Should you hire an interpreter or a translator?

Find out what translators do versus interpreters.

Have you been using the word ‘translate’ and ‘interpret’ interchangeably because to you they mean the same thing? Then you need to read this article.

“As translation involves written text while interpretation deals with spoken information. It is that simple.” says Allison Reed, an academically trained linguistic and forensic expert. But there is more to it.

What is translation?
Translation is when the meaning of a text is converted from one language (the source) into another language (the target).

Types of translation:

  • Machine translation (MT)
    This is when a computerbased program, without human interventation processes the meaning of a text from on language into another. A good example of this is the famous Google Translate which translates text into avariety of languages.
  • -Human translation (HT)
    Here, a human renders text from a language into another language. This is the oldest form of translation and reportedly the most accurate.  “When you want your document captivate your customers, then choose human over machine translation,” Jeremy Bakers, a linguist advises.
  • -Literary translation
    This is the translation of literature such as novels, plays and poems by experts.
  • -Technical translation
    Documents that usually have a limited audience are converted into another language. For example, the translation of manuals, financial
    reports, memos, consent forms and many others.

What is interpretation?
According to John A. Veverka, interpretation is the use of specific communication strategies to present information for everyday people.
So interpretation is simply the act of explaining the meaning of spoken or signed language. This means that interpreters should understand their audience to provoke their attention and interest.

Types of interpretation:

  • Simultaneous interpretation
    The interpreter listens to a full sentence and then conveys its meaning into the target language.The interpreter thus has to memorize
    atleast 5 to 10 seconds of what is being said, comprehend it and then reveal what he or she understands.
  • Telephone interpretation
    The interpreter isn’t present in person but conveys what is being said or what was spoken during the phone conversation. Interpretation
    can be in the present moment, incase one party is speaking a language that the other party doesn’t understand.
  • Whisper interpretation
    This is quite common and We have seen this in movies, where an interpreter whispers stuff to the boss or so.
  • Consecutive interpretation
    A speaker stops at every end of a complete thought to let the interpreter render what was said into the target language. This is common
    in churches, court rooms, small business and conference meetings.

How to differentiate interpreting from translation:

So, from information stated above, we can ascertain that translators work on written documents while interpreterst work in a live setting. So translation requires one to convey the meaning of written data as interpretation deals with transferring the meaning of verbal communication.

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