Translation Industry Terms You Should Know

Translation communicates the meaning of the original written communication in another language. As anyone who has attempted to use a Web-based or “machine” translation can attest, this is not simply a word-by-word process, but also requires a deep understanding of the target culture and context.
Interpreting is similar, but deals with the spoken word. Interpreting can be either consecutive (speakers pause every few sentences for interpreting; this is the most common method for legal, medical and business scenarios, whether onsite or via telephone) or simultaneous (nonstop interpreting, through headphones at a conference, for example).
Transliteration is how the sounds of an original word are approximated using the characters of a different alphabet. As part of the translation process for many ASIST customers, the proper names of employees, the company or its products will be transliterated. Instead of the Latin characters used in English and Romance languages, for example, a series of Cyrillic, Japanese, Chinese, Korean or Thai characters provide a similar pronunciation. Exact matches are not always available in the target language, however—certain sounds can be especially problematic or simply nonexistent. Especially when transliterating company or product names, an informed decision must be made between accurate and “market-friendly” renderings for the target culture. And needless to say, as translators we must be very careful about transliterated equivalents that may have some inappropriate connotation!
ASIST Translation Services, Inc. is a full-service interpreting and translation agency located in Columbus, Ohio. We provide translation, interpreting, proofreading, studio voice recording and media production, localization of interactive and Web content, and specialized language services to clients around the world…