Interpreting – Kwintessential UK http://www.kwintessential.co.uk A Complete Language Translation Agency Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:24:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 When to Use Telephone Interpreting http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/when-to-use-telephone-interpreting/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/when-to-use-telephone-interpreting/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:45:26 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39161 Telephone interpreting has a history dating back to the 1970s and it’s still an essential service today – because of the

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Telephone interpreting has a history dating back to the 1970s and it’s still an essential service today – because of the distinct advantages it has over other methods of interpreting. At Kwintessential, our telephone interpreting service is one of the best in the industry. Here are our top picks for when to use telephone interpreting.

 

In Hospitals – Overseas and at Home

 

Interpreting in medical situations can be tricky, but an expert interpreter will effectively convey accurate information in the target language. Over the phone, the already tricky task of medical interpreting can be even trickier still – without body language and visual cues to help communicate, all emotion and importance is placed on tone of voice and delivery. This all comes naturally to an accomplished interpreter. They’ll have both languages completely under control, while also mastering their tone and delivery to match the situation.

 

But if the lack of visual cues makes telephone interpreting more difficult, why would you use it in the first place? For a start, it’s much cheaper than physically sending an interpreter to a location – and crucially, it’s much faster.

 

When Speed is Key

 

In emergencies or pressing situations, time is precious. In a life and death situation, effective and fast communication is essential to survival. A language barrier could prove to be fatal. Telephone interpreters are relied upon to ensure instant, smooth communication during emergencies. Excellent command of the source and target languages, coupled with a cool head and quick thinking – these qualities make a telephone interpreter an excellent ally in a crisis.

 

To Reduce Human Contact

 

It seems strange, but this is a real world need. A third party isn’t always a welcome addition to a stressful or tense situation – throwing an interpreter into the mix could just make things harder.

 

It’s also easy to get wrapped up in our own culture. In western culture, the presence of an interpreter might be unusual or a little unnerving at the worst. In other cultures, it could be most unwelcome and communication can come to a complete stop.

 

But a voice on the phone has some distance and can be effective without being intrusive or hindering the process. Confidentiality can be improved with specialist handsets, that make it possible to communicate one on one with each member of the conversation, without causing delay.

 

When Not to Use a Telephone Interpreter

 

Telephone interpreting is an excellent option for high speed, low cost interpreting – but like so many services, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

 

Interpreting for children is wildly different and can be much more challenging, requiring the presence of an experienced interpreter. Interpreting for vulnerable people brings similar communication challenges. Deaf people and the hard of hearing may require a sign interpreter.

 

Kwintessential is a professional interpreting company with access to the world’s top linguistic talent, available both over the phone and in person. We’re happy to advise the best interpreting services for your needs – just get in touch for details.

 

Interpreting from Kwintessential

 

For professional telephone interpreting services, contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Translating Legal Documents: The Process http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/legal-document-translation-services/ Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:51:51 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=38205 When is Legal Document Translation Required? Legal document translation is required when official documents issued in one language require use in

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When is Legal Document Translation Required?

Legal document translation is required when official documents issued in one language require use in another. This will call for high-level, certified, legal and official translation services.

 

The most common need for translating foreign documents arises from people requiring overseas use of personal legal documents: for example immigration purposes, family law, birth and death certificates, injury law or even business and employment law.

 

If you think you need professional translation, please get in touch and we can discuss with you your options.

 

The Types of Document Translation Services

 

As already established, legal document translation services may need to be certified, legal and official. Yet, these categories can be further broken down depending on the level of legalisation required.

 

Certified Document Translation

 

Being the least formal option, certified translations are most commonly associated with legal documents required for use by non-government bodies. This type of translation can be carried out and certified for organisations such as schools, universities and insurance providers.

 

Also referred to as official translation, certified services cover the translation of documents such as marriage certificates, academic qualifications, household bills, power of attorney, contracts, official reports and transcripts, e.g. school and medical reports.

 

Sworn Document Translation

 

As the name suggests, a sworn translation calls for the translator to swear an oath in front of a Public Notary. This oath confirms that they did indeed complete the certified translation themselves.

 

Notarised Document Translation

 

Required by more formal government and legal bodies, notarised translation is more complex than certified and sworn translation services. The process of notarisation involves the translator themselves attending a Public Notary and declaring in writing and in oath that their document translation “is a true and honest translation.”

