The Difference Between Translation and Interpretation

    For your business to communicate with clients and customers clearly, no matter where they are in the world, it is important that you show your loyal customers that you care by being able to communicate with them in their native language. Not only does this show that you can adapt to their needs, but it also helps to improve levels of communication and reduce problems that may be caused by a language barrier. If you’re looking to improve communication within your business, there are translation services that you can use to help. This can help with both translation, and interpretation, but do you know the difference?

    What do these words mean? 

    Both words relate to changing an idea from one language to another, but there is a difference between the two.

    Interpret – This word means to orally translate language into another language, happens in the moment, and is delivered live. A good example of interpretation is if you’re watching someone in a different country being interviewed on the news and there is a presenter interpreting what they’re saying over the top of the person’s original language

    Translate – This word means to put ideas in one language into another in writing. In business, documents may be translated from one language to another, or websites and packaging may be translated depending on the country

    So, the difference between translation and interpretation is the way that the language is presented. If you are to interpret something, it means you are changing the language when speaking out loud, if you are to translate, that means taking a piece of text and writing it in a different language.

    Interpretation vs. translation 

    Now that we’ve clarified the difference between the two, let’s look at the 5 major differences between interpretation and translation.

      1. Delivery – As we’ve discussed previously, the way that interpretation is delivered is different from that of translation. Interpretation is delivered on the spot, it’s a way of changing spoken information from one language to another and can take place over the phone or via video chat. Translation can happen any time after a text or document has been created.
      2. Accuracy – Because interpretation happens live whilst someone is speaking, although an interpreter can aim for perfection, it is not guaranteed due to the fast-paced nature of spoken language. Translators tend to have time on their side when reviewing, changing, and editing a document and therefore are usually more accurate.
      3. Direction – Interpreters must be fluent in the language that they are interpreting, as well as the language they are changing it to, meaning that they must be familiar with a few languages. Translators usually work in one direction, from one language to their native tongue.
    • Format – One of the most obvious differences between the two is the format you find them in. Interpretation is spoken language, translation is text-based. 
    • Tone – One thing that both interpreters and translators face is capturing the correct tone that will resonate with the audience. Capturing metaphors, analogies and idioms are other examples of intangibles that come along with interpreting and translating language, whether that’s spoken or written.

    Benefits of a translation service 

    There are several benefits that can come from your business using a translation service. Being able to communicate in different languages means that you can globalize your business, and better cater to the needs of your clients. It can help your business to reach further across the globe, no matter the language. It adds to your credibility as a business and helps you to provide a trustworthy and reputable service to clients and customers. Most importantly, it removes language barriers. Whether you’re looking for interpretation or translation, these services can help your valued customers and clients have a hassle-free experience when dealing with your business and can teach you how to communicate more efficiently and effectively.

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