In our hyper-connected world, where we are continually exposed to a truly global community, communication has become a critical priority. Constant interaction with individuals from different countries and ethnic focal centers requires an ability to communicate across linguistic barriers. The need for both interpretation services and translation services is paramount. What are interpreting and translation services? And when do we need each?
Language interpretation requires that the individual possess a verbal proficiency in both source and target languages. This dual knowledge requires the ability to transmit the thoughts and ideas of a source language into coherent and sensible words in the target language. In a sense, the interpreter is actively paraphrasing. This is due to how languages vary in several important ways, including didactic and cultural elements. Due to these differences, a literal word-for-word interpretation would not be coherent to the listener.
Interpretation deals with words spoken in real-time, as they are being spoken by an individual in the source language. The interpreter considers what is being said, and then communicates the general concept of those ideas by using appropriate words, terms, and expressions in the target language. There are subtle differences between the messaging received in the source language and that communicated in the target language.
This is most often witnessed when a professional interpreter communicates messages between people from different countries. This is done on-the-fly, as the conversation progresses, with little time to adjust or correct mistakes. In this live, three-way conversation, the interpreter must also strive to convey the correct tone of the messages being interpreted. Professional interpretation services are often employed by national governments to facilitate live communication between representatives.
Translation involves converting written or printed communications from a source language into a target language. This language translation must be an accurate and functional version of the original source material. Translation services involve a complex, highly technical process that is best undertaken by trained, skilled, and experienced linguistic experts.
Because printed material is available for a longer-term, the instantaneous nature of live interpretation is removed. This allows the professional translator to weigh different aspects of the source message and deliberately choose just the precise wording and terminology that is required to most accurately convey the desired messages. This includes paying attention to formatting, grammar, and punctuation that is necessary for clarity in printed communications.
Mistakes can be made in interpretation, and readily corrected if recognized. Translation services often involve critical messaging that must be free of mistakes. In most cases, translated material is transmitted elsewhere for use and must stand alone without the ready benefit of someone to make corrections. Legal documents, international advertising and training manuals are all examples of translated material that must be exactly correct in every detail in order for the end-user to get the full benefit.
When to Use Interpretation or Translation
What are interpreting and translation services, and when should they be utilized? Interpretation is needed when live conversation between persons from different countries and speaking different languages is necessary. Live communication can make allowances for errors. Real-time interpretation also allows for the luxury of paraphrasing in order to communicate the basic flow of ideas.
A professional translator is needed when your messages will be communicated to a variety of audiences without the benefit of a ready interpreter. The translated material must stand alone; therefore, accuracy and localization are of paramount importance. The technical and often complicated messages of industry demand a high degree of knowledge and expertise for usable translation.
ILS has linguistic subject matter experts who are fluent and proficient translators in over 180 languages. When you need precise communication of your important documents, ILS is your professional translation services company of choice. Contact us today to discuss your document translation needs.