Translation and interpreting are needed in order to enable communication between cultures and across languages. Today, we live in a fast-paced and globalised world where accurate and speedy communication is absolutely key. As a result, it is often crucial to use the help of professional interpreters and translators to effectively communicate.
2022 will be a pivotal year for a number of businesses based in the United Kingdom. After the recent turbulence, organisations across practically all corporate sectors are now revaluating their processes and internationalization plans. When it comes to successfully approaching and communicating with international customers or business partners, professional language translations play an absolutely key part.
Fortunately, a rapidly growing number of business owners recognise this, and so as a result, agencies offering professional translation services have become an inseparable part of international business in the UK over the last few years.
Today, businesses from legal, marketing, financial or the e-commerce sectors approach translation companies in order to convert their documents and materials into the target consumers’ native language. There still however seems to be some uncertainty amongst business owners when it comes to the different types of language translations – more specifically, between translation and interpreting.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the key differences between translation and interpreting and explain the specific aspects, which play crucial part in each of these language services.
Despite translators and interpreters having some skills which are fairly similar, the general skillset required for providing these services is completely different. Although many people do not fully comprehend the main difference between professional translation and interpreting, it’s in fact a very simple one to understand – Translations focus on the written text whilst interpreting is applied to the spoken word.
For example, if you have written documents, such as certificates, legal papers, marketing content or financial reports, which need to be converted into another language, you’ll need to obtain a translation service.
If, on the other hand, you have a court case hearing, conference or a business meeting where a spoken discussion will take place in another language and you need to fully understand what is being said, you will need an interpreting service.
In order to understand whether one supplier can naturally provide both interpreting and translation services, we must differentiate between freelance linguists and professional translation agencies.
When it comes to freelance linguists, generally speaking, they do not often offer both services simultaneously. If, for example, you have written documents which must be converted into another language, and then attend a follow-up business meeting, you will need to approach two separate suppliers. In this case – a freelance translator and a freelance interpreter.
Additionally, especially within the corporate environment, in order to translate or interpreter your content reliably, the freelance linguist will need to have an in-depth understanding not only of the target language, but also your particular business sector. This will allow them to understand and convert any industry specific jargon.
Things can get even more problematic, if you require these services in more than one language, as you’ll need to find an individual supplier not only for each of the services required, but also for each of the languages you need.
Fortunately, however, working with translation companies can solve this problem.
A professional translation agency, in most cases, should be able to offer language interpretation and translation services simultaneously. Because these companies have extensive databases of expert linguists, they can provide these services in practically any language or dialect you may require.
In fact, there are agencies in the United Kingdom which offer translation and interpreting services in more than 200 languages and dialects, and are able to do this for documents across practically all business sectors. Companies such as ‘London Language Translations’ or ‘Translate Now’ are just some of the leading providers in the UK. If you want to contact a professional translation agency or wish to learn more about interpretation and language translation services, we highly recommend this website.
As you can imagine, this can be enormously beneficial to the client as they are able to obtain all of their language translation requirements in one place.
In addition, translation companies are typically officially registered with certified associations, for example, the Association of Translation Companies, which means that any document converted by them into another language will most likely meet international standards and be accepted to use overseas.
Hopefully by now, you better understand the key differences between translation and interpretation and know, which provider to approach when you need to convert your materials into another language.
Nonetheless, better understanding these particular services in more detail can also be truly beneficial.
For example, written translation services can be divided into sub-categories such as localisation or certified translations.
Although both relate to written content or documents, the approach to converting the content can be slightly different, depending on the type of materials you need to translate.
Localisation is generally used for marketing and digital content, such as websites or international campaigns. It takes into account not only the linguistic aspects, but goes a step further to focus on the socio-demographic factors of your target market. This ensures that any marketing or advertising documents are fully suitable for the foreign audience and that your brand doesn’t suffer from bad publicity a blunder in translation can create.
Certified translations, on the other hand, is a term widely used when converting legal documents or financial papers. Whether you’re a private client or need to translate an official document on behalf of a company, a certified translation is the service you’ll need in this instance. The official certification provided by a translation agency proves your document’s authenticity and makes it legally valid in the United Kingdom as well as overseas.
Spoken (or oral) translations can be divided into two main sub-categories, and these are: consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting.
Consecutive interpreting is usually a more straightforward service. It involves the interpreter listening to the speaker in their native language, and once the speaker finishes a sentence, it is then carefully translated into another language.
Simultaneous interpreting on the contrary is a fairly complex service. Here, the translation happens ‘in real time’. You can often see this service applied in the
European parliament, where the speaker talks directly in their native language, whilst other participants listen to the interpreter using headphones. If you’d like to learn more about simultaneous interpreting specifically within the EU, you can do so by visiting this link.
Translation and interpretation are two separate language services, which require a completely different set of skills from the linguist. One focuses on the written word, whilst the other mediates languages orally.
Whether you require one or the other, the good news is that majority of professional translation companies are able to offer them simultaneously, whereas freelance linguists, on the other hand, generally focus on providing only one of them.