Language interpretation is the facilitating of oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between users of different languages. The process is described by both the words interpreting and interpretation. Translation studies deal with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of language interpretation and translation. In professional parlance, interpreting denotes the facilitating of communication from one language form into its equivalent, or approximate equivalent, in another language form; while interpretation denotes the actual product of this work, that is, the message thus rendered into speech, sign language, writing, non-manual signals, or other language form. This important distinction is observed in order to avoid confusion. An interpreter is a person who converts a thought or expression in a source language into an expression with a comparable meaning in a target language either simultaneously in "real time" or consecutively after one party has finished speaking. The interpreter's function is to convey every semantic element (tone and register) and every intention and feeling of the message that the source-language speaker is directing to target-language recipients. -------------------------------------------------
Comparison to translation
Despite being used in a non-technical sense as interchangeable, interpretation and translation are not synonymous. Interpreting takes a message from a source language and renders that message into a different target language (ex: English into French). In interpreting, the interpreter will take in a complex concept from one language, choose the most appropriate vocabulary in the target language to faithfully render the message in a linguistically, emotionally, tonally, and culturally equivalent message. Translation is the transference of meaning from text to text (written or recorded), with the translator having time and access to resources (dictionaries, glossaries, etc.) to produce an accurate document or verbal artifact. Lesser known is "transliteration," used within sign language interpreting, takes one form of a language and transfer those same words into another form (ex: spoken English into a signed form of English, Signed Exact English, not ASL). In court interpretation, it is not acceptable to omit anything from the source, no matter how quickly the source speaks, since not only is accuracy a principal canon for interpreters, but mandatory. The alteration of even a single word in a material can totally mislead the triers of fact. The most important factor for this level of accuracy is the use of a team of two or more interpreters during a lengthy process, with one actively interpreting and the second monitoring for greater accuracy. Translators have time to consider and revise each word and sentence before delivering their product to the client. While live interpretation's goal is to achieve total accuracy at all times, details of the original (source) speech can be missed and interpreters can ask for clarification from the speaker. In any language, including sign languages, when a word is used for which there is no exact match, expansion may be necessary in order to fully interpret the intended meaning of the word (ex: the English word "hospitable" may require several words or phrases to encompass its complex meaning). Another unique situation is when an interpreted message appears much shorter or longer than the original message. The message may appear shorter at times because of unique efficiencies within a certain language. English to Spanish is a prime example: Spanish uses gender specific nouns, not used in English, which convey information in a more condensed package thus requiring more words and time in an English interpretation to provide the same plethora of information. Because of situations like these, interpreting...
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