Although translation and interpreting are closely related, you'll hardly find a person who works as an interpreter as well as a translator. The difference lies in training, aptitude, skill and even language knowledge are very substantial and few people can do it successfully on a certain professional level.
The only difference in interpreting and translation is the medium - the translator interprets written texts but the interpreter translates orally. Both translation and interpreting shows the love for language and it is a deep knowledge of more and more language.
Technical Translators and their skillful act
There are more differences in skills than similarities. The key skills of a translator are:
- Understand the source language
- Understand the culture of the country from where the text originated
- Use good reference material
- Use good library of dictionary
- Represent the material clearly into the given language
- Must write well in the target language though the cultural and linguistic skills are critical.
Nowadays it's difficult for bilingual individual to express clearly in both languages. Many translators are not fully bilingual enough to begin with the work. With this limitation, good translators will translate the documents only in their native language. That is why we need technical translators to translate into their native language who are expert in their subject matter.
An interpreter can translate in both ways without using dictionaries or other reference materials. Interpreters must possess best listening capability. It is required for simultaneous interpreting. Simultaneous interpreters have to thoroughly memorize all the words that the source language speaker says. The output is to be simultaneously given in the target language said by the speaker 5-10 seconds ago. The interpreters must have excellent public speaking skills and they must have the capacity for instant transforming of colloquialisms, idioms and references related to cultures into the target language for people to understand.
Qualifications of Interpreter
Similar to translation, interpreting is a type of paraphrasing. Interpreters listen to the language spoken; perceive it in their mind understand the meaning using the tool of the given language. This is just because, you cannot express any thought unless you don't understand it fully. Similarly you cannot translate anything without mastering over the language.
It cannot be overstated while choosing an interpreter along with the interpreting experience the expert knowledge is also important.
These following skills must be kept in mind while hiring an interpreter
- The whole knowledge of the general subject is to be interpreted
- The interpreter should be familiar with both the cultures.
- Strong vocabulary is required in both languages
- Ability to clearly and precisely express the thoughts in both the languages
- Good note-taking process must be known , particularly when it comes to consecutive interpreting
- Minimum 2-3 years of practical experience is required to conduct simultaneous interpretetion.
Think of it This Way
An English-Spanish Translator has helped your Spanish-speaking customer to obtain the necessary information from the website (which was actually written in English), which allowed your customer to reserve for a mountain-climbing guide trip on Mount Everest. The Interpreter who is knowledgeable both in Spanish and Nepali can aid your client understand the Nepali- mountain-climbing guide at the time.
Inspite of the differences in the skills of interpreters and translators, both of them are bilingual professionals. They share a passion for explaining meaning to people who would be unable to understand the information.