Linguistic Experts Answer Your Questions
Translation professionals can be divided into three groups based on their education, experience and references: junior, intermediate, and senior. If you are a junior freelance translator seeking a job, you need to attract new clients, and to do this you would offer great deals and super prices. But bad translations can’t be repaired; the text must be translated from scratch again.
Junior translators have to gain experience somewhere, but it must be done under the proper supervision of seasoned professionals. That is how we support professional development at Strategic Languages.
Yes, we do. Our discounts are based on volume, repeated content, language combinations and specialization. The more you work with us, the less you pay.
The translations we produce reflect our core values – high quality standards and exceptional service.
People often ask about the difference between interpretation and translation. For example, a client might say that they need a translator to come to their office to “convert one language to another.” Asking the language professional to come in person automatically triggers the assumption that it’s not a translator they need, but rather an interpreter. How do you tell the difference?
Written or spoken language
It is quite simple. Translation means working with letters, words and sentences in the written format—on paper or digitally—whereas interpretation means processing the spoken language, usually in real time, while one or more people speak. In most situations, interpretation requires that the interpreter be physically present at the client’s location. At times, interpretation by phone or via the involvement of other technology might be required.
Translation involves reading the text in the source language and writing or typing another text in the target language, with the same meaning. Interpretation, on the other hand, involves listening to the source spoken language and speaking in the target language, also with the same meaning.
In both cases, the conversion from one language to another happens in the translator’s or interpreter’s head. The fact that both translation and interpretation convert one language to another can sometimes create confusion for people who have never been involved in the translation field or who have never required its products.
Translated text and interpreted language are both products of intellectual work. It takes time to translate or to interpret, and the professionals who perform this work must be fairly compensated, as in any other profession. That is why translation and interpretation is not inexpensive, especially if it involves processing large volumes of material.
While Google or electronic translators just convert (literally convert) the text word by word, based on an algorithm, human interpreters and translators not only convert words, they also use context to select the right words and put them into the right perspective. They do everything in their power to avoid potential misunderstandings. The more experienced and educated the translator or interpreter, the more he or she is aware of the multiple meanings and potential dangers each particular word might carry. Incorrect translating or interpreting can cause negative marketing outcomes, injury to workers, and can even, in medical fields, result in the death of a patient.
Translator vs. interpreter
Translation and interpretation are two different disciplines requiring completely different skill sets. A translator must thrive on working in solitude for hours every day, and must be a thinker and philosopher with some degree of creativity. In addition to excellent written language skills, the translator has to be organized and patient in order to schedule projects well and to avoid delays. The translator must be exceptionally well-versed in the target language, which is in almost all cases the translator’s mother tongue. He or she has to know the source language on a professional level; however, this does not mean that they have to speak it equally well. Many would be surprised to learn that some excellent translators often barely communicate fluently on the phone or in person in the foreign language they translate from. That is because speed of verbal response and quick decision-making are not the primary skills required for a translator to produce excellent quality work.
An interpreter, on the other hand, must be a quick, resourceful, people-person who is able to socialize, manage conversations and often guide the speaker. It is an asset if the interpreter has a robust personality, as interpreters can sometimes face unqualified criticism in real-life situations, and must respond promptly and professionally to maintain their credibility.
We can say that a typical translator is an introvert and a typical interpreter is an extrovert, but there are always exceptions.
Another difference between translators and interpreters is that the translator’s product can be seen (text in books or on screens,) and often touched (books, magazines, etc.), while the interpreter’s product can be heard (either in a real time or recorded).
Could translators and interpreters be fully replaced by computers one day?
If, one day, a computer could write an interesting novel by itself, or shoot a movie, or create a new style of painting, then the computer could probably also translate or interpret as well as a human translator or interpreter. We will probably have to wait for this to happen.
Our translators are carefully selected and experienced professionals.
If the quote you receive from us is too high for your budget, do not hesitate to let us know. We are always ready to negotiate. We might be able to find a solution acceptable for both of us by modifying details like the amount of text to be translated/edited, deadline, applying discounts, using previous translations and references to speed up the translation process, and more.
When you order a translation with a turnaround time of one to two business days, our project manager starts work right away. This involves reviewing the particular language combination and requested specialization, and immediately starting to verify which of our translators is available to step in without delay and begin working on your project. Since our translators are seasoned and experienced professionals, they are usually busy with other projects. The project manager tries to find an available translator who can fit the rush order in between current assignments. Sometimes it takes a few hours for the translator to confirm that they will accept the project and turn it around within the required timeframe. Once the translator accepts the rush project, your order is placed in the queue for translation and editing. Typically, the costs associated with rush translations result from the increased project management time rather than the translation itself. Time is precious here, and no minutes can be wasted.