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Difference between Interpreting and Translating

Interpreting is a word to word translation of a spoken language. This has to be done face to face or via phone, whereas translating is a word to word translation of a written language.Interpreters work on projects which is live like conferences, appointments, sign language, meeting, courts etc. Translators work on information in written like documents, websites, video subtitles etc


These are few distinctions that differentiate between interpreter and translator


Interpreters have to know both source language and target language fluently because they translate in both directions instantly.

Translators are relaxed because they can use a third party to help them with the translation like a computer, or a person who knows the source language. They usually work in one direction, which is translating source language into their mother tongue


Interpreters have limited time for translation, because they translate on the spot, whereas translators have much longer to translate the documents.


Grammar mistakes within a spoken phrase can be accepted in certain circumstances where the meaning of the stated phrase is not affected. This could be due to time limits, venue or situation. Whereas translators have to make sure that there are no spelling mistakes, use the correct form of vocabulary and the grammar.

Are they any similarities?

Of course, they are, both interpreters and translators work with a source language and a target language.

Both professions only work into their mother tongue.

Both require professional qualifications and/or accreditations.


The benefits of knowing more than one language

It’s a method of human communication with each other, either spoken or written. Language consists of words, that can be used in conventional manner. There are more than 6000 languages in the world, different countries have their own languages.

Knowing more than one language can help us in many ways, such as giving instructions; expressing feelings; or general communication; are few of many benefits.

Build your self-confidence

As we know our confidence enhances when we attain new skills and learning a new language is no different. Any new skill can contribute to increase in confidence and provide ease with dealing with certain situations, this same principal applies to communication whether by spoken, written words or sign language.

Good for travelling

If people know more than one language, and we all know travelling to many regions of the world becomes easier and more importantly enjoyable. We have all been to places, whether it a different country or even a restaurant at our local shopping district, able to speak to others in the relevant language makes you appreciate the surroundings much more.

You can become an Interpreter or a Translator

A Translator is a person who converts one written material form (source language) to another (target language). These materials can be court letters, certificates, applications etc. Most of the translators are self-employed. They usually work from home and enjoy the flexible hours.

Becoming an Interpreter enables you to work in various environments and can be challenging role at certain times. Many interpreters appreciate working with different people and at different venues each day and sometimes on the same day.

Types of interpreters and translators is covered in a different blog.

New social opportunities

Knowing more than one language also means opportunities meeting new people from different places and cultures. Meeting people with the different culture can open doors for developing interests and hobbies. Therefore a language has a large effect on social attributes.

Improve your memory

As we know more brain is best when it is continuously challenged, so learning something new can just be that challenge. Learning languages is, in laymen terms, memorising or getting familiar with the words and rules of that language.


Disadvantages of Computer Translation

Machine translation cannot create an accurate translation of a document, because machine translates document word by word not the whole sentence which results in poor grammar styles and idioms. It’s hard for machine to translate official documents, agreements, etc. For example; if a person wants to translate birth certificate or character certificate, machine language will not translate any of these certificates, this is the reason why companies such as National Translators Interpreters Service exist. The professional linguists working at agencies translate the documents and attach the statement of truth which clarify that they are responsible for the translation and if machine translate the document and if it’s not accurate, we can’t blame the machine.

Machine translation is only good if you want to translate a single word only. Most of the software’s are free which you can find online. If the machine cannot translate a specific word, it will just display the same word as it is.

In recent time, we can see people posting on social media using their own language not English, and there is a “See translation link” underneath it. When a person clicks on that link, it will only translate the literal language the slang words (if used) also it will find it difficult to establish differences in dialects, which is why sometimes we recognize errors with in the translations.

To do the perfect translation of the documents, machine software need lots of algorithms which can translate and the algorithms are not easy. For these reasons plus many more, people prefer manual translations due to the relatability and accuracy factor in other words, we can say human translator because you can find many qualified people who can translate source documents into different languages.



Four Main Types of Interpreters

The Interpreter is similar to the Translator, the difference is that the interpreter converts any spoken material from one language to a different language and translator converts written material.

Interpreting can occur in various places such as meetings, conference, telephone meetings, medical assessments etc.

Conference Interpreters  

Usually these interprets are fluent in more than two languages. They are highly skilled and can be found in the United Nations.


Sign language Interpreters 

These interpreters help communication between hard of hearing or deaf people with hearing people. Mostly we can find these interpreters in Schools, Colleges and courts.


Legal Interpreters 

These interpreters can be found in the courts, law offices, trails and hearings and solicitor-client meetings. These interpreters must have good vocabulary and grammar skills and must have relevant qualifications.


Medical Interpreters 

It is really important to have clearly communication between doctors, nurses and patients. The interpreter can help them to understand each other so that patients can understand their treatment plans.

Unique obstacles must be overcome when providing medical care to patients who have an incomplete command of the English language. Serious barriers to effective communication may arise at the exact point where our health care system must succeed or fail.(Anon, 2018) (To read full article please follow the link below)

Anon, (2018) Translation is not enough. Interpreting in a medical setting. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1011272/pdf/westjmed00085-0045.pdf  [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018].


