Though interpreting and translation are related and many people use them interchangeably, they are two quite different linguistic disciplines. The two differ in the medium, processes and skills which will be explained in more detail in this post.
According to Globalization and Localization Association, interpreting is the process of rendering a spoken (or signed) message into another spoken (or signed language). Basically, it is paraphrasing which requires expertise in the subject matter and knowledge of cultures involved, however, the required level of accuracy is somewhat lower than what’s expected in the process of translation. There are 5 main modes of interpreting and these are as follows:
- Consecutive interpreting – the interpreter interprets the message after source-language speaker has stopped speaking
- Simultaneous interpreting – the interpreter interprets the message in the target-language at the same time as the source-language speaker is speaking.
- Escort/travel interpreting – the interpreter accompanies travellers on their trips and to meetings
- Whisper interpreting – similar to simultaneous interpreting, howeve,r the interpreter is sitting next to the person they interpret for
- Scheduled Phone or over-the-Phone interpreting – can be both consecutive and simultaneous and the interpreter interprets via telephone
- On-demand phone Interpreting – it is conducted over the phone and with this approach, an interpreter can be found in a matter of minutes
Interpreters need to able to translate in both directions on the spot, meaning that this profession requires outstanding listening abilities.
Translation is the process of rendering text from a source language into a target language. It is a written process that requires extraordinary cultural skills and the ability to understand both the source language and the culture of the source-language country. The accuracy is crucial in the process of translation and so is the translator’s ability to write well and accurately in the target language.
Knowing the difference will hopefully help you understand which of these services would be more suitable for your needs and requirements. If you are looking for either interpreting or translation services, I’d recommend ITL, owned by Grace Tia Bon Bon – they are highly professional and offer all sorts of interpreting and translation services.