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What is Language interpretation?

Language interpretation (or simply: interpreting) involves verbal or written translation of the content you hear. Language interpretation is a very important part of the translation industry. There are several types, but consecutive and simultaneous (live) interpreting are the most popular ones. The third type consists of audio-visual translations (e.g. film translation).


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The types of interpretation

Interpreting involves verbal or written translation of the content you hear. There are three types of interpreting:

Consecutive Interpretation – such translation involves listening to a fragment of speech and then its interpretation. Consecutive interpreting is usually a type of real-time translation popular at conferences, workshops and other meetings attended by representatives of different countries. The interpreter listens to speech, takes notes in the meantime and then uses them to translate the spoken text (e.g. during a pause of the speaker).

Simultaneous Interpretation – in this case, the interpreter translates what the person is saying simultaneously while listening to them. The interpreter can stand directly next to the person whose speech they are  translating, or use a special soundproof booth. Such a person is equipped with a microphone and headphones to listen to the spoken statements and to translate them live. The microphone makes it possible for the interpretation to reach the recipients in real time (they are also equipped with headphones).

Audio-visual (dubbing) translations – this type of interpreting involves translating speech in video materials, such as films, YouTube videos or documents.

Differences between interpreting and translating

Written translations usually come to mind when thinking about foreign language translators. They translate various documents, scientific works, literature, website content and more. However, those are only a few of their tasks. Although there is no formal division into translators and interpreters in Poland, it is worth noting that some of them specialise only in one form of translation.

Apps for interpreting

We live in a world with open borders in which cultures, and thus languages, can mix freely. If you do not have the time to learn the local language or you are worried that you will not be able to cope in a foreign land, a simultaneous translation app or an app for language interpretation will come to your rescue, if any problems arise.

How does it work? Your speech is recorded in one language and the application translates it into the selected language, and using a speech synthesiser, it converts the text into speech. This is a quick and easily accessible way to communicate efficiently even in a country where you have absolutely no knowledge of a given language.

To use the apps, you will need a smartphone with internet access. Developers offer many applications for various operating systems. The top 3 speech translation apps are:

● Google Translate

● SayHi Translate

● TripLingo

Until recently, Google Translate was associated with poor translation quality but it has undergone a huge metamorphosis. Today it can confidently compete with other applications. The principle of its use is very simple. The application translates words and whole phrases typed on the keyboard. With support of artificial intelligence, it can also recognise speech and using a synthesizer, it can speak out sentences in the target language. The modern Google Translate app can also recognise and translate text written on an information board, for instance.

The SayHi Translate application should appeal primarily to fans of classic, simple interfaces, and thus, easy and intuitive use. The application has a database of 90 languages ​​and is free of charge. It works in a similar way to Google Translate. Whatever you say out loud is translated and the speech synthesiser speaks out sentences in the selected target language.

TripLingo is not only a translation app. It has more features that will be very useful when you are travelling abroad. It includes a currency converter, a tip calculator or information about the place where you are located at a given point. There is one drawback, however – it is only offered in English.

Interpretation – Human translator vs. Google Translate

Google Translate is the most accessible option while being very useful. It will definitely come in handy when traveling, as well as at social gatherings attended by foreign guests. However, it will not replace an expert translator if the translation is to be fully professional. Keep in mind that Google Translate uses artificial intelligence, and so it is not error-free. Therefore, if the situation requires it (e.g. when you plan to organise a conference or workshop on Zoom), nothing can replace an actual human translator!

How to find a good human translator?

Finding a good translator is not an easy task. The easiest way is to use the services of someone, who was referred to you but this is not always possible. Another option that can provide you with nearly a full certainty of making a good choice, is the use of translation agencies and platforms that associate freelancers. In such a place (the best one being the Globtra Marketplace, of course), each translator has their business card including a description as well as feedback from customers who have used their services.

What to keep in mind when thinking about interpreting

Different translators offer different work quality. And by saying that, we don’t want to belittle anyone’s knowledge or skills. This is more a matter of specialisation, as some people are prequalified in a given field (e.g. professional, technical, legal language), some are best at translating written documents, while others are outstanding interpreters.

Of course, this does not mean that there are no translators who feel fully comfortable in each of those areas. Usually, however, at least one of them will be the strongest point that they will feel best at. If you require language interpretation services, narrow your search down to this criterion. It’s best to use our Marketplace, where you can publish your translator/interpreter request completely free of charge.


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