On the surface level, it may seem very straightforward that professional translation and interpretation can be used interchangeably. However, that is not the case. Translation services and interpretation services require a very different set of skills. They are 2 completely diverse professions sharing almost similar characteristics and this often leads to confusion by businesses. The word interchangeably is often misunderstood and we are here to clarify all misconceptions.
Translation and interpretation are considered multilingual communication. The most common understanding is that translation deals with written language while interpretation deals with spoken language.
All bilingual and multilingual individuals can be a translator and an interpreter
Providing professional translation is a standalone discipline just like professional interpretation services. Linguists work in their own respective discipline and it is very rare to find individuals who work across these disciplines.
As a translator, putting pen to paper is a skill. The translator must express the source text’s ideas in a foreign language, with precision and accuracy, remaining faithful to the content, intention, style, and form of the original. The translator must also be focused on dissecting a written text and scrutinizing it to identify and understand the meanings, intricacies, shapes and sometimes culture. This requires time, reflection, and constant rewriting to ensure nothing is “lost in translation”.
Professional interpreters, on the other hand, must be spontaneous in providing real-time translation. There is little room for errors and this poses great challenge and difficulty to many translators. Interpreters must be able to think quickly on their feet. They must be good listeners and speakers.
Simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation are the most common modes of interpretation services rendered to businesses. Whether it’s for use during a conference, event or even a court room, this nature of work can be highly stressful and demanding with little to no control over the content of the original speech.
The rise in language technology reduces the need for translators and interpreters
We know that the constant growth in technology come about to simplify complex processes and improve industries. As with the rise in machine translation and it’s evolution into Neural Machine Translation (NMT), technology will never compare to the accuracy of the human translation, at least for now.
Machine translation may be able to translate text but it has not reached the level of understanding content, lingo, slang, culture and double meaning of certain words. This is where the need for professional translation services and profession interpretation services are still prevalent.
Translators and interpreters do not need to know or understand the culture behind a language
Culture has to be respected among countries and professional translators and interpreters know that being culturally insensitive can lead to their downfall. It is not just about knowing how to translate words into different languages nor is it only about being grammatically correct. If that was the case then every individual who studied a second language can be a translator or interpreter. However, this is not the case.
That is one of the main reasons why, professional language solutions service provider, like, Transn International Singapore, streamline our translators and interpreter strictly through intense and comprehensive training and certification process before qualifying them to provide translation services and interpretation services in Singapore.
Culture needs to be understood, especially for interpreters. To be able to convey and broadcast the correct message with the appropriate tone and words used so as not to sound aggressive, rude, or create any misunderstandings between the parties.
Businesses often get confused thinking that if you provide translation services then your translators should be able to do interpretations, vis a vis. Furthermore, companies who misunderstand these 2 disciplines may be looking for translation services but is in fact considered interpretation services, vis a vis. Transn International Singapore not only provides both translation services and interpretation services to companies and individuals but we believe in educating others in the language industry, to know the full transparency of what you will be getting.