Translation versus interpretation

Translation and interpretation are two terms which are commonly used and very rarely differentiated. Both these concepts are very distinctive and require a different set of skills and abilities to master. This is despite the fact that both translation and interpretation both involve the meaningful conversion of information and knowledge into the target language.

Any information that needs to be converted to a textual form falls into the category of translation. Similarly, information that needs to be converted into a verbal or oral form of communication is classified as interpretation.

Globalization has removed the boundaries and has brought the world closer. It has successfully managed to bring the two ends nearer and as a result business transactions now take place between countries from different parts of the globe. This interaction has thus enhanced the need of translation and interpretation which are essential in almost every cross cultural business deal.

A business idea can only be successful if it is properly documented in the native language of that country. What is properly documented needs to be properly communicated. The role of the interpreter is to help in expressing the documented information and bridging the gap of language between the two countries.

A translator should have expertise over his analytical and writing abilities. This skill when sharpened by excellent linguistic and editing skills becomes a great facilitator in business communication.

Another major difference lies in the fact that translation can be done alone since it is related to the conversion of written document, whereas interpretation is always a group task.

Both translation and interpretation are related to the art of conversion but one requires the skills of reading/writing and the other of listening and speaking.

Written by Ram Kesarwani.

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