A TRANSLATOR is one who renders WRITTEN word from one language to another. An INTERPRETER is one who renders SPOKEN word from one language to another.
Interpretation is the oral rendering of oral messages, and may be done either simultaneously or consecutively. Simultaneous interpretation is by far the best known of these techniques. Here, the interpreter sits in a booth receiving the message to be interpreted through earphones; then, having understood the message, he or she delivers it in the target language into a microphone. In consecutive interpretation, the interpreter takes notes while a speaker delivers the message (in five to seven minute long sections), and then the interpreter delivers the message in the target language, employing special note-taking and memory improvement techniques to increase the amount of information that can be accurately interpreted.
Translation is the process whereby the meaning, style and information of a piece of written text in one human language is reproduced in another written human language. For example, an English document is translated into German so that it creates the same impression on, and communicates the same information to, the German reader as it did for the English reader.
Localization (L 10 N) is that process whereby an object (computer program, multimedia presentation, document, etc.) is not only translated, but also adapted to another culture. Such things as date formats, Metric/English measures, comma/decimal conventions etc. are considered in addition to the normal language issues. The idea is to make the product/service seem as though it originated in the target culture.
Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) is the label given to that category of computer program which supports humans who are performing translation tasks. The tools merely provide environments which enhance the ability of humans to provide timely translations of high quality in a cost effective manner. Examples are Sentence Memory (or Translation Memory), on-line dictionaries, bi-lingual editing systems, etc.
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