 

Once this is established, the notary will approve the translator’s identity and qualifications before providing the translation with a certified ‘notarised’ stamp.

 

You may need notarised document translation when you are establishing a new company or if you require the use of immigration or emigration application documents.

 

Legalisation or Apostille Document Translation

 

Similar to notarised document translation, legalisation or apostille services will involve the use of an original document alongside its translation.

 

To achieve an apostille certification stamp, the original document and translation itself will need to be processed by the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office. Here, an additional document will be issued to act as confirmation that the notary was indeed in a position to give a document notarisation in the first place.

 

Although this process can be quite lengthy, this additional document means that “the authenticity of the document should not be contested.”

 

Such a high level of document translation and approval is most commonly required for those papers used internationally in regards to overseas marriage, adoption, visa and job applications.

 

Although we have given examples of when to use the above translations, it is vital that when translating a legal document you check what level or wording, certification and authentication is used when requesting any translation service. If you are in any doubt, get in touch, where one of our team will be able to guide you to your best option.

 

Why is Document Translation so important?

 

With 40% of our clients coming from the legal sector, we know just how important detailed document translation is; the slightest error in language, messaging or format can have serious consequences.

 

A certified translator can offer both businesses and individuals expert translation services to keep your message intact whilst using the correct local terminology and dialect to allow their processing. It is this level of localisation that can make all the difference by allowing for easier, more human communication and contact.

 

Contact Kwintessential

 

As an ISO:17100 accredited translation agency, all Kwintessential work is inspected and cross-checked according to international standards. Alongside this, we also operate our own stringent Quality Management Systems.

 

Our certified translations are used nationwide for legal, business and individual purposes. To find out how our document and language translation services can help you, please contact us today.

 

 

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Cultural Considerations for Language Translation http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/cultural-considerations-language-translation/ Fri, 08 Sep 2017 09:04:46 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=38192 The importance of cultural considerations for a company’s reputation   Effective language translation does not solely refer to the lexical word-for-word

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The importance of cultural considerations for a company’s reputation

 

Effective language translation does not solely refer to the lexical word-for-word translation. Instead, cultural considerations have a large role to play in contextualising language translations.

 

What may be acceptable in one country or region can end up being an embarrassing faux-pas or more serious breach of legality in another. For instance, consider the careful nature in which the mention of civil statuses, sexual orientation, contraceptives and religion must be handled. The miscommunication of any of these, for a company in particular, can prove disastrous.

 

Hence, when conducting any language translation it is key to consider all cultures that may come into direct contact with your translated material. Your translation then must be localised and diversified to meet all of these cultural requirements. This is a key step in ensuring that your language translation makes a positive impact.

 

What is Localisation? And how does it affect language translation?

 

Simply put, language localisation is a form of modification that adapts a translation to fit local customs, culture and expectations.

 

As mentioned above, any language translations dealing with religion in particular must be taken through a rigorous localisation process. An obvious example of this is any translation that deals with clothing and women’s clothing in particular.

 

Where women in today’s Western world are free to clad themselves in whatever garments they choose, (save perhaps slight social judgement) in Eastern regions – notably in the UAE – women have very strict rules to follow. Rules that when broken, can result in huge legal implications as opposed to just a jibing comment from a snooty neighbour.

 

As an example, if a company was running a car campaign that focused around spontaneity, the use of the phrase “feel the wind in your hair“ would need localisation. In many Eastern cultures it is necessary for women – and in some religions men too – to have their hair, head and/or face covered. Thus, any language translation that mentions, promotes or even implies the avoidance of adhering to these rules must be modified. In this case, the language translation would need to use an alternative strapline that still communicated the same meaning of opportunity, freedom and satisfaction.

 

Contact Kwintessential

 

At Kwintessential, localisation is part and parcel of every language translation that we undertake. We ensure that transcreation and localisation play a key role in guiding every one of our services. This means that we translate messages and meanings rather than simply lexical considerations.

 

Our rigorous localisation methods mean that messages are not diluted or inappropriate when broadcast globally, instead they are strengthened as they are allowed to strike a chord in each region they land.

 

Although we offer significant services for corporations, at Kwintessential our language translation also covers those smaller groups who are also looking to communicate internationally.

