In order to thrive, your global business needs to communicate with international audiences, which requires both interpretation services and translations of your content. But, how do you know which process is the best option for certain situations? Understanding the core differences between interpretation and translation is critical to the success of your multinational organization.
What Is Interpretation?
Contrary to popular belief, interpretation is not a word-for-word translation of spoken words. If this were true, then the final result of an interpretation would be a mess of jumbled up words that would make absolutely no sense to the target audience. Instead, interpreters rephrase words as needed, so that concepts and ideas will make sense in the target language. On top of all that, they have to do this in real time with no script in front of them and no help from any glossaries or dictionaries.
Think it sounds pretty easy? Try it for yourself! Paraphrase someone’s speech with a half-sentence delay, while making sure that you make sense of and are able to paraphrase the subsequent sentence. It’s not as simple as it seems!
How Does Translation Work?
Today, most translators use a combination of a computer plus a variety of translation tools and language translation services to achieve the best results. They begin by converting the piece to be translated into a file type that is easy to work with – typically RTF. Next, the translator applies a translation memory to the source text, which automatically identifies and fills in sections of the text that have previously been translated. These translations are then reviewed by the translator before they translate the remaining text from scratch. This translating is completed by reading each section in the source language, referring to a glossary or style guide, and then translating the material into the target language.
Once the translation is finished, a different linguist edits and proofreads the translation to ensure the accuracy and quality is high. Lastly, the reviewed translations are transferred back into their original format. Any additional desktop publishing or engineering outsourcing may be applied so that the translated version matches the original one as closely as possible