Translation and interpretation are two concepts businesses must know succeed as a global company. Although the terms are closely related, translation and interpretation are rarely performed by the same people. So, what’s the difference between translation and interpretation? Both convert one language to another, but translation involves written words while interpretation is exclusively for spoken words.
What is a Translator?
A translator converts writing from one language to another. A professional translator is a master of linguistics and must consider the culture, humor, taboos, and subtleties of both the source and target language. Translation does not need to be instant and affords the use of dictionaries, guides, and other experts to make sure work is accurate. Any translator must be fluent in the source language and native in the target language.
What is an Interpreter?
An interpreter provides an instant, on-the-spot translation of one spoken language into another. In interpretation, there are no books, dictionaries, or reference guides. Interpreters paraphrase the source language and then say or sign it in another language. Interpreters are expert listeners and must process chunks of information and relay it in another language.
Why Translation is Important for Your Business?
Webpages that have visitors from all over the world must provide translated information that is culturally sensitive, clear, and usable. American consumers digest information differently than those in China or India. It is crucial to choose a translation service that accommodates your business goals. E-commerce websites that translate and localize in 3 or more languages increase traffic by 38%.
What Type of Translation Fits Your Business?
Choosing the right translation service for your business is essential. Companies must consider cost, localization needs, continuity of branding, SEO optimization, and quality. Many online translation services don’t consider a business’ goals. To choose a translation service right for you, understanding the different types of translation is critical.
Machine Translation (MT) carried out by AI underperforms when it comes to translating company material as it does not consider the brand and misses important opportunities to make material connect with consumers. MT provides word for word translations that do not meet the needs of businesses seeking global expansion.
Post-Editing Machine Translation combines human and machine translation. Translators review both the source text and the Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) and then make edits to the CAT output. The quality of this translation is dependent on both the CAT software and the human translator’s accuracy. This method often saves time and money as translators do not start from scratch. Most CAT software comes with Translation Memory (TM) so that your terms and style are consistent with previously translated text.
Localization goes beyond just a simple translation and strives to connect and build trust with local audiences. Localization must consider colors, text layouts, currencies, culture and competitors to ensure a product connects with the local market. If the translation is on-brand and feels natural to native speakers, the content is considered localized. Translation is just the first step of a localization process.
Transcreation is not a direct translation of material, but highly adapted content that aims to reach consumers on an emotional level. Transcreation is commonly used to translate taglines or other marketing material that considers the nuances of local audiences. Unlike pure translation or even localization, professional linguists must manage the project and use their own creativity and brand awareness to produce content that resonates strongly with the target audience.
SEO Translation strives to get your website ranked first on a search engine in a local market. If a business’s dominant goal is to be optimized for SEO, the website should be translated in a way that resonates with both the target audience while simultaneously ranking well on the search engine through the use of keywords, tags, and other features that improve searchability.
Why Interpretation is Important for Your Business?
As globalization increases, the number of languages you are exposed to in the workplace and community does to. Businesses looking to expand into global markets often require interpreters to connect with key stakeholders and strategic partners. Domestically, both workers and customers often speak languages that are not native to the business, and interpreters are essential to employee performance and customer engagement.
Interpreters ensure that business meetings are accessible to all staff through on the spot interpretations. Companies that have a global customer base require interpreters as part of their customer service model. Insurance, entertainment, consultancy and education are a few of the major industries that employ full-time interpreters. Smaller companies, however, will also find themselves at some point needing an interpreter to facilitate expansion into both local and global communities.
What are the Different Types of Interpreters?
Language interpreters are vital for global politics, international business, and domestic communications. Interpretation methods are different depending on the audience and goal.
Consecutive interpreting is a back and forth style where the speaker stops every 1-5 minutes at the completion of a thought or paragraph. The interpreter often takes speaker notes to guarantee a correct translation. Once the speech is finished interpreters convey the message and tone from the source to the target language. This method is often used in courts, business meetings and schools.
Simultaneous Interpreting occurs instantly, sentence by sentence. The speaker never pauses for the interpreter who must listen and translate what was said 5 seconds ago while also absorbing what the speaker is currently saying. This method is used in trade shows, news broadcasts, meetings and conferences. The benefit is that the source speech is never slowed to accommodate interpretation. Simultaneous Interpreting can be performed remotely using Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) technologies to save on costs.
Whisper Interpreting is simultaneous but the interpreter whispers into the ear of the audience. The goal is to provide a quick interpretation without disturbing the source speaker.
Telephone Interpreting can be consecutive or simultaneous. Interpretation is provided over the phone and all participants can only hear the voice of the interpreter. The interpreter often cannot see the participants and cannot access non-verbal cues which can impact the accuracy of the interpretation. Telephone interpreting can either be on demand or scheduled, depending on the situation.
The Top Skills of Translators and Interpreters
Cultures and values are shifting constantly in the age of social media and globalization. What was relevant yesterday could be offensive tomorrow. Translators and Interpreters must be experts on the culture and language of the source and target language. There are, however, unique skills to each profession.
5 Skills a Translator Should Have in 2021
- Native in the target language and fluent in the source language.
- Curiosity for the cultures of both languages.
- Strong writing skills and awareness of grammar and punctuation rules.
- Tech savvy and able to use Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools.
- Patience and dedication to providing relevant, meaningful and accurate translations.
5 Skills an Interpreter Should Have in 2021
- Proficient in both languages, with extensive terminology knowledge.
- A listener who considers not just the words, but body language and tone of the speaker.
- Strong short-term memory and the ability to paraphrase chunks of information.
- Fast processing of one language into another.
- Able to use RSI (Remote Simultaneous Interpretation) technologies.
Translation and interpretation can only be performed successfully if professionals have extensive linguistic knowledge.
How to Access Translation and Interpretation Services?
Choosing the right interpreter or translator for your needs can be difficult due to market saturation and discrepancies in quality, cost, and specialization across service providers.
When choosing an interpreter, it is important to consider an agency's experience and familiarity with industry terminology. Some interpretation services are specialized for the medical industry or high-stakes business meetings. Be sure to choose a service that is an expert in your industry and offers the type of interpretation you need, whether it is over the phone, simultaneous, or consecutive.
When choosing a translator, you must first know your business goals. If you are looking to rank on foreign search engines, it is important the service offers SEO optimization. If localization is your goal, it is important the translation service has a network of human translators who are fluent in the source language but most importantly, native in the target language.
MotaWord’s AI-powered human translation model provides clients with quality, cost-effective translations at lightning speeds. With MotaWord’s translation and localization solutions, both organizations and individuals can access instant price quotes, translation memory discounts, website integrations, plug-ins, 24/7 support, and many more, without actually having to pay extras. MotaWord is a complex solution provided in the most simple way.
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