 

To find out more about our professional and accurate language translation services, get in touch today on 01460 279900 or email us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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When telephone interpreting might be useful in business http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/general-interest/telephone-interpreting-might-useful-business/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:00:27 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=37186 Businesses can benefit from translation services in a number of ways and through successfully translating materials and communications, a company can

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Businesses can benefit from translation services in a number of ways and through successfully translating materials and communications, a company can quickly increase its customer base and profit margins. Utilising the experience and skills of a telephone interpretation service can further enhance a business’ offerings with almost instant interaction opportunities in a number of languages. This means that customers benefit from the same service levels of a firm as those that are enjoyed by domestic clients. What’s more, such translation services are usually offered by talented experts who have specific industry experience which allows them to relay information that is relevant to the enquiry or business without compromising the use of correct terminology and context.

 

Telephone Boxes in London

Telephone interpreting allows a business to offer its client base an efficient and cost-friendly ways of communication in a number of different languages. This means that a customer need not wait a lengthy amount of time to receive a response to their queries, whilst a translation team work on written texts and instead, the business can offer direct and swift replies vocally by phone. This, in turn, means that customers feel like they are utilising the services of a national business, rather than facing the obstacles of foreign trading. Many businesses are able to offer telephone translation services through a low-cost line, meaning that customers are dealt with within seconds, transactions are completed more quickly and the professionalism and efficiency of the firm is heightened significantly.

 

Why Do Businesses Choose Telephone Interpretation?

 

Telephone interpretation services are preferred by many businesses over face to face interpretation options for a number of reasons. Such businesses highlight the benefits of telephone translations including:

 

– Speed of response. A telephone interpretation service is less limited by working hours, response times and international time zones.

 

– Telephone interpretation can be offered more readily to address unexpected enquiries. A business is not required to have an in-house interpreter on site at all times if they offer telephone services as calls can be connected to the appropriate interpreter no matter what time of day or how unexpected the enquiry may be.

 

– Telephone interpretation allows customers to remain anonymous should they desire and in some industries, this is key to successful communication (i.e. health services).

 

– If interactions are expected to be quick, telephone interpretation services are much less expensive than hiring a face to face interpreter.

 

– Telephone interpretation is not bound by geographical restrictions and so whether you want to conduct a meeting or respond to a customer enquiry, a business does not have to suffer the cost, time and geographical obstacles or arranging a face to face interpreter if they can offer telephone options.

 

 

Telephone interpretation services, when conducted by talented and professional interpreters, can be the perfect solution to the need to offer high quality immediate communications in foreign languages. Such services are often available 24 hours a day and this means that time zones and geographical considerations need not influence the response your customers receive, meaning that your business is as efficient and professional as a competitor located in the client’s own country.


For a business that wants to trade internationally without compromising the levels of service and the swiftness of communications and transactions, telephone interpretation can be key to enjoying full success levels. Customers prefer to use businesses that offer reliable communication lines and a firm that maintains uniformed standards no matter which country they are trading in, demonstrates professionalism, integrity and commitment to customer satisfaction.

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The Business of Being an Interpreter http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/the-business-of-being-an-interpreter/ Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:52:09 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=32529 When you are a top simultaneous interpreter, you basically deal with world leaders on a daily basis. Three interpreters give a

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When you are a top simultaneous interpreter, you basically deal with world leaders on a daily basis. Three interpreters give a little insight in what it is like to interpret for diplomats and presidents.


Interpreting might sound like a boring job: you have to spend hours confined in a small booth listening to boring speeches, right? Not according to Luke Harding! In his article on the website of The Guardian, he states that interpreters have “a front-row seat to history,” and often interpret for the leaders of today’s world.

It is true that interpreters often spend their work days in soundproof cubicles. However, interpreters work in same-language pairs, which is necessary because interpreters perform their jobs in short, 30-minute bursts.

Very often, an interpreter has to listen and speak at the same time, which, according to Harding, is even astonishing to the interpreters themselves. He also states that interpreting is like acting: a good interpreter mimics the personality of the speaker.

In addition, he believes interpreters don’t aim for a literal translation, but try to translate more idiomatically. Interpreters try to become invisible when working, Harding says, which doesn’t mean they don’t have to meet specific demands from time to time.

He claims that an interpreter working for Ralph Lauren once was asked to wear black clothes and was told to wear her hair a certain way. The real challenge, though, lies of course in the interpreting job itself; this is why Harding gives the stage to three different interpreters that give a little insight in their jobs.

