching cost. In Experiment 1, participants read and repeated sentences while in Experiment 2 participants read sentences without repeating them after reading. The results indicated that lexical processing depended on the experience of participants in professional translation and the demands imposed by the understanding task (reading and repeating or only reading).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-266
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Language selection
  • Language switching
  • Professional translators
  • Translation


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