As businesses continue to grow internationally, the need for implementing various language services becomes a necessity. Expanding into the foreign markets will require a business to incorporate language options that cater to a diverse audience. In order to carry out this task effectively, many organizations will opt for the services of an external linguistics company to help with the professional adaption of topics into a different language. However, deciding on the type of service to enlist can be a complicated matter. A common misconception is utilizing the terms, translation and interpretation interchangeably. Organizations must be able to distinguish the differences between these topics, and come to a decision to find the correct services they require.

What is the difference between a translation and an interpretation?

Two of the most popular linguistic disciplines that are often mistaken for another is, translation and interpretation. Although they can be quite similar, these two disciplines have some distinct features that makes them distinguishable from one another. A translation defines the process of converting a written document or text from a source language into the language of the target audience. Whereas, an interpretation refers to the ability to convert and adapt a spoken language that is intelligible into another language. However, these two services share one thing in common, they both require the aid of a professional with an aptitude of languages.

The amount of time required for each linguistic discipline

Aside from an understanding of the definition of each service, there are other significant differences in how each service is carried out. In comparison to an interpretation, a translation requires a substantial amount of time to process. A translated document, more often than not, must always convey the same meaning as the source document. This is established through the overall tone of the translation that will enable the accurate expression of words towards a target audience. Unlike a translation, an interpretation is processed in real-time. This implies that an interpreter will be responsible for facilitating the communication between individuals who do not have a common spoken language. Oftentimes, this requires an interpreter to be present among the speaking individuals to quickly convert a language back and forth.

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When is it appropriate to enlist the help of a translator or an interpreter?

The services of a translator or an interpreter will depend on the medium of the service required, i.e. verbal or a written text. A written text or a formal document is in the domain of a translation. Such mediums must be accurately translated to ensure that specialized terminology is correct and that every document adheres to the requirements of their respective industry. Any verbally spoken mediums will require the services of an interpreter. Their services are highly important in public speaking engagements, as well as, national events. Some professionals have even specialized their interpretive skills to include sign language, so as to cater to individuals who may be hard of hearing. No matter the case, the linguistic disciplines of translations and interpretations are a specialized field that will require the assistance of a highly knowledgeable professional.

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