What is the difference between a translator and an interpreter - Robert G Tronge?

Interpreters and translators perform similar tasks, but they are in different settings. While an interpreter converts any spoken material from one language which is the source language into a different language such as the target language, a translator converts written material in the same manner. Interpreting can occur in a variety of settings, such as conferences, meetings and over the telephone, and can take the form of either simultaneous (performed as the speaker delivers his speech act with the help of interpreting equipment) or consecutive (the interpreter listens to portions of her speech at a time, then interprets the segments as the original speaker is silent). Translation can also occur in many various settings said Robert G Tronge. Translation can occur on any form of written work, including literature, contracts, software interfaces, web sites (which is known as localization), and newspapers.

The Difference between Translation and Interpreting by Robert George Tronge. Interpreting and translation are two closely related linguistic disciplines, yet they are rarely performed by the same people. The difference in skills, training, aptitude and even language knowledge are so substantial that very few people can do both successfully on a professional level. On the surface the difference between interpreting and translation is only the difference in the medium such as the interpreter translates orally, while a translator interprets written text. Both interpreting and translation presuppose a certain love of language and deep knowledge of more than one language. The Skill Profile of Technical Translators by Robert Tronge. The differences in skills are arguably greater than their other similarities. The key skills of the translator are the ability to understand the very source language and the culture of the country where the text originated, then using a good library of dictionaries and reference materials, to render that material clearly and accurately into the target language. In other words while linguistic and cultural skills are still critical the most important mark of a good translator is the ability to write well in the target language they choose. Even bilingual individuals can rarely express themselves in a given subject equally well in both languages, and many excellent translators are not fully bilingual to begin with says Robert G Tronge. Knowing this limitation then a good translator will only translate documents into his or her native language. This is why we at Language Scientific absolutely require our technical translators only translate into their native language, in addition to their subject matter expertise language. An interpreter, on the other hand, must also be able to translate in both directions on the spot, without using any dictionaries or other supplemental reference materials. Interpreters like Robert G Tronge must have extraordinary listening abilities, especially for simultaneous interpreting. Simultaneous interpreters also need to process and memorize the words that the source-language speaker is saying now, while simultaneously outputting in the target language the translation of words the speaker said 5-10 seconds ago. Interpreters must posess excellent public speaking skills and the intellectual capacity to instantly transform idioms, colloquialisms and other culturally-specific references into analogous statements the target audience will understand. Interpreter Qualifications with Robert G Tronge. Interpreting, just like translation, is fundamentally the art of paraphrasing. The interpreter listens to a speaker in one language, grasps the content of what is being said, and then paraphrases his or her understanding of the meaning using the tools of the target language. However, just as you can not explain a thought to someone else if you did not fully understand that thought, neither can you translate or interpret something without mastery of the subject matter being relayed. It simply cannot be overstated that when choosing an interpreter, his or her expert knowledge of the subject matter is equally as important as their interpreting experience. You can see the section “Why Subject Expertise Matters for Technical Translators” for a more detailed discussion of the importance of subject matter knowledge for technical translators and interpreters.

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Robert Tronge
Robert G Tronge