Differences Between Translation and Interpretation and Tips on Finding the Right Agency for You
Even though translation and interpretation are often used interchangeably, they are actually two separate services. Interpretation basically refers to oral translation. In other words, interpreters are people who work side-by-side with people visiting a foreign country during their stay there. Translation, on the contrary, refers to interpreting written texts. The first ones that most would probably think of in that regard are Bible translators.
Differences in Key Qualifications
With interpreters, the topmost requirement is fluency in the client’s language or at least the ability to have a good grasp on what the client is saying and then being able to paraphrase what the client is saying back to the third party. Other important qualifications include knowledge of various subjects, familiarity with the client’s culture and the ability to think extensively in both languages.
When choosing an interpreter, you will most likely want someone who has at least two years of simultaneous interpretation. A bonus qualification for interpreters is having excellent public speaking skills because this is a sign that they know how to field various ideas and issues that may come up on the spot.
Translators, on the contrary, are only required to understand the language and culture in which the source originated from. As a result, they are only required to be able to have excellent writing skills in both languages. Unlike interpreters, many translators are not fluently bilingual and are usually required to translate documents into their own language.
Choosing a Translation Agency
When traveling to a foreign country whose language you don’t know very well or understand, it is essential that you find a translating and interpreting service that you trust. First, you want to look for someone who has extensive knowledge of your subject areas and that the agency’s practice is well-established and respected. If you are traveling to that country on business, you want to choose a translation agency that employs interpreters with your business background. For example, if you work in a law firm, you will want to find a translating and interpreting service who hires interpreters with a background in legality and compliance.
As globalization increases so do business travels to various foreign countries. As long as this is occurring, selection of a translation agency will always be a critical necessity. Even those who are fluently multi-lingual can’t expect to be able to speak every language of the human race. As a result, especially companies who have a broad range of foreign connections will be expected to need interpretation at some point.