Elena Kidd

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Elena Kidd interpreted for Mikhail Gorbachev. Later, she also worked as an interpreter for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was sent to jail by Vladimir Putin in 2002. Now, she is the course director of the MA interpreting and translating at Bath University.

Kidd states that when Gorbachev’s foundation moved into the building where she was working, the interpreters there were told that they could apply for a job at the foundation. She and three other interpreters were eventually hired. Kidd interacted with Gorbachev on a daily basis and believes him to be very friendly. She flew to America with him and met many famous people via het job. Interpreting for Gorbachev was easy, Kidd says, as she found him easy to understand. His sentences, however, were very long, which meant paraphrasing was in order.

According to Kidd, Khodorkovsky, whom she worked for in 1995 and 1996, was very organised and in control. As a consecutive interpreter between Russian and English, Kidd says, you have to analyse every word that is spoken. Moreover, you can only start interpreting when the entire sentence has been uttered. This is why she asks her students to think before they speak – they have to listen first and then make the utterance their own by using their own words. This will also lead to a more interesting speech, she says. After all, you shouldn’t bore your audience!

Victor Gao

Victor Gao worked for the Chinese Foreign Service in Beijing and the United Nations Secretariat in New York from 1983 to 1989. He also interpreted for the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Currently, he is working for a Beijing private equity company and is a commentator on international affairs.

Gao entered university in 1977, the year in which the Chinese universities reopened after a shutdown of ten years due to the Cultural Revolution. After graduation, he began his training at the UN to become a simultaneous interpreter. At 21, he was one of the youngest people working at the Chinese foreign ministry. Gao first interpreted for the important cabinet ministers of Deng’s government before he moved on to the great leader himself. He states that Deng didn’t speak much, but that when he did, his utterances had great force. Deng spoke in his native Sichuan dialect and used colloquial speech and metaphors, which meant everybody could understand him.

Gao was involved in many important diplomatic meetings. In the 1980s, Deng was regarded very highly as people believed he would reform China. Among other important leaders, Gao travelled to the UK to meet Margaret Thatcher, with whom Deng had discussions about handing over power in Hong Kong. He also met Ronald Reagan, whom he thought to be very refined. In 1985, Gao also interpreted for another US president, Richard Nixon. Deng, Gao says, believes focussed on peace and “brought China out of the darkness.” This is why he believes his world view is still important today.

Banafsheh Keynoush

Having spent her childhood in London, Banafsheh Keynoush moved to Tehran after the revolution. She is a self-taught simultaneous interpreter that acquired her skills by listening to the BBC, and with great results! She has interpreted for four different Iranian presidents, of which Hassan Rouhani is the most recent one.

Many of Keynoush’s relatives have worked for the Iranian foreign ministry before the revolution. She has been interested in politics since she was a child, with a particular interest in foreign politics. She lived in Tehran when the Iraq war was taking place, and as a child, she used to dream about getting into the diplomacy field. When she found out diplomats used earphones to listen to simultaneous translation, she finally found a way to do so. As Iran did not have any interpreting schools, she translated BBC broadcasts simultaneously to practice.

After a BA and MA in English, Keynoush worked both as a university teacher and a simultaneous interpreter. She worked as a freelancer for presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami, and also interpreted for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for nine years. She quit her interpreting job in 2010, but when she received the request to interpret for the new president Rouhani last September, she agreed to take on the job. Keynoush reveals that all Iranian presidents had their own way of speaking: Rafsanjani, for example, spoke very informal. It was a little harder to interpret for Rouhani, she says, as he speaks a little English and thus carefully listened to her translation.

Keynoush believes translators should be invisible. The audience should get the impression that they are listening to the speaker himself instead of the interpreter. She states that translators might get to experience history, it is a difficult job as they realise how much is actually “lost in translation.”

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Japanese Automatic Voice Translation to Impress at Olympic Games 2020 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/japanese-automatic-voice-translation-to-impress-at-olympic-games-2020/ Tue, 08 Oct 2013 14:03:05 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/interpreting/japanese-automatic-voice-translation-to-impress-at-olympic-games-2020/ In 2020, Japan will host the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The country, that is known for its technological progressiveness, is hoping

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In 2020, Japan will host the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The country, that is known for its technological progressiveness, is hoping to impress the tourists that will visit the event with a very advanced translation device!

According to Tatsuyuki Kobori in an article he wrote at The Asahi Shimbun, Japan plans to launch a new technological device at the 2020 Olympic Games.

