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Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators interpret or translate information from one language to the other. An interpreter is a person who works in spoken or sign language, while a translator uses written language. They help in cross-cultural communication by converting one language to another and enhancing communication among people from different language backgrounds.

Both translators and interpreters should be fluent in at least two languages: a native or an active language and secondary or passive language. Though some people do both, yet there is a slight difference between the two. While interpreters often work in both languages, translators generally work only into their active language.

Who is an Interpreter    Types of Interpreters

Who is a Translator

A translator converts written materials from one language into another. The goal of a translator is to have people read the translation as if it were original. They should translate accurately keeping the ideas, facts, and concepts of the original text in place. While translating, the flow of the language should be kept in mind without altering the meaning. Slang, cultural references should be taken into consideration.

Today, most of the translation work is done on a computer. It goes through several drafts before the approval of the final one.Translators usually translate works only into their active or native language.

Types of Translators:

  • Health or medical interpreter and translator
  • Legal or judiciary interpreters and translators
  • Literary translator
  • Localization translator

Who is an Interpreter

An interpreter converts information from one spoken language into another or between spoken language and sign language. Interpreters are mostly fluent speakers or signers of both active and passive languages since they communicate back and forth among the people who do not share each others language.

There are 2 modes of interpreting: simultaneous and consecutive.

  • Simultaneous interpreting requires interpreters to listen or watch and speak or sign at the same time someone is speaking or signing.

  • Consecutive interpreting begins only after the speaker has finished or signed complete sentences.

Types of Interpreters

  • Sign language interpreters
  • Guide or escort interpreters
  • Conference interpreters

Role of Translators and Interpreters

  • communicate visually or verbally
  • use correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling
  • obtain thorough knowledge of the subject
  • comprehend spoken or written language
  • translate or interpret written or spoken language
  • use translation software
  • use oral or written communication techniques

Skills required for a Translator and Interpreter

Foreign Language: An interpreter or translator should be well versed in the foreign language, its structure, content and syntax.

Oral and Written Comprehension: Understanding written sentences or spoken language while interpreting or translating is extremely important.

Subject Knowledge: Subject knowledge helps a person to grasp the idea and translate the content into meaning sentences without altering the meaning.

Speech Recognition: This skill is especially required for a interpreters to understand the speech of the source.

Listening Skills: One should pay full attention to the speaker, understand and be careful as not to miss out on any crucial information or fact.

Business Skills: A freelancer or self-employed person should have good business skills to be able to market their services.

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