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The world of translation is broadly divided into two groups. Translators and interpreters. While the basic skills required for each profession are identical, the application of their knowledge is notably different.

Whereas a translator can deliver translations of all types of documents, even to localize the content of a text when necessary, an interpreter must be able to translate conversations in real time. For this reason, understanding what you need at any given time, be it the services of a translator or those of an interpreter, will be key to the successful completion of the project you have in mind.

What is an interpreter?

As the name implies, an ‘interpreter’, ‘interprets’. To be specific, they interpret dialogues and conversations, maintaining the sender’s message to the receiver across the language barrier. An interpreter requires a deep understanding of the regional and cultural nuances of each of the people in the conversation, as it is vital to be able to keep in line with the intention of each speaker.

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Simultaneously, as it has to be a continuous real-time translation, the interpreter should be able to adapt instantly to changes in the conversation, and be able to make close parallels to the jargon and idiomatic expressions used by the speakers to always provide a translation that is as true to reality as possible.

What is the role of an interpreter?

Interpreters are a vital profession in today’s globalized and interconnected world. Because they offer the ability to broaden the connections that a company can have as it extends its operations beyond the borders of its own country. The services of an interpreter allow conversations between two or more people in multiple languages to be transformed in real time.

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There are multiple ways to apply the skills of an interpreter, so they fill multiple roles. They can serve as intermediaries in meetings, or provide their services remotely via the use of headsets; including the interpreting of calls or videos through additional audio tracks. Regardless of how an interpreter’s skills are applied, they always fulfill the role of bridging communication between parties who do not share the same language.

Interpreters vs translators

As mentioned at the start, interpreters and translators are two sides of the same coin; two different ways of applying language translation. Interpreters primarily deal with real-time conversations, audios and videos, delivering an equivalent ‘voice’, and maintaining the message of each sender to each receiver, regardless of the language in which they are speaking. Always seeking to offer a translation that is as close as possible to the original.

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Translators, on the other hand, are responsible for the written part. Everything that has to do with documents, texts, newsletters, manuals, etc. that need to be translated from one language to another. Translators usually cover the judicial and legal area, for documents that need to be notarised and certified before the authorities of a country. As a rule of thumb, you will need an interpreter if you are looking for the possibility to converse with other people who do not share your language, while you need to find a translator when you need to translate documents from one language to another.

What Is the Difference between a “Regular Interpreter” and a Community Interpreter?

The community interpreter is one of the different forms of interpreting service available. The easiest way to differentiate a regular interpreting service from a community interpreting service is the number of people involved in the conversation to be translated and the pace of the conversation, i.e. the pauses between the parties.

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A community interpreter often deals with large groups of people, such as an interpreter in a court of law. Additionally, community interpreters, as a rule of thumb, are expected to be able to serve both as interpreters of language and of the terminology meaning, e.g. explaining to a client in a medical setting what the diagnosis he or she received from a doctor means.

 On the other hand, the conference interpreter is typically responsible for small groups, business conversations, and teleconferences and dialogues where the pace of the conversation is key, requiring them to provide constant, simultaneous, and non-stop interpretation.

How to identify a good interpreter

There are numerous characteristics that identify a good interpreter; being professional, skilled, able to deal with the nuances of the conversation required to translate on the spot, and able to always provide a quality interpretation, maintaining the pace and meaning of the conversation, according to the needs with no problems, giving you confidence in the work being contracted.

A good interpreter should always be able to give you truthful information, capable of answering any questions you might have during the conversation, and able to guide you smoothly through any interaction with other people. In addition, a good interpreter should always be able to understand the terminology needed for the interaction; for example, a legal interpreter is able to understand legal terminology, and a conference interpreter the terminology used in B2B.

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As you can see from this brief overview of the interpreting profession, language interpreting and interpreting involves a countless number of details and attributes which can greatly vary your experience when hiring an interpreting service.

Therefore, when it comes to needing this service, the best choice will always be to consult with a professional team that can reliably guide you to a qualified interpreter that suits you and your company’s needs.

It is a good idea to have a translation company that has highly qualified interpreters, who can provide you with the required language combination, who can help you avoid unnecessary headaches.

At Orion Translations we can provide you with this service. Therefore, if you are interested, please feel free to write your requirements in the contact form and we will get back to you with what most suits your needs.

Click here to read the following interesting article: Transcreation: how to translate your Copywriting

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