What is the Difference between Translation and Interpreting?

Usually, people who are not a part of the translation industry are not familiar with the differences between translation and interpreting and would need some clarification by a professional before deciding what they do need in terms of linguistic services.

Both high-quality translation and interpreting require many years of excellent education, substantial experience and constant development in the linguistic field to become well-established professionals in their sphere of employment. Translation is the process of written reproduction of the source text which aims at creating a written version that best corresponds to the original meaning. Translation takes much more time to find out the proper words that reflect the source meaning as close as possible and create a well-structured text that makes sense to the target audience in question. Apart from translation, the typing process is also time-consuming and has to be considered when the client is giving their deadline to the translation company to complete the job with the required quality. A client should be also aware of the fact to provide reference company materials so linguists would stick to their coined terminology and keep consistency with the tone of voice of their company brand. High-quality translations are performed by professional translation software in accordance with the linguistic knowledge and competence of the translator.

The interpreting part is the one that covers the oral transmission of the text; it is often very dynamic and exhausting for the brain. It usually requires preliminary preparation of the linguist to get familiar with the text for interpreting so the client should be informed about this requirement in advance in order to provide all needed materials in time. Interpreting is mainly divided into simultaneous and consecutive depending on the type of organised event and the linguistic needs of the audience. Simultaneous interpreting is usually preferred at big forums where many people are involved and this type of oral transmission is performed from an interpreting booth where the interpreter is provided with the necessary sound and audio equipment to transfer the message orally to a large group of people. The consecutive form of interpreting is usually recommended for smaller groups of people, informal gatherings, factory and hospital visits, audits, etc. where the need of sound and audio equipment is not a priority and usually not needed.

Whether translation or interpreting, all professional linguists should not be merely fluent in their source language, they have to possess wide knowledge and linguistic background in their target language as well to do their job in a professional and reliable way for their client.

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