Tag Archives: interpreters

The difference between translators and interpreters: Which do I need?

 

As a trusted translation company in Surrey, the team at Surrey Translation Bureau have noticed a lot of people getting rather mixed up when it comes to translators and interpreters; many simply do not know the difference between the two, and will often end up using the terms interchangeably (much to the chagrin of translators and interpreters alike!).

 

So we thought we’d take the time to quickly explain what each entails – which should hopefully make things easier next time you need linguistic assistance!

 

Translation and Interpretation are closely linked linguistic disciplines, but each requires a distinct skill set and offers a particular service to those who need it. To put it most simply, the biggest difference between the two is that of their medium: translators work with the written word, and interpreters with the spoken word (including sign language).

 

Of course, things do go deeper than that. Due to this main difference, you’ll see translators and interpreters hone different sets of skills and approach their work using specific methods.

 

Translators are not concerned with exact “word for word” translations of texts, due to the nonsensical results of attempts that aim for such things, and instead take the time to try and make the translated message as accurate to the original texts as possible, whilst still remaining understandable, as well as pleasant and easy to read. Translators usually have a more extended period of time to work their magic, meaning that certain turns of phrase can be debated upon and other texts and sources (including style guides, glossaries, and thesauruses) can be consulted to help shape the final translation.

 

 

Interpreters, on the other hand, do not have the luxury of time and are in the position of having to translate in real time situations, such as during speeches, appointments, legal situations, and more. Interpreters need to be able to immediately translate what is being said in order to relay the gist of the message to the involved parties, in a way that is clear and understandable. Sometimes interpreters are not present face-to-face, but rather translate over the phone, making listening skills, clarity of voice and public speaking skills even more important for them.

 

Translators and interpreters alike have specialities and areas of expertise, which you should always check before hiring either – for example, you would want to hire a translator with legal experience to work with legal documents, or an interpreter with business expertise to assist with board meetings.

 

If you have realised that you don’t need an interpreter, but instead require the services of a translation company in Surrey who you can trust, Surrey Translation Bureau is here to help! Our team has experience in a broad range of languages, and you’ll be able to count on us whether you require search engine optimisation for Chinese audiences, something transcribed from Finnish, or something else entirely! Contact us today for more information, by filing out our contact form, phoning 01252 730 014 or emailing hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.

Surrey Translation Bureau wishes ITI a happy 30th!

On 11 June the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) hosted a lunch event at the Anthologist in London to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Over 150 members from the language services community attended the event. Everyone celebrated the ITI for reaching this major cornerstone in its long and successful journey. It was a very enjoyable afternoon with lots of delicious food and a mouth-watering cake. They even had a quiz!

ITI 30th Anniversary

 

Our Head of Translations Hannah Stacey took part in the celebrations and enjoyed the good company of some like-minded people talking about our shared interests, workload worries and translation bugbears.

 

While many joined in with the sweet sound of the ‘Singing translators’, some were involved in more serious discussions about the evolving translation technologies. The atmosphere was certainly buzzing! The ITI provided a really enjoyable platform for translation professionals to come together and talk about things that matter.

 

The Institute of Translation & Interpreting was founded in 1986 as the only independent professional association of practising translators and interpreters in the United Kingdom. It has now grown to include over 3,000 members specialising in more than 100 languages and dialects from across the globe. No matter your industry, if you need information about translation services in the UK, ITI will have it.

 

With its aim of promoting the highest standards in the profession, ITI has been the common ground for language service providers to promote the importance of translation in today’s world of growing global communications.

 

Surrey Translation Bureau became a corporate member of the ITI on 29th October 2013. Since then, the association has proved extremely beneficial to our company and our translators. It has strengthened our clients’ trust in us.

Our professional accreditation from the renowned ITI assures potential clients of the quality of our services. The entry requirements to become a member are quite challenging.  What’s more, all ITI corporate members are required to adhere to its Code of Professional Conduct. This way the Institute maintains the highest professional standards.

 

One big benefit of corporate membership for our company is the ITI’s invaluable linguist directory. It details all qualified and tested members, and is accessible to anyone searching for a translator on the ITI’s website.
ITI also opens doors to opportunities for professional development and keeping pace with technology in the translation agency, through conferences and training events.
Early last year, our in-house team went to one such conference held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In the words of our Resource Manager, Allison Spangler, it was the “Prom of the translation industry!” The conference was thoroughly enjoyable with a wide range of presentations, training, wellness activities and networking opportunities.

 

ITI conference

 

From Allison’s point of view, events like these are a great place for language service providers like us to meet qualified and experienced freelance translators and add them to our team. It is also an excellent platform for translators to discuss industry standards and network with other linguists.
We hope that there are many more anniversaries and other celebrations for the ITI to come. Here at STB, we have already started planning for next year’s ITI conference in Cardiff. We can’t wait!

 

If you would like to know more about our association with ITI, why not email us today at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or give us a call on +44 (0) 1252 733 999. We look forward to hearing from you!