If you’re not sure what kind of service you need…
Click on a question from the list below to learn more. Then, identify the specific type of service that will fulfill your needs. Remember that our Project Managers can always help explain the choices in detail. If you have any additional questions or any feedback, please fill out the form below or give us a call at 1.508.823.8892 Main Phone and 1.888.443.2376 Toll-Free (USA Only).
First, you need to decide what form of communication is required: verbal communication or written text? Verbal communication with a non-native language speaker requires the services of an interpreter (interpretation). On the other hand, if you need a document of native text converted to a foreign language (or vice versa), you will need the services of a translator (translation).
The main difference between translation and interpretation is the medium: an interpreter provides verbal exchange, while a translator provides written documents.
More detailed information:
The training and skills of a translator and an interpreter are actually quite different. Translators must possess excellent writing skills. They use extensive libraries of dictionaries, electronic glossaries, and reference materials to translate written text into their target language. While translators often work in the peace and quiet of their office with books and papers, interpreters must interact directly with speakers of different languages in real-time. For this reason, interpreters must be fluent speakers of at least two languages, have the ability to verbally express ideas clearly and concisely in both languages, and be capable of split-second decision making without the aid of dictionaries.
Determining If You Need Verbal or Written Communications
To determine the type of service you need, you will have to evaluate what form of communication is required. Verbal communication with Non-English language speakers requires the services of an interpreter. On the other hand, if your requirement is for a document translation of written text in a foreign language going into English (or vice versa), you will need the services of a translator.
Consecutive Interpretation – provides a verbal rendition of what a person has said immediately after a phrase or paragraph of ideas has been communicated.
Simultaneous Interpretation – provides a verbal rendition of what a person has said almost instantaneously.
Escort Interpretation – utilizes a combination of the Simultaneous and Consecutive modes of Interpretation to relay the message within seconds of the speaker’s words or after a phrase or paragraph of ideas.
Consecutive Interpreters are able to facilitate communication from a source language to a target language and vice versa. They provide a verbal rendition of what a person has just said immediately after it has been said. A highly trained Consecutive Interpreter is able to communicate in both directions. Also when delivering the message, they use the same intonation and emphasis as each speaker without embellishment.
During the Consecutive Interpretation mode, the speaker stops every 1-5 minutes. About at the end of every “paragraph” or a complete thought. Then, the Interpreter steps in to render what was said into the target language. A key skill involved in Consecutive Interpreting is note taking since few Interpreters can memorize a full paragraph at a time without loss of detail. Interpreter’s notes are very different from shorthand because writing down words in the source language makes the Interpreter’s job harder when he or she has to render the speech into the target language. Many professional Interpreters develop their own “ideogramic” symbology, which allows them to take down the thoughts, not the words, of the speaker in a language-independent form.
Simultaneous Interpretation allows presentations and discussions to proceed at the same pace as a monolingual conference. Each delegate hears what is being said, in his or her own language, whether it is French, German, Japanese, Spanish, or any other language. Wired and/or wireless electronic equipment is used to transmit the interpreters’ words to the appropriate listeners.
Escort Interpretation utilizes a combination of the Simultaneous and Consecutive modes of Interpretation. These Interpreters relay the message within seconds of the speaker’s words or after a “paragraph” of ideas. Escort Interpretation does not require electronic equipment and is spoken directly to an individual listener. This mode is best when one or two individuals in a group speak a different language from the rest.
Keep in mind:
In nearly all cases where accuracy is a concern, a professional Interpreter is crucial. Within the United States, there are bilingual speakers for just about every spoken language. Though they are able to interpret casual conversations, the issue of oral communication becomes particularly crucial in technical, legal, medical, governmental and high-level diplomatic fields.
Professional Interpreters Versus Bilinguals
In these areas, precise communication of terms and concepts is necessary. During the everyday use of language, the impact of a mistake made, for example, while ordering lunch or asking for directions is negligible. In specialized fields, however, a small miscommunication can lead to serious delays in joint projects, an incorrect court judgment, the misdiagnosis of a disease, or a disastrous diplomatic incident.
A professionally trained Interpreter with subject-specific knowledge is a vital element in the success of any important international communications project. The Interpreter must be familiar with the subject matter in order to communicate accurately. This is necessary in order to correctly convey the nuances of technical speech and render it accurately into another language.
Qualifications of Interpreters
Another essential qualification of a professional Interpreter is transparency. It is necessary to transmit the ideas of the speaker accurately and not modify those ideas or substitute their own opinion for the speaker. A sure sign that an Interpreter is not a trained professional occurs when he or she stops Interpreting and then they start arguing or discussing technical subjects with one of the speakers. Meanwhile, the rest of the listeners stand around confused. This happens surprisingly often when clients rely upon their bilingual colleagues to interpret at meetings and conferences.
Text Translation – The conversion of the source text written in one language into another language, while maintaining the original text’s meaning, voice, context, and intent.
Glossary Development – Industry and /or company specific terminology, proprietary acronyms and technical jargon with definitions set at the appropriate reading level for the chosen audience.
Style Guide Development – Guidelines for character sizing and placement, page-numbering conventions, copyright, and legal notices, etc…
Review – The process of critiquing a translation multiple times with native tongue translators, editors, and proofreaders.
Desktop Publishing (DTP) – The layout of text and graphics for documents in another language within specific applications.
Website Globalization – Customization of a website and its contents for a global audience in another language.
Software Localization – Customization of software and its contents for a local audience in another language.
Voice-Over / Subtitling / Narration – The addition of foreign language audio or text to an audio or video.
Audio / Video Tape Transcription / Translation – Writing the audio content of recordings in the source language, then converting it to the target language for a side-by-side comparison.
Legal/Market/Cultural Analysis – The examination, critique, and summarization of the different effects international activity could have on distinct aspects of your business.
Brand Name Analysis – Targeted investigation of the potential success of a brand name in a foreign market.
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