Translation types. What is translation and what is interpreting? Is there any difference?
Firstly, in order to figure out if there’s a difference between these two phenomena the definition of both concepts must be presented. Translation is the communication of meaning from one language (the source) to another language (the target). The purpose of translation is to convey the original tone and intent of a message, taking into account cultural and regional differences between the source and target languages.
Interpreting is the facilitation of spoken or signed language communication between users of different languages.
In the language industry, there are three primary modes of interpreting: consecutive, simultaneous and sight translation. In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter listens and renders the message in the target language at the same time as the speaker is speaking. In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has stopped speaking. Sight translation is the oral rendition of a written text. In all cases, the interpreter must quickly and carefully convey the meaning, tone, and intent of the original message into the target language. Interpreting is performed face-to-face and remotely. Remote interpreting requires technological platforms to facilitation telephonic and video multilingual communication.
Interpreting requires excellent language proficiency, the ability to quickly analyze and transfer messages between languages, and adherence to professional ethics and standards of practice. The difference between these two translation types lies in the idea that interpreting turns into kind of interpretation, giving a slight change of meaning due to the level of professionalism, emotional shading, and the context while translation is distinguished by its accuracy and consistency.
Due to different spheres of application, there are several common translation types.
Common translation types
- Technical Translation
There are two perspectives on understanding this type of translation. In its broadest sense, it is about translating user manuals, instructions leaflets, internal notes, medical translation, financial reports, minutes of proceedings, administrative terms in general, and so forth. These documents share the distinction of being for a specific and limited target audience and usually have a limited shelf-life. In its narrower sense, technical translation refers to “technical” documentation such as engineering, IT, electronics, mechanics, and industrial texts in general. Technical translation requires the knowledge of the specialized terminology used in the sector originating the text.
- Scientific Translation
This type of translation is considered to be a sub-group of technical translation but the scientific translation has toward documents in the domain of science: articles, theses, papers, Congress booklets, presentations, study reports etc.
- Financial Translation
Financial or economic translation has to do with documentation relating to the of financial, banking, and stock exchange activity. Company annual reports, financial statements, financial contracts, financing packages are included into this specialization.
- Legal Translation
Legal translation comprises a broad spectrum of documents. These may include legal documents such as summons and warrants; administrative texts such as registration certificates; corporate statutes and remittance drafts, technical documents such as expert opinions and texts for judicial purposes; and a number of other texts in addition to reports and minutes of court proceedings. A translation service is responsible for both understanding politico-legal and socio-cultural context behind a legal text and translating it in such a way that a target audience with a different cultural/political/societal background could readily understand.
- Judicial Translation
Sometimes this type gets confused with other translation types of legal or certified translation. It must be highlighted that judicial translation refers to the task of translation undertaken in a court setting. The specialization on translating documents such as rogatory letters, minutes of proceedings, judgments, expert opinions, deposition, minutes of interrogation sessions is performed within this type.
- Juridical Translation
Juridical translation alludes to legally-binding documentation. For example, this could be the translation of documents such as laws; regulations and decrees; general sales and purchase conditions; legally binding contracts such as labor; license and commercial contracts; partnership agreements, accords; protocols and conventions; internal regulations; insurance policies; and bail assurance, among others.
- Certified Translation
A certified translator may use their signature to authenticate official translations. These are usually documents which require legal validation and are thus referred to as “certified”.
- Literary Translation
The goal pursued in this type of translation is to render the semantic content of the original text. The literary translation goes beyond mere translation of context; a literary translator must be proficient in translating humor, cultural nuances, feelings, emotions, and other subtle elements of a given work.
- Commercial Translation
A commercial translation or business translation is specialized in rendering business’s reports, tender documents, company accounts, and correspondence.
- Administrative TranslationIn the context of translation, this type merely refers to translating managerial texts used in different corporations, businesses, and organizations. This translation type also coincides with commercial translation, but only in the sense that the vast majority of administrative translation can be considered commercial translation as well, but not all commercial translation is administrative in nature.
There is a certain stereotype in people’s thinking about people speaking several languages. Many people assume that any bilingual person can do a good translation. Therefore, often a very complicated, well-written document ends up in the hands of someone with absolutely no translation experience.
Translation is an art. It is an intricate and often subjective process that goes far beyond a simplistic word-for-word exchange. A perfect translation needs to carry the meaning and the tone of the original text, while still remaining culturally sensitive and appropriate to the target audience.
There several criteria in order to characterize a translation as a good one. The first criterion is rather obvious — it has to be accurate. Clarity is another important factor. A translation has to be easily comprehensible and well written. Next, a translation needs to be culturally appropriate for the target audience. A good translation is mirroring the mood of the author so it is important to save the style after rendering languages. Lastly, the audience needs to be taken into consideration. A translated text must be oriented on the target audience.