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15 Mar

Why is Translation and Interpretation important in a Global Market?

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

To succeed globally, businesses must communicate with international audiences as flawlessly as a local company would. Making content resonate in a market's native language may involve intepretation services, translation and localization - or both, especially in a Chinese context. Interpreters translate spoken language orally, while translators translate the written word. Both require deep cultural and linguistic understanding, expert knowledge of subject matter, and the ability to communicate clearly. 

With the growing globalisation of the Chinese market, both locally and abroad, being able to adapt and contextualise content or product to the Chinese market will be even more important in order to grow opportunities.

Here are 5 points about translation and intepretation:

  1. Interpretation handles spoken language in real-time, while translation services are text-based.
  2. Interpretation takes place on the spot. The process can occur in person, over the phone, or via video. Translation, on the other hand, can happen long after the source text is created. This gives translators ample time to utilize technologies and reference materials to generate accurate, high-quality translations.
  3. Interpretation requires a somewhat lower level of accuracy to translation. Interpreters aim for perfection, but it's challenging to achieve in a live setting--some of the original speech may be left out of the target language, for example. Again, time is on translators' side when reviewing and editing written text for accuracy.
  4. Interpreters must be fluent in both the source and target language, as they're required to translate in both directions instantaneously without the aid of reference materials. Professional translators typically work in one direction: into their own mother tongue.
  5. Making metaphors, analogies, and idioms resonate with the target audience is a challenge that both interpreters and translators face. On top of this, interpreters must capture tone, inflections, voice quality, and other unique elements of the spoken word and then convey these verbal cues to the audience.

Most professional translators use computer-aided tools in their work. This involves converting the source content into a file type that's easy to work with, applying a translation memory to the text to automatically translate anything the tool has translated before, and filling in the gaps from scratch. As the translator goes through each section of text, they may refer to glossaries and translation style guide templates to ensure quality. Finally, they'll pass the translation to another linguist to proofread, then convert the final written document back into its original format ensuring the closest possible match.

Translators work on any information in written form: Websites, print, video subtitles, software, multimedia.

Interpretation is a service that happens in the moment. It is delivered live--either in unison with (simultaneous) or immediately after (consecutive) the original speech--with no help from scripts, dictionaries, or other reference materials. Professional interpreters need to transpose the source language (language to be translated) within context, preserving its original meaning but rephrasing idioms, colloquialisms, and other culturally-specific references in ways the target audience can understand. An interpreter's only resources are experience, a good memory, and quick reflexes.

Interpreters work on projects involving live translation: Conferences and meetings, medical appointments, legal proceedings, live TV coverage, sign language.

Article adapted from "5 Key Differences Between Interpretation and Translation" on Lionbridge

If you are keen to take up the challenge of being a translator or interpretor, SCCIOB's Diploma in Translation & Interpretation is an ideal platform to hone your understanding and master your skill set. Find out more about the programme by dropping us a call at 63341080 today.

 

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