An experimental study was carried out to investigate whether the difficulty of
delivering numbers in SI is language-independent or whether some specific
features – such as the different structures of the numerical systems in SL and TL –
may also be relevant and influence SI performance negatively.
To this end, a German text and an English text, both dense with numbers, were
interpreted simultaneously into Italian by 16 students. The first language pair (ENIT)
had a linear numerical system and the second one (DE-IT) did not, as in
German the so-called inversion rule has to be applied.
An initial analysis of the results suggested that the difficulty of delivering
numbers in SI is language-independent.However, amore detailed analysis of the
outcomes showed that a significant difference between the two language pairswas
apparent in the distribution and typology of errors: transposition/position errors
(including inversion errors) were evident in German but not in English.