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    HT Localization Presents Language Translations for Real Life: Translation or Interpretation? Know the difference

    Segment 58 – Do you need a translator or an interpreter? 

    You are traveling to Asia for a business trip (and cultural exploration), and don’t speak the local language - how will you get by? 

    You are representing a foreign client in an intellectual property case, that has key testimony to present, but the expert witness speaks limited English - how do you convey the testimony effectively to the court?

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    HT Localization Presents Language Translations for Real Life: International Translation Day - Sept 30th

    Segment 57 – International Translation Day

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    HT Localization Presents Language Translations for Real Life: My Teacher Says “Ladybird, But She’s Wrong...”

    Segment 26 – My Teacher Says “Ladybird, But She’s Wrong, It’s Really Ladybug”

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    HT Localization Presents Language for Real Life Series: Expats Have Translation Needs Too!

    Segment 1 - Expats Have Translation Needs Too!

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    HT Localization Presents Language for Real Life: Localization and Graphics – Websites Matter

    Segment 53 – Localization and Graphics – Websites Matter

    “If you can’t beat them, hire or acquire them.”

  • 2017 Client Satisfaction Survey Results: How likely would YOU recommend HT Localization?
    2017 Client Satisfaction Survey Results: How likely would YOU recommend HT Localization?

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HT Localization Presents Language Translations for Real Life: Translation or Interpretation? Know the difference

Segment 58 – Do you need a translator or an interpreter? 

You are traveling to Asia for a business trip (and cultural exploration), and don’t speak the local language - how will you get by? 

You are representing a foreign client in an intellectual property case, that has key testimony to present, but the expert witness speaks limited English - how do you convey the testimony effectively to the court?

You are holding a press conference with a global audience in a foreign country regarding an oil spill involving your company – how do you express your public relations position?

You are speaking at an employee townhall to 10,000 employees in Europe, where the company is planning to drastically change the company’s operating model by moving towards more automation and reducing manual and transactional functions – how do you show optimism for the company’s future, while addressing employee anxieties?

Language and culture go hand in hand. When conducting business abroad, breaking the language barrier takes time, commitment, and intercultural competence.  Ethnolinguistics is the study of language as a cultural aspect, and considers the rapport between language and cultural values, beliefs, and social norms. A linguist can help you navigate subtle cultural nuances embedded in a language, making sure that your message is culturally adapted to its audience.

What is the difference between translation and interpretation?

Translation is the process of expressing a set of written words or documents from one language into another for the purpose of conveying a message or contextual meaning.  Translators usually work in a world of written text and words.  A professional translator can render written material clearly and understandable in a target language. 

Interpretation is the art of conveying verbal or spoken words and ideas from one language into another in a manner that allows the audience to comprehensively grasp what the speaker is saying.  Interpreters provide context and meaning to a discourse while also embodying the intent.  Interpreters work in an interactive verbal world.

What is the most important factor when hiring an interpreter? First and foremost, Experience.  

A trained and experienced interpreter is key to successful delivery. A linguist who can not only quickly grasp and relay meaning effectively to an audience in real time is worth his/her weight in gold.  There are no do-overs in the world of interpretation.  The audience is hinging on every spoken word, and the interpreter must keep up with both the speaker’s pace and the audience’s anticipation.  This is not always as easy as it appears.

Vocabulary and fluency are not always equivalent. Those who are fortunate enough to be truly bilingual still often find switching between languages real-time to be tiring. Having an extensive vocabulary in multiple languages takes effort. The ability to think and speak quickly on your feet is a skill to be practiced. 

Cultural understanding and language fluency are not a given.  Being able to speak a language fluently is not the only critical requirement, but cultural understanding comes with experience. For example, consider a bi-lingual speaker of French who has lived, studied and worked in the USA his entire life, if he never significantly experiences culture in France, he would be hard pressed to truly convey meaning to a townhall of 10,000 French employees.   The empathy and cultural range needed to help the company address employee anxiety during a live town hall can be demanding.

Appropriate tone and delivery is key. The speaker may need the message to be paraphrased in a manner that doesn’t distract or exaggerate the information.   For example, a testimony from a witness may need to be paraphrased by an interpreter in a manner such that the facts and only the facts are relayed omitting any dramatic nuances.  

Interpreters are skilled in specific areas of expertise. Travel to a foreign country with a local interpreter for personal reasons can be fun and helpful, but for a business conference or professional endeavors it can be the difference between a fruitful trip or an utter waste of time and money.  Whether it is a medical conference or a tech symposium, having competent understanding of the topic and its vernacular is required to adequately interpret its meaning.

Professional translators and interpreters are linguists who understand cultural influences and messaging, and can exert that cultural aspect into the message or dialogue. We can help you to understand your international audience, demonstrating your goodwill and commitment to a successful relationship.  

  

… Stay tuned for the next Segment of HT Localization Presents Language Translations for Real Life Series… 

 To receive the new Language Translations for Real Life Series go to HT Localization Blog and subscribe via RSS or email.

This article was written by Rachanee Thevenet, Co-Founder of HT Localization.  Rachanee is an Asian-American expat living in Spain with her family.  She loves all things international including food, art, literature, culture, languages and people.  She has years of professional product marketing expertise and global expansion experience.

HT Localization, LLC. is a worldwide translation & localization agency providing a full range of professional language translation services, including social media localization, marketing translations, website translations, software localization, eLearning materials, documentation translations, etc.  With locations in the US, Spain, France, Zambia & Thailand, and coverage across all languages and most industries, HT Localization is well positioned to provide around the globe services for all translation needs.  

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Last modified on October 11, 2017

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