This new translation tool will translate Japanese voice recordings into English without a delay.

This will especially come in handy for the media, who, with this new device, will more or less have an interpreter in their back pockets.

The research team for the new device was led by Satoshi Nakamura, who teaches at the Graduate School of Information Science in Nara. The team’s aim for the new tool was to enable simultaneous interpreting for long speeches and news reports, Nakamura says. Even though the commercial launch of the translation device will probably be in 2020, details about the new technology will be made public at the Acoustical Society of Japan conference which started this week.

According to Kobori, the biggest downside to the existing Japanese-English translation software is the time lag that occurs. This delay can be attributed to the fact that the two languages have very different sentence structures. In Japanese, listeners have to pay close attention to the entire sentence the speaker utters, as the verb comes at the very end of a sentence. Thus, the longer the sentence, the longer an automated translation user has to wait to hear the final product.

Nakamura and his team started their research two years ago. They first built a corpus of 500,00 Japanese sentences and their English translations. In addition, they also created a 2.4 million word big corpus consisting of Japanese-English word translations. After analysing the syntax of this data, the researchers created a programme that is able to determine whether translation can already begin without knowing the verb.

And, Kobori says, with success! According to the researchers, the time lag, that usually consisted of about five seconds, has been reduced to one or two seconds. The team also tested the software during a lecture and stated that it was as accurate and fast as an experienced simultaneous interpreter. At the moment, the researchers are working on similar software that can interpret English into Japanese.

According to the team, the software still has room for improvement, however; if voice recognition is fine-tuned, the produced translations will be even more accurate and will be carried out even quicker! The Kwintessential team for one can’t wait for the 2020 games to begin!

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Interpreters in the Movies – The Top Ten of All Time http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/interpreters-in-the-movies-the-top-ten-of-all-time/ Fri, 04 Oct 2013 07:20:28 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/interpreting/interpreters-in-the-movies-the-top-ten-of-all-time/ What do you know about interpreting and interpreters? Someone like Star Wars’ C3PO, speaking over a million languages? Many of you

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What do you know about interpreting and interpreters? Someone like Star Wars’ C3PO, speaking over a million languages? Many of you have probably watched movies but how many interpreters can you remember?

The profession is one of the oldest in the world to which we owe much. However, today the interpreting profession is still little known.

To highlight the work of interpreters, we have sifted through all the movies we could find which involve interpreting or interpreters and compiled our top ten.

 

10. Charade

 

Grossing $13 million
Directed by Stanley Donens in 1963

Reggie (Audrey Hepburn)

In this criminal comedy, Reggie (Audrey Hepburn) is an interpreter for the UN and wants to file for divorce, but finds her husband dead in his apartment and herself surrounded by gangsters and agents. She receives support from Peter Joshua (Cary Grant), who helps her solve the mystery. It is the oldest movie on our list and presents the beginnings of simultaneous interpreting in movies, as well as an unprofessional behaviour of an interpreter who leaves in the middle of the conference!

 

 

9. Desert Flower

 

Grossing $14 million
Directed by Sherry Horman in 2009

Somali Hospital Worker (Mahamed Mohamoud Egueh)

Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede) needs an interpreter when she is in hospital because she can’t understand what the doctor is saying. But because the real interpreter is absent that day, they call a Somali hospital worker who speaks English and Somali. Instead of translating what the doctor is saying, he starts giving her his personal opinion about her having the operation, showing the danger of using non-qualified interpreters in medical settings who are influenced by their own cultural beliefs.

 

 

8. Amistad

 

Grossing $44 million
Directed by Steven Spielberg in 1997

Professor Gibbs (Austin Pendleton) and Covey (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

Professor Gibbs (Austin Pendleton) is the court interpreter for 40 African people who face the death penalty – but unfortunately he fails miserably because he doesn’t understand them. Covey (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is an African interpreter and succeeds in court because he actually understands what the 40 people tell him; the purpose of being an interpreter!

 

 

7. Spanglish

 

Grossing $55 million
Directed by James L. Brooks in 2004

Christina (Shelbie Bruce)

Cristina (Shelbie Bruce) is a Mexican girl who’s moved to Los Angeles with her mum. Her mum (Paz Vega), who can’t speak a word of English, starts working for an American family and the little girl has to interpret several times for her (in order to ensure communication). Spanglish is a brilliant representation of the presence of the Spanish language in the United States and a good example of how a culture clash can make interpreting very difficult.

