Document Translation In-Person Interpreting

5 Major Differences Between Translation And Interpretation

April 14, 2015
Translation and interpretation differences

Differences between translation and interpretationMany people tend to mix up translation and interpretation. Both language services do involve the adaptation of one language to another; however, there are some important differences.

Continue reading this blog post to learn about five major differences between translation and interpretation.

Spoken Vs. Written

Translation is the act of rewriting a document or changing it into another language. The original language is called the “source” language. The language into which the source text is translated is called the “target” language. Translation involves written documents. Translators work on books, essays, legal documents, medical records, websites, instruction manuals, subtitles for film or TV, or any other form of information in written form.

In contrast, in-person interpretation refers to the spoken word, not a written document. Language interpreting is the process of translating spoken words from one language into another. Interpretation is more likely to be required than translation at conferences, meetings, medical hearings and courtrooms because it’s immediate. Interpreters are involved in projects that require live translation often at face-to-face meetings.

Translators Are Often Perfectionists

CT Translators generally work from their home computers and tend to specialize in a particular field. Good translators have excellent written skills and are usually perfectionists by nature, paying particular attention to the style of the source documents, as well as the accuracy and significance of the terms used within their translations.

If you consider your own language skills, the odds are that your ability to read/write you’re your ability to listen/speak aren’t identical. You’re probably more skilled at reading and writing or more skilled at listening and speaking. So translators are excellent writers, while interpreters have superior oral communication skills. In addition, spoken language is quite different from written.

Translators usually work alone to produce a translation, while interpreters work with two or more people/groups to provide an interpretation on the spot during negotiations, seminars, phone conversations, and other social or interactive situations.

Interpreters Don’t Provide Word-For-Word Changes

Unlike translators, interpreters do not provide a word-for-word translation. Interpreters work in real-time situations, in direct contact with both the speaker and the audience. To be as meaningful and accurate as possible, interpreters may render a sentence in one language very differently in another language. It’s not the individual word that counts-it’s the overall meaning behind the word that matters most. Good interpreters are endowed with very quick reflexes, as well as a good memory and speaking voice. An interpreter is often more than an on-demand translator, however – they also act as a facilitator between speaker and listener, both linguistically and diplomatically.

Real Time Conversion Vs. Delayed Conversion.

Interpreting services occur in real time, occurring in person, on the phone, or through video remote interpreting. Translation involves the written word, so it generally is conducted after a text is created, giving the translator ample time to access necessary resources to produce an accurate and effective end document.

Abstract Differences

Distilling metaphors, analogies, and idioms to make them understandable to the audience in the target language is a challenge for both translators and interpreters. Interpreters have some additional challenges though, as they must work to capture inflection, tone, and other abstract elements of the spoken word.

iTi | CT Translation And Interpretation

iTi’s dedicated and experienced team offers a wide range of multilingual solutions for domestic and global corporations in a variety of industries. Do you require translation services to enhance your global marketing and sales initiatives or interpreter services to communicate across languages? We specialize in custom language solutions and work with over 200 languages so regardless of the barrier you face, we will work together in synergy to bridge the gap to ensure success. Please feel free to contact us through a message or by calling 860-362-0812. Our offices are open 24/7/365 so we can respond immediately to your interpreting or translation needs anytime, anywhere.

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