Translation is an art, and, like all other arts, it is difficult to master, for it seeks to convey the exact meaning of what is expressed in one language into another. Its very nature, therefore, requires an intimate knowledge of both the languages concerned – a requisition not easily to be met with. Knowledge is here intended to imply capacity to comprehend and express. We must first be able to understand exactly what is intended to be conveyed, and then to express the very same thought in the other language.
Interpreting and translation are two closely related linguistic disciplines. Yet they are rarely performed by the same people. The difference in skills, training, aptitude, and even language knowledge are so substantial that few people can do both successfully on a professional level.
On the surface, the difference between interpreting and translation is only the difference in the medium: the interpreter translates orally, while a translator interprets written text. Both interpreting and translation presuppose a certain love of language and deep knowledge of more than one tongue.
The Skill Profile of Technical Translators
Researchers have long known that the brain links all kinds of new facts, related or not, when they are learned about the same time. Just as the taste of a cookie and tea can start a cascade of childhood memories, as in Proust, so a recalled bit of history homework can bring to mind a math problem - or a new dessert - from that same night.
For the first time, scientists have recorded traces in the brain of that kind of contextual memory, the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of thoughts and emotions that surrounds every piece of newly learned information. The recordings, taken from the brains of people awaiting surgery for epilepsy, suggest that new memories of even abstract facts - an Italian verb, for example - are encoded in a brain-cell firing sequence that also contains information about what else was happening during and just before the memory was formed, whether a tropical daydream or frustration with the Mets.
It is not possible to do the job or a routine work with out listening. Listening skills play an important role in overall communication process and are essentially important for sales personnel who directly communicate with customers. Not only the sales personnel but many people are poor listeners in their everyday life. Listening is often confused and interchangeably used with hearing. There is a major difference between listening and hearing.
On the express train from Karlsruhe to Cologne, a German passenger is reading engineering documentation in English and using his mobile phone to pass on the content in German. In the back office of a Pforzheim jewellery company, a member of the advertising team is working on the English language version of the company's website, using the existing German version as her source material. Meanwhile, a colleague in Idar-Oberstein is rewriting an incoming email from India for the benefit of her local line manager.
Careers using languages
A knowledge of one or more foreign languages can be useful in a wide range of careers. For some jobs, such as translating, interpreting and language teaching, language skills are one of the main requirements. For other jobs a combination of languages and other qualifications, knowledge or skills may be needed. For example, people with languages plus IT, law, finance or sales skills are much sought-after.