 

 

6. Zero Dark Thirty

 

Grossing $108 million
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow in 2012

Various Interpreters

Featuring different military interpreters, this film shows the manhunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after September 11, and pictures the profession as an integral part of the mission. It definitely shows an interesting point of view of interpreting in the military field for all those who are not a part of it. It also shows the difference between military interpreters, who work in the conflict zone, and those who ‘just’ provide community interpreter services.

 

 

5. Lost in Translation

 

Grossing $119
Directed by Sofia Coppola in 2003

Ms. Kawasaki (Akiko Takeshita)

Ms. Kawasaki (Akiko Takeshita) is the interpreter during an advertisement-shoot for Suntory whisky, where she has to interpret between the American actor (Bill Murray) and the Japanese director (Yutaka Tadokoro). She doesn’t interpret all of what the director says because of cultural reasons: the director gives explicit and even rude orders to the actor, which the interpreter doesn’t want to interpret as it is against her moral understanding of Japanese politeness. As a result, there is no communication between the actor and director, which leads to even more hilarious misunderstandings.

 

 

4. The Interpreter

 

Grossing $162 million
Directed by Sidney Pollack in 2005

Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman)

Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is an interpreter working for the United Nations in New York City. She was raised in the Republic of Matobo, a fictional African country, and so speaks the tribal language. It represents the real work of an interpreter, working for one of the most important institutions in the world and showing how accurate and precise an interpreter has to be. Here’s an excerpt of a discussion between the interpreter and an U.S Secret Service agent:

Silvia Broome: I don’t care for him.
Tobin Keller: Wouldn’t you mind if he were dead?
Silvia Broome: I wouldn’t mind if he were gone.
Tobin Keller: Same thing.
Silvia Broome: No, it isn’t. If I interpreted gone as dead I’d be out of a job, if dead and gone were the same thing there’d be no UN.

 

 

3. Blood Diamond

 

Grossing $171 million
Directed by Edward Zwick in 2006

Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio)

Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a white Rhodesian gunrunner in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, who smuggles diamonds into Liberia. He speaks English and Krio (the language spoken in Sierra Leone) and interprets between the different people, including an American journalist who he falls in love with.

 

 

2. The Mummy

 

Grossing $415 million
Directed by Stephen Sommers in 1999

Rachel Weisz (Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan)

Egyptologist Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) reads ancient Egyptian writings and translates them into English for her friend Rick O’Connell. She interprets what the Mummy (which is 3000 years old) says, and, in the end, thanks to her knowledge of the ancient Egyptian language, she can stop the mummy from destroying the world. Hooray!

 

 

1. Dances with Wolves

 

Grossing $424 million
Directed by Kevin Costner in 1990

Stands With A Fist (Mary McDonnell)

Stands With A Fist (Mary McDonnell) interprets dialogues between the medicine man Kicking Bird (Graham Greene) and Lieutenant Dunbar (Kevin Costner), as she speaks English and the Sioux language Lakota. The movie is set during the American Civil War in 1863 and shows the relationship between a white American soldier and a Sioux tribe. Because of his willingness to understand them, he needs an interpreter which in this case is Stands With A Fist, the white adopted daughter of the tribe’s medicine man. Sorry, we couldn’t find anything online showing her interpreting.

 

What do you think? Any missing? Any you disagree with?

Why not share your best on-screen interpreters with us via our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages. We would love to add more to the list in the near future.

 

By Tania Gonzalez Veiga and Maja Bilbija, professional translators with Kwintessential.

…and remember, if you ever need an interpreter, go with a pro, or you’ll end up like this poor man!

 

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Samsung Patents New Simultaneous Interpretation System http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/samsung-patents-new-simultaneous-interpretation-system/ Thu, 26 Sep 2013 06:50:56 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/interpreting/samsung-patents-new-simultaneous-interpretation-system/ Samsung recently issued a patent for a simultaneous interpretation system that call centres will be very happy with! Does the move

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Samsung recently issued a patent for a simultaneous interpretation system that call centres will be very happy with! Does the move point to the growing importance of language and translation within global business?

In an article on IPWatchdog, journalist Steve Brachmann informs us about Samsung’s latest technological tour de force.

