Encyclopedia > Interpreter (spoken language)

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Interpreter (spoken language)

An interpreter is someone who translates a language, usually as it is being spoken or signed, into another one. Some interpreters translate as the speaker is still speaking (simultaneous translation, also known as conference-translation); others translate a paragraph after he finishes (consecutive translation). It is important to realise that, while any translation from one language to another can never be completely accurate (e.g. there is no translation into Swahili for the word 'lawyer', as such a profession does not exist in that linguistic group), the trained interpreter tries to interpret not only the spoken words as accurately as possible, but also takes into account the intent of the message (cultural translation).

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