Category: Interpreting Written by: Daqeeq Date: 11 Oct 2021
What is interpretation
Many people mix up translation and interpretation. While they may seem identical to someone from outside the language domain, they’re as different as chalk and cheese. Interpreting and translation are two separate professions with different codes of ethics, educational requirements and certifications.
In this article we’re going to focus on interpretation, and to start things off, we need a definition; the following quote explains what is interpretation:
“The process of first fully understanding, analyzing, and processing a spoken or signed message and then faithfully rendering it into another spoken or signed language.”
Interpretation is transmitting ideas from a foreign language speaker to another language in order to make communication possible, so this is the main difference between translation and interpretation.
Translation is conveying the exact meaning 100% from a language to another in a written manner with enough time – not necessarily- for the translator to think and polish their final product. While interpreters have to be quick on their feet and understand what is being said and translate it immediately into another language taking into account all necessary factors.
Importance of interpretation
Interpreters have to work in different environments, some of which may be life-changing. Interpreters in the courtroom or in hospitals give the nonnative speakers a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have. Plus, they have made and are still making international trading and communication possible. Interpreters are the unsung heroes of international business meetings and treaties.
What makes a good interpreter?
Speaking two languages is very impressive but it doesn’t make you an interpreter, as that’s going to require a bigger bag of tricks.
Here are some qualities that any successful interpreter needs to exhibit in this business:
First and foremost, to succeed as an interpreter you need to have great language skills in both the source and target languages. Having the ability to interpret idioms, nuance and metaphors in conversation is essential to provide effective communication.
Field knowledge: It is a pivotal factor in making a great interpreter and even more important to him/her than a translator. The interpreter must be knowledgeable and versed in the field he’s working in since there’s no time to use a dictionary or an encyclopedia.
Certification: Having a certificate from a reputable interpretation institution shows that an interpreter that has put the necessary work in and has the credentials to do the job well, and will likely perform the task successfully with no unwanted problems or minor mistakes.
Soft skills are must-have skills for interpreters. They include the ability to make the interpretation process easy and enjoyable for all parties. The ability to connect with a wide range of people and to be a good listener is invaluable and necessary for any good interpreter.
The interpreters’ skills should not be limited to the language but they should include cultural understanding. These skills include the ability to detect certain nonverbal cues or customs that are specific to a particular group of people. Having a strong grasp of cultural norms will help an interpreter better convey what a non-native speaker is trying to get across.
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