One of the most rewarding and challenging roles you can take on as a linguist is that of an interpreter or translator. These two positions require extensive knowledge of and experience working with the target and source languages. Usually native speakers are the only people qualified enough to take on interpretation or translation assignments. Do you know the difference between an interpreter and translator? Interpreters are sometimes referred to as oral translators as they verbally communicate every word that is being spoken in a target language. A translator or document translator is there to take what is written in a source language and put it into the target language. Interpreters and translators need to be able to communicate word for word what has been spoken or written without adding anything extra or leaving anything out. This doesn’t mean that a Mandarin Chinese interpreter will be speaking the same amount of time as the English counterpart did. Similarly, a translation project of a German text document into Japanese will not necessarily have the same word count. There are many industries that interpreters and translators work in – again – requiring a great understanding of the target and source languages. Interpreters around the country work court cases, depositions, in international board meetings, teleconferences, etc. Translators work written document translation projects of drivers licenses, birth certificates, technical user guides, websites, etc. Depending on the assignment and the language, interpreters and translators may be required to have certifications to work in the court systems, legal or medical fields. Governmental assignments might call for a security clearance when working in certain environments or with sensitive information in languages like Pashto or Urdu for example. These examples should make it apparent that both of these jobs require a certain degree of professionalism and responsibility to ensure the project in question is completed successfully. To have an interpreter or translator on your team can be that critical piece of the puzzle when working on complex multilingual or international projects. Are you in need of interpretation or translation services?
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