The Seoul-based company has not been thriving lately in terms of business; in fact, Reuters recently stated that the company and its shareholders were discussing new strategies as Samsung’s stock prices had fallen by 13%. Brachman says this has not affected the company’s position on the electronic device market, however. Recently, Samsung announced the launch of a smartwatch device that is planned to be released this fall.

In the past, IPWatchdog has put the South Korean company under the microscope, and because of these new developments, Brachmann takes another look at the company and its recent actions. He has gathered a number of patents and patent applications that the company has issued and discusses the appliances that will probably be developed around these.

According to Brachmann, Samsung’s main focus lies on improved display devices.

However, there is one patent that interests the Culture Vulture greatly, and that is the one for a simultaneous interpretation system!

Usually, Brachmann says, remote translation services can be used for interpretation over the phone. This systems works as follows: a spoken message is sent to an interpretation service center by one of the speakers. This centre translates the message and sends it to the receiver in his or her language. Brachman believes such a remote service system is not ideal for call centres, etc.

Samsung seems to agree that this system is in dire need of improvement, as the United States Patent and Trademark Office has recently issued a patent to the company that protects a simultaneous translational services that operates within a single communications terminal. In this system, a communications terminal, that can be installed anywhere the user wishes to, receives the sender’s verbal message. This terminal then translates the message in another language. As Samsung’s terminal is portable, headset communications can be integrated into the interpretations system more easily.

Claim 1 of the patent is as follows:

 

“A simultaneous interpretation system, comprising: a plurality of headsets for inputting and outputting voice speech signals; and a portable terminal configured for receiving output from the first headset of an original language voice speech signal to be interpreted/translated, and for outputting to the second headset an interpreted language voice speech signal in a first translated language based on the original language voice speech signal, wherein the portable terminal is configured to operate a short range wireless communication to communicate with headsets of a respective speaker and a listener of the plurality of headsets in which the portable terminal translates between a plurality of pre-designated languages, and wirelessly communicates with an interpretation server for translation between languages other than the plurality of pre-designated languages.”

If Samsung’s patent is actually implemented in call centres, this greatly increases the number of countries in which these centres can be set up. This might lead to more call centres in low-wage countries, even in those in which not many people speak English. So who knows, maybe your next call to the Samsung helpdesk will be forwarded to Romania, Peru or even Cambodia!

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Interpretation and Translation Job Market is One of the Fastest Growing in the World http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/interpretation-and-translation-job-market-is-one-of-the-fastest-growing-in-the-world/ Wed, 25 Sep 2013 07:12:20 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/interpreting/interpretation-and-translation-job-market-is-one-of-the-fastest-growing-in-the-world/ Calling all linguists, translators and interpreters! According to job search site Granted.com, the interpretation and translation sector is one of the

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growth-demand-translators-interpreters.jpgCalling all linguists, translators and interpreters! According to job search site Granted.com, the interpretation and translation sector is one of the fastest growing sectors on the current job market. An indication of the growing importance of language services within international business today.

According to the Digital Journal, a study that was recently published revealed that in the last ten years, more and more people started working in the American interpretation and translation industry.

The Digital Journal believes this development can be explained by the increasingly multicultural and thus multilingual American society that calls for employees that speak more than one language.

A report that was issued by USA Today that compared job trends from 2002 to 2012, showed that employment in the language sector grew 171%, which resulted in 31,720 new jobs.

This growth made the industry the fourth fastest growing industry in the last decade

So what was the catalyst for this big increase?

The Digital Journal believes this has to do with two factors;

#1: Demographic shifts: especially in states that border Mexico, that Spanish population has seen a big increase in the last few years. As not every Spanish speaker in these states also has enough understanding of English to be able to ready official documents, these must all be translated into Spanish. This has also increased the need for Spanish interpretation services.

#2: Overseas business expansion: in the last few years, companies have widened their scope and many of these American businesses now operate in the global market. Multilingual employees do not only make communication with companies abroad a whole lot quicker, it also means no money has to be paid to external translation services.

It is thus clear that translators and interpreters are in high demand.

However, according to the USA Today Data, the bottom 10% of all translators earn only $23,570, while there is an average of $91,800 for the top 10%.

A solid education and certifications often determine a translator’s remuneration, but most companies do not know how to evaluate a translator’s quality and simply go for the cheapest one.

Granted.com currently has over 26,000 job openings for interpreters and 10,000 for translators. Most of these jobs are asking for people with both language and management skills; companies are mainly looking for people that can lead multilingual teams.

