4 Things To Understand About Language Interpretation Services
Anyone paying for language interpretation services will likely want to understand some basic things about the process. If you're investing in language translation services, you should be aware of the following common issues.
Translation Isn't Always One-for-One
Some concepts have very literal translations that can easily convert on a one-for-one basis across nearly all languages. For example, most languages have a word for mom. A large portion of the time, it's a very simple word that sounds the same as the version in neighboring languages.
However, not all seemingly simple concepts translate perfectly. Colors are a strong example of this problem. For most of Japanese history, for example, the language didn't distinguish between green and blue. This might feel like a super basic distinction to you as an English speaker but to this day people in Japan gall green traffic lights blue lights.
Interpretation Is Critical
Professional language interpretation services have value in large part because translation is often interpretational. For example, Russian has an entire way of expressing familiarity levels between two people that shows up in the choice of names. One person could be Ekaterina, Katya, or Katyusha depending on the nature of the relationship, and the usage has deeper implications than John versus Johnny in English.
A professional handling such issues can't just translate writing or speeches word-for-word. They need to think contextually to ensure they reflect the intent of the author speaker.
Quality and Speed Are Inversely Proportional
Quality language translation work takes time. If you need something done quickly, be aware you will be trading some quality in exchange for speed. Likewise, if the quality is at a premium, you should be aware the work will require more time. When in doubt, err on the side of taking more time to produce a quality result.
Original Sources Are Invaluable
The closer you can get to the original source of a text or speech, the better the results will be. Whenever possible, try to source copies directly from authors or speakers. If possible, try to have them available to answer the translator's questions. Even if you're translating text for a shopping website, there may be concerns about intent.
Similarly, you should scrutinize source issues that extend beyond translation. If there are legalities involved with the translated materials, for example, you should iron those out before doing the translation. Likewise, you may need to do a further review of the result. Translated materials need to hold up to scrutiny going both ways.
For more information, contact a language translation service in your area such as Atlanta International Language Institute (AILI).