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A Loose Interpretation

Though often mistaken for its written counterpart: Translation…Interpreting is an art unto itself. As we previously discussed, Interpreting is the verbal relaying of information from one language to another. Interpreters are utilized to relay information between interested parties for all of the spoken languages of the world, including American Sign Language, which is “spoken” by the hearing impaired community.

Interpreters are utilized by all facets and walks of life, so to speak, and therefore must have an inherent, colloquial understanding of language and its dialects; and the keen ability to decipher meaning as opposed to the verbatim relaying of information. Common vernacular phrases, jokes, jargon and the like, are often very difficult to relay in different languages or dialects because of cultural differences and status quo norms; so interpreters must, in a split second, understand and convey the essence of what is being said as opposed to exactly what is said.

For instance, the English phrase, pulling your leg means that someone is teasing or attempting a sarcastic or facetious joke. If one were to interpret this phrase into Spanish, one would not use the same terminology. In Spanish the phrase, tomando tu pelo would be used, which literally means taking your hair. Neither of these phrases involves the direct action that they reference, but rather, imply a colloquialism that has come to mean playing a facetious or sarcastic joke. Because spoken language is often less formal than written language, and is riddled with jargon, slang, and cultural colloquialisms, interpreting requires keen vernacular understanding of such phrases, regardless of the type of assignment.

Interpreting is used in a variety of fields, including recreation, business, and for legal proceedings. Interpreters escort families and dignitaries on trips for business and leisure; they interpret for multilingual business conferences, negotiations, and meetings; and they interpret for legal proceedings such as depositions, mediations, and trials. They are also used by schools to relay student information for non-English speaking, or hearing impaired parents. For each of these fields, an interpreter must carefully listen to, retain, process, and relay information between parties attempting to communicate, and must discern the attempted meaning of the information relayed.

While information may be scripted and or rehearsed for business conferences, most other fields of interpreting involve in the moment assessment that can prove rather challenging. This is especially true for Simultaneous Interpreting, which is spoken with only a split second delay after the originating language is spoken. This type of Interpreting is more difficult and often more costly than the other two types of Interpreting: Consecutive Interpreting and Chutocage Interpreting.

Consecutive Interpreting is interpretation which contains a pronounced delay after the originating language is spoken. This gives the interpreter a brief moment to assess and relay what was said. However, this is challenging as well, as the interpreter must accurately retain the information, and must, often, take copious notes to maintain the integrity of the interpretation.

The third type of Interpreting is Chutocage Interpreting or Whispered or Huddled Interpreting. This type, though more rare than the other two, can be utilized for gaming, leisure, and court Interpreting; or any event where an audible interpretation would disturb those nearby in a proceeding or event. Interpreter booths, microphones, and headsets can also be used to ensure that interpretation can be relayed without disturbing those who do not need it.

Besides vernacular understanding and information-retention complications, legal and medical matters provide yet another set of complications. Many states require certification of interpreters who interpret for court, legal, or medical related matters. This is to ensure that the interpreter is not only familiar with conversational jargon and vernacular word usage, but also with legal and/or medical terminology. In California, for instance, the twelve most-requested languages require certification for court related matters: Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Armenian (Eastern and Western), Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Arabic, Vietnamese and American Sign Language. Many states also require certification of medical interpreters as well so that pertinent health information is properly relayed. Certification processes, whether state or federal, medical or legal, ensure the ability and knowledge of an interpreter, and provide a standard for their respective industries.

Interpreting, with its multifaceted usage, enables the world to communicate both personally and professionally. Interpreting provides for, and ensures multicultural diversity for the inhabitants of the entire speaking world—whether they speak the little known African dialect of Wolof; the world’s most abundantly spoken (per capita) language, Mandarin Chinese; or the most universally spoken…English.

TRANSLATION WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

“Translation guarantees the survival of our civilization a globalized world.” – Center for Translation Studies, University of Texas at Dallas

Interpreting, Translating & Transcription Services for Today’s Market

For nearly a quarter of a Century, American Language Services (ALS) has been a premier provider of languages services. We provide top quality services for a significant number of Major Corporations, Law Firms and Governmental Agencies in the domestic US market and abroad. We work around the world in all languages for written translations, transcriptions and verbal interpreting. We have built an outstanding reputation for providing timely and cost effective translation, transcription and interpreting services. ALS bridges the communication gap between unique languages and distinct cultures by paying meticulous attention to the details. We know that succeeding globally in today’s business world requires paying attention to many subtle language nuances. Our continuous dedication to the details and meeting our clients’ goals have made AML-Global a worldwide leader in the translation and interpreting industry for both written & verbal communication projects.
AML-Global has thousands of highly qualified language experts on call 24 hours, 7 days a week. Located on every continent in nearly every country around the world, our interpreters and translators are experienced and proficient in speaking and writing hundreds of languages within an extensive range of specific industries.

Successful Communication Requires More Than Written Translations and Verbal Interpretations

Whether it is in written form through the translation process or through verbal interpreting, AML-Global pays particular attention to the subtle differences in language that are critical in conveying your message to your target audience. In many cases, a simple verbatim translation is not enough. Communicating effectively requires projecting the intent of the message, addressing cultural awareness of your audience, as well as understanding specific nuances in various language combinations. AML-Global provides effective language solutions needed to make a positive impact on your target audience.

It’s no surprise that the word ‘translation’ is often misinterpreted. By looking up the word in any dictionary source, you may stumble across up to fifteen different definitions. According to the online Latin dictionary, the word for translation, translatio, is derived from words meaning to carry or to bring across—a fitting etymology as translation brings the world together and bridges cultural divides. Although the Latin definition of the word appears to be the most fitting explanation, there are many misconceptions surrounding the word. Let’s start with the basics.

Translation is often confused with interpreting or transcription, but its differences are inherent. Interpreting is the relaying of verbal information in one language to verbal communication in another. Interpreting is utilized for legal proceedings, conferences, trade shows, meetings and social gatherings of all kinds. Transcription is the transformation of verbal communication into a written form of communication, where information is transcribed from CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and various other digital and media sources. Translation is a written communication which originates in one written language and changed into another; the source language and the target language, respectively. Translation is used for software programming, legal documents, and various corporate communications.

Additionally, there are several things to consider with translation, besides the basic comprehension of language. It is an extremely common misconception that anyone who is bilingual can be a good translator. This is certainly not the case. A good translator goes through rigorous testing and hones his/her craft for many years to become an expert translator.

A translator must also have a keen understanding of grammar, context, writing conventions, cultural diversity, and language style of the two languages. People often believe that there is always a simple exact match between different languages, but that is almost never the case. A good translator must determine proper terminology based on his or her comprehension of the languages, subject matter, and cultural/colloquial meanings.

For instance, the word tortilla is also tortilla in American English, but called a pancake in British English and one would not want to confuse the two! This is an important colloquial and cultural difference that a successful translator would need to know in order to properly convey an idea from English to Spanish or vice versa.
Translation has been Making the World a Little Smaller since the beginning of written literature, and is the glue that holds the world together today, Bridging Communication Gaps on a daily basis in advertising, legal documentation, literature, and even film. Here at AML-Global we’ve proudly provided that “glue” for nearly a quarter of a century, and will continue our dedication to Making the World a Little Smaller with translation for years to come.