What Does an Interpreter Do?
Many people get confused as to the difference between an interpreter and a translator. There is a common tendency to think translators interpreter, or that interpreters translate. In fact, the two are very separate jobs requiring different skills. To explain who and/or what an interpreter as opposed to a translator we set out the main differences between interpreting and translation.
Interpreting vs. Translation
On a basic level it would appear that there is little difference between an interpreter and a translator. One translates spoken words and the other written words. However, the differences in how the job is carried out, the pressures, requirements, skills and talents are many.
A translator must be able to write well and be able to express words, phrases, innuendos and other linguistic nuances between languages on paper. A translator has the luxury of time, resources (dictionaries, etc), reference material and the freedom to take a break when needed. Their pressures are relatively limited.
Translators only work into their native languages to assure accuracy in both linguistic and cultural senses. Translators therefore, it could be argued, are not completely bilingual. They may be able to deal effectively with written sources but when it comes to orally translating, it is a different skill.
A translator therefore has a one dimensional aspect to their work. They deal with written words and language that come from paper and return to paper.
An interpreter, on the other hand, has to be able to translate spoken words in two directions. They do this using no resources or reference material bar their knowledge and expertise. An interpreter is required to find linguistic solutions to problems on the spot. The pressure therefore can be quite intense.
In addition to interpreting, the interpreter must also act as a bridge between people, relaying tone, intentions and emotions. Where an interpreter is caught between cross fire they need to demonstrate great professionalism and diplomacy. Their roles are therefore much more complex as they have to deal with both language and people.
What does an Interpreter do?
There are two ways of interpreting known as consecutive and simultaneous.
Simultaneous interpreting involves interpreting in 'real time'. Many would have seen an interpreter sitting in a booth wearing a pair of headphones and speaking into a microphone at a conference or large diplomatic meeting such as the EU or UN. A simultaneous interpreter has the unenviable task of quickly digesting what one person is saying before immediately translating it to others. One of the key skills simultaneous interpreters must demonstrate is decisiveness. They must think quickly and on their feet.
Consecutive interpreting is carried out in face to face meetings, speeches or court cases. A speaker will usually stop at regular junctures, say every few sentences, and have the interpreter translate, before proceeding. A key skill involved in consecutive interpreting is the ability to remember what has been said.
What do you need?
In short, if you need someone to translate something that is written you need the services of a translator. If you need someone to translate the spoken word, you need an interpreter.
Neil Payne is Director of Kwintessential, a London based consultanct providing a range of cross cultural service including interpreters:http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/translation/interpretation.html
Can You Understand English?
There is a lot of talk about making English the official language of the USA. That would stop the need to spend so much money printing out things like drivers license, tax, voter registration and other official forms in so many languages. If people come here, they will simply have to learn English. However, is it really that simple? English is anything but a virgin language. It has roots in the tongues of many nations and one word can mean many things. If you travel around our great nation, you will discover some extreme examples of that fact.
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Learn Italian in Your Hometown
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Imagine a child sitting in front of a desk, his head in his hands, and mumbling various lists of words over and over. Does this child remind you of your own experience? If yes, I bet that "list of words" does not sound appealing to you. You are almost ready to swear that they do not work. Before you mortgage your part of paradise, it may be wise to make sure you are right.
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Don?t Take The Romaji Short-Cut When Learning Japanese
This is an issue many Japanese learners come up against, particularly if they live outside Japan. After all, If you are not in the country, it seems difficult to justify the huge amount of time that learning Japanese characters seems to require.So what are the problems in using Romaji (Roman letters, like the characters you are reading right now) for studying Japanese:1. Mother-Tongue ConflictThe associations your brain will create between Japanese words written in Romaji and English words (or those of your mother tongue) greatly increases the risk of mispronunciation. Japanese symbols will have none of these associations for you. The very fact that they are completely alien helps you to start your language learning experience from a blank sheet. Your chances of being able to gain the correct pronunciation soar.2. Show Me The RomajiYour textbook may be in Romaji, but you will be very hard-pressed to find any real examples in Japan. Of course, you can see a fair amount of reasonably understandable English, but not Romaji. And watch what happens when write some Japanese in Romaji and show it to your native speaker friend: They have a really hard time deciphering it, because Japanese people just don't it.3. Today's Crutch Becomes Tomorrow's BurdenIf you decide to continue your studies in Japanese, you will eventually need to start to grapple with the characters themselves anyway. In my opinion, it is harder to leave the crutch of Romaji behind than it is to bite the character bullet at the beginning of your studies.As you can see, there are serious problems with using Romaji when you start to learn Japanese. So what is my advice to learners? Well, it really depends on your motivation and needs:1. The Serious StudentThis could be a person who is going to be living in Japan for a period of time, whether as a teacher or a businessperson, or someone who travels regularly to Japan for meetings.If you are in this group, you should first master hiragana and katakana before you even start with any other aspect of the language. Then, when you do begin, you can dive right into a "proper" Japanese textbook.Hiragana and katakana are not at all difficult to learn. I learned them part-time in a couple of weeks. Even kanji can be learned fairly rapidly by a motivated and well-organized student with the right tools.2. The HobbyistPerhaps you don't have a burning need to learn Japanese. You are doing it for pleasure, or because you are planning on visiting Japan.If this is you, then your options are more varied. However, even in your situation, I would not suggest starting with a Romaji textbook. Instead, I would recommend you begin with the spoken language. If you are wondering how you can do this if you are not in Japan, check out the Pimsleur method. Sure, it is a little expensive even second-hand. The point is that you will be able to speak and understand enough for a short trip. Once you have completed the course, you can then decide whether you wish to stop there, or continue studying in a more serious manner - in which case you then follow the Serious Student method I mentioned before.Learning to speak and listen will keep your language-learning fun, whilst not undermining any future serious study by getting you used to the Romaji crutch.So whatever your motivations are and whatever your needs, if you can avoid the Romaji crutch, you will pick up the language better and be well-placed to make rapid progress in the future.
