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Glossary of Translation Terms

balanced translationis one that can be considered the middle ground between source and target languages as to the respect of meaning, structure, etc. of both languages. a translator adopts the original text into the target language using the normal word order, grammar and syntax of the target language preserving the meaning of the source language. this is what translators normally try to achieve.
telephone interpretationinterpreting a conversation over the phone.
simultaneous interpretationone of three modes of interpreting (along with consecutive and sight interpretation), in which an interpreter interprets the message orally at the same time as the speaker is speaking. the interpreter usually sits in a booth and listens through a headset or other equipment.
sign language interpreterinterpreter who facilitates communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. sign language interpreter must be fluent in english and american sign language (asl).
sight interpretationone of three modes of interpreting (along with consecutive and simultaneous interpretation), in which an interpreter reads a document written in one language and orally interprets information into another language.
native languageit is the first language a person learns and usually is known as a person`s "mother tongue".
medical interpretationinterpreting in various medical settings such as doctors` offices, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, etc. this type of interpretation is done by medical interpreters who have a special subject matter knowledge.
literary translationtranslation of work of literature such as novels, short stories, poetry, etc.
literal translationis one that closely matches the wording and structure of the source language. the literal meaning of words is taken as if from the dictionary (out of context), but target language grammar is respected. literal translation often appears unnatural, hard to read and understand, and therefore should be avoided unless a translator is specifically asked to do a literal translation.
human translationtranslation performed by a real human translator as opposed to translation performed by a machine.
guide or escort interpreterinterpreter who accompanies visitors from a particular country abroad or foreign visitors that come to visit a country to ensure that they are able to communicate during their stay. this requires frequent travel and ability to interpret on a variety of subjects both professional and informal.
freelancera self-employed translator or interpreter who works independently directly with the clients and might as well do projects for translation agencies.
cultural adaptationadjusting translation to the cultural environment of the target language to make it suitable for the target audience.
court/legal interpretationinterpreting at legal proceedings, which is performed by a court interpreter who has special subject matter knowledge.
consecutive interpretationone of three modes of interpreting (along with simultaneous and sight interpretation), in which a speaker pauses every few sentences to allow the interpreter to interpret what has just been said.
conference interpretationsimultaneous interpreting of a speaker`s statements at a conference, symposium or any other large meeting.