Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Translation Vs Interpretation: How to Choose Your Profession

Translation Vs InterpretationThe translation services industry is a broad space that has evolved a great deal in recent years. New technology and in-house software have created efficiency gains for companies that are passed down to customers. One of the constants though has been the reliance on human translation methods and human interpretation for the best results. This post outlines the unique skills required to be successful at each for anyone considering joining the industry.



Skills Required for Translation

Translators work with text. That's the easiest way to sum the key difference between the two disciplines. Translators will typically work on a full range of documents, websites, books, essays, and essentially anything in written form. Translators usually work from home and are employed as contractors. To be accurate, in their work translators need to convert content into their native language and have an excellent grasp of the culture of the target language they're translating into. People who are precise, nuance-sensitive and have strong writing skills will be well suited to translation.

Skills Required for Interpretation

Interpreters work with the spoken word. They need to instantly transpose what's spoken into another language as accurately as possible. A lot of practice is required to be a successful interpreter, because a sentence in one language can be structured completely differently in another language. Interpreters need to think very well on their feet, be quick and have a good memory. An interpreter will work in very different settings to a translator, typically in person, and will be in close contact with the speaker and the audience. Audiences can be large so good public speaking skills are a plus in this profession.

What Can We Take Away from This?

Although on the surface the two disciplines appear similar, they in fact require very different skill-sets. Any skilled linguists considering a professional career need to align their strengths with the niche that suits them. Most importantly, practice both and see what suits you best and which one you enjoy the most.

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