Interpreting and translation

Interpreting and translation are two different things. Interpretation involves conveying messages between parties via a third person and is often done in person with all parties present. One big advantage to interpretation is that people can ask and respond to questions ‘live’. Translation involves producing a written version of a document in the target language. It takes time and for some documents, especially anything medical or legal, requires specialist training and skills. EMTAS have produced an aide memoire that goes into more detail and discusses the pros and cons of interpretation and translation, including the use of machine translation tools.

EMTAS Bilingual Assistants may be able to carry out short translations as part of support for a pupil where the content is related to the curriculum being taught or is general eg writing a note to parents to invite them to a meeting at school or to explain how to fill in their child’s reading record. In many instances, EMTAS Bilingual Assistants may also be able to look at a longer document and give the gist. If it is important to have a written translation of a medical or legal document, or of a document that is lengthy, this will incur a charge. EMTAS can help source translators and arrange for a quote for the work to be done. Note that charges may vary according to the target language.