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Court Interpreting Privatisation “Shambolic” http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/court-interpreting-privatisation-shambolic/ Mon, 11 Feb 2013 16:44:07 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/interpreting/court-interpreting-privatisation-shambolic/ ‘Shambolic’ is the word Justice Select Committee Chairman Alan Beith used to describe the privatisation of court interpreting services in the

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‘Shambolic’ is the word Justice Select Committee Chairman Alan Beith used to describe the privatisation of court interpreting services in the UK in a recent Guardian Online article. Why?

According to MPs, more trials have collapsed than ever before because of the decision of the Ministry of Justice to outsource all legal interpreting services in courts. In England and Wales, the company Applied Language Solutions (now Capita Translation & Interpreting – henceforth ALS) was awarded a near-monopoly on all courtroom interpreting. Criticism followed and gaps in service levels soon became national news.

A crushing report now blames the Ministry of Justice for not understanding the difficulties that come with  interpreting, especially in the context of justice and law.

According to the report, it is unclear how poor the performance of the company has been as the Ministry of Justice has not provided exhaustive statistics. It appears the department  did not wish to aid the investigation, which was further hindered by an apparently ‘extremely unhelpful’ attitude by the Ministry. It’s staff, for example, was not allowed to co-operate with the investigation and the survey that went with it.

Interpreters demonstrate in London

The contract that ALS signed has been in operation since last February (2012) and has been surrounded by controversy ever since. Many interpreters boycotted the company because of the low fees they offered. Interpreters took their protests to the streets of the UK such was their concern.

Before the contract was signed, individual interpreters were hired directly by courts or through reputable interpreting companies that provided legal interpreting or business interpreting services. Even though the report states that this caused some ‘administrative inefficiencies,’ this method did not cause ‘fundamental problems’ it claims.

Sir Alan Beith, Chair of The Committee, says:  ‘The Ministry of Justice’s handling of the outsourcing of court interpreting services has been nothing short of shambolic. It did not have an adequate understanding of the needs of courts, it failed to heed warnings from the professionals concerned, and it did not put sufficient safeguards in place to prevent interruptions in the provision of quality interpreting services to courts.’

In a report that was commissioned by the Ministry, it was advised that ALS should not be given work that would yield more than £1 million per year. Nevertheless, the department decided to sign an agreement with the company, which is now responsible for the £4 million-a-year-business that court interpreting is.

The report questions the ‘non-attendance of interpreters, particularly in magistrates courts,’ which might lead to more and more ineffective trials. Due to this, investigators will monitor the quarterly statistics of these kinds of trials.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice hadn’t assessed the financial part of the problem properly: ‘The ministry was unable to provide information on the additional costs to the department of the delaying of trials because of the failure to provide interpreters.’ This resulted in extra costs for the courts and prisons because trials were postponed.

Moreover, the committee says that ‘Performance figures clearly do not reflect the company’s fulfilment against 100% of the requirements of [the court service] and they should be altered, retrospectively and in the future, to indicate this.’ The Ministry of Justice has tried to discipline ALS by fining them £2,200. This has also been received with criticism, as the company wasn’t fined at all ‘for the first four months, when performance was at its worst.’

According to the investigation, ALS ‘paid lip service’ to many of its obligations. In fact, the company often did not check whether interpreters had the proper qualifications and did not carry out criminal record checks. Stories even made the headlines whereby a rabbit managed to make it onto the interpreters database.

Rabbit interpreter

Justice Minister Helen Grant: ‘There were significant issues at the start of the contract in early 2012 but we took swift, robust, action and have seen dramatic improvements, as the justice select committee highlights. The vast majority of interpreter bookings are now being completed and complaints have fallen considerably. The changes we have made have led to major savings for taxpayers, totalling £15m in the first year, and we continue to monitor the contract on a daily basis and demand continuing progress.’

As the cartoon below illustrates so well, interpreters and those that understand the work, realised long ago that bringing down costs, lowering quality benchmarks and not taking into consideration geographical limitations, will lead to poor quality interpreting services within British courts, putting justice at risk.

Comic strip about Court Interpreting Privitisation

Privitisation of language services within the public sector seems to the way things are moving. The Courts are now run in this manner. What will follow next? There are already noises being made about The NHS moving towards the privitisation of translation and interpreting services. This, we feel, could be dangerous. Watch what our Katy Pritchard thinks about this potential danger.

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