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Uncommon Facts / Rules of English Language
English is an international language. It has so many grammar rules and each rule with many exceptions. Usually, we write English without paying much attention to these rules and exceptions. But, its good to know as much as grammar as possible especially the exceptions. In this article, I am mentioning some of these unusual facts and rules of English language.
Teaching English in Mexico: A Decent Living?
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Teaching English in Greece - What Do You Need to Know?
The employment situation can be quite uncertain for newcomers to Greece and therefore many people choose to try teaching English as a foreign language, on a full or part-time basis. It can bring in a good income whether it is your preferred career choice, or you wish to do it short-term until another career choice pans out. Qualifications and Experience There are many language schools or frontistiria in Athens and all over Greece, to which you could apply for work. In order to get a job in one of these schools, it is still not strictly necessary to have a formal teaching qualification such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Often all that is required is a university degree (in any subject) from a UK or US university. That said, if you are uncertain about your ability to teach English and want to ensure that you start off in this line of work with the necessary skills, a course would be useful. It would provide you with some teaching theory, knowledge of English grammar (let's face it, many of us have never formally studied English grammar in any great depth, even though we speak and write English everyday) and give you some valuable experience of teaching in a classroom, since this is included in most courses. When applying for jobs, you will find vacancies that specify that previous teaching experience is required and others for which no experience is necessary. It does not matter if you do not speak a lot of Greek. Native English speakers are often valued for other reasons such as having what is seen as a "proper" accent. Many people also swear by the approach of not speaking your students' language, so that they hear only English being spoken for the duration of the lesson. You will find ways to make yourself understood. In my experience of language teaching, it can even be counter-productive if your students know that you speak their language well, because they may be too easily tempted to speak to you in Greek when they find it hard going. Finding work Teaching English as a foreign language jobs are widely advertised in newspapers and on the Internet all year round and most often from August to October. As well as applying before in Greece, you can also go to door-to-door around the frontistiria with your CV, again in the August to October period. If you are visiting them in person, it is not recommended that you spend time doing this any earlier than August because the schools often do not consider their recruitment needs much before the beginning of the academic year. Pay and working conditions Pay and conditions offered by language schools will vary enormously, so it is important to check these out in detail first before accepting a contract. If time is on your side, it may be worth speaking to several schools rather than taking the first job you are offered. Also, if you work in a frontistirio it is quite likely that you will be working mainly in the afternoons and evenings, since this is when children and adults are free to take their lessons. Making some extra money Many people who teach English as a foreign language in a school, also do private English on the side and this can become a lucrative activity in itself. Working in a language school for a few months is a good way to meet students and advertise the fact that you do private English lessons, on a one-to-one basis. It can be difficult to get the first few, but then through word of mouth, you'll get more if you do a good job ? that great social network of mums and dads on the school run can work wonders! The University of Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) exam system seems to be the most widely known and respected in Greece, many people who want to be taught privately are preparing to sit a Cambridge exam or some other type of test. It is worth familiarising yourself with the system ? there is an enormous amount of free information on the Internet, including lesson plans, tips, exam practice etc. The exams which are most commonly sat by students are the "First Certificate in English" (which many people still refer to by its old name: "Lower"), "Certificate of Proficiency in English" (known as "Proficiency"), and "Certificate in Advanced English" (commonly referred to as "Advanced"). More information is available from the Cambridge ESOL web site (www.cambridgeesol.org). What private students will want from you varies a great deal. Some may just want a conversation class, others may just be starting on the Cambridge examinations path and there will be some who are already at a very high level and may need detailed coaching on specific grammar points or on vocabulary for a particular purpose e.g. business English. And given these differences, the amount of preparation required on your part and the fee per hour you are able to charge will probably vary too. I will finish with a word on advertising. My experience has been that I have paid out money for two newspaper ads, which got back zero replies! What has worked well for me is local advertising - you need to use your imagination. I put a card in local shops and a small notice in the back window of my car and you can see people reading it at every traffic light! Just beware of getting calls on your mobile phone while you're driving - not good! As I said before, word of mouth should kick in too once you have your first couple of lessons.
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Part 1 of this series covered the language and language families in general for the Asian languages. Part 2 will cover the social conduct that is seen throughout Asian countries.
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Because IELTS is a difficult test. While most agree that IELTS is a reasonable test, it is generally regarded as one of the most challenging tests of its type.
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English Slang For Perplexed Tourists
I watched the British version of 'Big Brother' recently. That's the television show which is a human hamster cage. Viewers go 'ooh' and 'aah' over the one they like or dislike, and vote to decide who leaves the house. In the interim, the contestants do tricks for the amusement of the public. The last man in gets £100,000. The production company makes millions. All contestants lose any shred of dignity and anonymity.
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