INTERPRETATION

General and Technical Thai Interpreters

United Languages employs both general and technical Thai interpreters whose skills include a thorough knowledge of the general subject to be interpreted, an intimate familiarity with both target and source cultures, an extensive vocabulary in both languages, and the ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely in both languages on the spot.

Interpretation and translation are closely related linguistic skills but are rarely performed by the same individuals. The difference in skills, training, aptitude, and even language knowledge is so substantial that few people can succeed at both on a professional level.

On the surface, the difference between interpreting and translating is only the difference in the medium: interpreters translate orally, while translators interpret written text. Interpreters, however, must be able to translate in both directions on the spot, without using dictionaries or other supplemental reference materials. Interpreters must have extraordinary listening abilities, especially for simultaneous interpretation. People engaged in simultaneous interpretation need to process and memorize what the source-language speaker is saying as he or she speaks, while at the same time producing in the target language the translation of what the speaker has just said. Interpreters require excellent public speaking skills along with the intellectual capacity to instantly transform idioms, colloquialisms, and other culturally-specific references into analogous statements the target audience can easily understand.

Interpretation, like translation, is fundamentally the art of paraphrasing: the interpreter listens to a speaker in one language, understands the content and then paraphrases this understanding in the target language. Just as one cannot explain an idea that is not fully comprehended, neither can one translate or interpret something without having mastered the subject matter being conveyed. So when choosing an interpreter, expert knowledge of the subject matter is as important as experience with interpretation.

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