Why Translation is important for Immigrants

The process of translating words, text, paragraph into different language or one form of medium into another is Translation. Mostly people translate certificates, letter or application for office purposes. People can translate document by themselves, but there will be many mistakes which leads to the rejection of the documents. That’s why there are professional who have qualifications and skills and will take full responsibilities of the translated documents.


Migrants/Immigrants have lots of certificates, letters and applications which need to be translated into a different language (depending on the country they are moving to) before submitting the applications. They have to contact professional translation agencies, such as us, to get their documents translated. This ensures the quality of service deemed necessary to fulfil all requirements of the receiving body.


Why translated documents have to be certified?

After translating the official documents, the translator has to issue a certificate or statement of truth. It is a declaration confirming that the translation has been legitimately conducted by a professional. It also mentions the name of the person who has translated the documents and their qualifications. Some authorities will not approve/accept the translation until the person has attached the certificate or statement of truth regulated by an agency such us ourselves. This is only to avoid fraudulent and illegal applications.


Why English language is important?

English is mostly used all over the world. People with a different first language can communicate with each by speaking English. Most of the people decide to study English as a second language.  Many schools teach English as a second language to their children and it’s a part of their syllabus.

English is most commonly spoken language. Few people cannot speak English, but they can understand. English is the official language for 54 countries. People also say that it is the language of the internet. Most of the content on the Internet (50%-60%) is English. So, knowing English will allow us to access a huge amount of information.


Is it Worth it???

Yes, it is worth it if you want to connect with different people who live in different countries or to connect with their culture and the way they think. If we are travelling abroad and we met people from different culture, English is the language the way we can communicate with them.


Most of the translation is done into English or from English. The courts, offices or any other organisations accept an application or letter in the English language so that is can be read by anyone or send it to anyone if necessary.


Why translation is important?

Translation is important because people prefer their native language. Not only does translation pave the way forward for global interaction, but allows nations to forge interactive relationships when it comes to making advancements in technology, politics, etc.




Rise of the Translation Industry

Today, the translation industry as we know it includes a multitude of companies providing services such as –

• Translating written material and paper-based documents

• Interpreting services and Sign-language services

• Digital documentation translation

• Software translation and website translation (localisation)Translation


Advantage of human translator over machine

Advantage of human translator over machine (NTIS UK)The long-running debate of machine vs human translation refuses to go away. This is partly because technology improves every year and the quality of translation it offers is constantly rising. As we know that the AI (Artificial Intelligence) have just been introduced to us and we have been told that it will make our life easier. According to the scientist it will take years to train machines to do such things. Let’s take an example of translation, Human translator ensures a highest accuracy as to Machine translator, the accuracy can be really low. The truth is, the debate over machine translation vs human translations is unnecessary distraction.




The benefits of a bilingual brain

It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like travelling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.




Statements of Truth, Translations and witnesses in other languages

The requirements of the CPR that deal with the signing of statements of truth when the witness is unable to read the document are clear and easy to follow, but it can be easy to fail in order to get it right; this is often problematic and it can be something to be relied upon in a successful application to strike-out a claim.

1. CPR 22 3A.1 states:

“Where a document containing a statement of truth is to be signed by a person who is unable to read or sign the document, it must contain a certificate made by an authorised person.”

An authorised person is specified by CPR 22 3A.2 to be a person able to administer oaths and take affidavits, but they do not need to be independent of the parties or their representatives.

2. CPR 22 3A.4 directs that the form of the certificate which must be used appears in Annex 1 to the Practice Direction:

“I certify that I [name and address of authorised person] have read over the contents of this document and the declaration of truth to the person signing the document [if there are exhibits, add ‘and explained the nature and effect of the exhibits referred to in it’] who appeared to understand (a) the document and approved its content as accurate and (b) the declaration of truth and the consequences of making a false declaration, and made his mark in my presence.”

3. The consequences of failing to verify a document with a statement of truth are set out at CPR 22 4. A statement of case remains effective, unless it is struck out, but a party may not rely on the contents of a statement of case as evidence until it has been verified by a statement of truth. 4.2 states that any party can apply to the court for an unless order specifying that the statement of case must be verified by the service of a statement of truth, failing which the statement of case will be struck out. 4.3 specifies that the usual order for the costs of an application for an unless order will be that the party who failed to verify will pay the costs.

4. Many practitioners draft witness evidence in English and, if the witness requires the assistance of a translator, add a certificate in the form of Annex 1 to CPR 22 to the witness statement. However, CPR 32.4(1) specifies that “a witness statement is a written statement signed by a person which contains the evidence which that person would be allowed to give orally.” When a witness will not give their evidence orally in English, the statement should be in the language the witness will use; that statement should then be translated into English.

This article is provided free of charge for information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of Chambers or by Chambers as a whole.