The 5 most common mistakes in ItalianEnglish interpreting

5 errori di traduzione che un interprete italiano-inglese sa evitare

Participation in international fairs or meetings with foreign partners requires in advance the presence of at least one Italian-English interpreter. International events are the sacred temple for multicultural and multi-ethnic meetings, where interaction between people and groups of people of different origins and nationalities is the order of the day. In a negotiation, if the spark strikes, the first contact between the parties can become prelude to a collaboration durable and long-term.

So that the confrontation does not lead instead to a clash, it is necessary to avoid creating fertile ground for cultural and linguistic misunderstandings and misunderstandings. The interpreter therefore positions himself on the margins, covering here an essential role to avoid or untie those tangles that could also alter the dialogue between the parties.

The joint is represented and guaranteed by the work of the mother tongue interpreter, professional and specialized in the languages involved and in the reference sector. Good interpreting requires excellent knowledge of the source and target languages, as well as the cultures involved. Behind a simultaneous translation, there is a process of linguistic and cultural localization and transcreation. The transcreation phase hinges on the emotional and more intimate factor of what is perceived and transposed.

One might think that the work of interpreting from one language into another is limited to simple literal translation. Or mistakenly believe that, for more familiar languages such as English, an interpreter is not necessary, but that an automatic or self-made translation could be used. However, a professional Italian-English interpreter knows how well the cultural, linguistic and semantic background of the languages involved must be taken into account. The details make the difference. Every single point, word, expression can contribute to the success of a linguistic and intercultural mediation.

According to Delisle's classification summarized by Sager, there are two major types of error: semantic error (or translation defect) and linguistic error (or language defect). While the first is produced in the phase of understanding the original message, the second is generated through the interference of the linguistic structures of one's own language in those of the translated message.

The 5 most common mistakes: what an Italian-English interpreter can avoid

1. Summary VS Clarity

Italian is the language of Dante, lover of prose and poetry. The average Italian is used to reading and writing much more complex texts than a native English speaker can. An Italian-English interpreter, during a translation into another language, will know that he will have to aim for synthesis, reduce the length of sentences and simplify their syntax. On the other hand, an English-Italian interpreter will know the need to use periods and articulated verbs in order to express concepts clearly and in detail. In principle, consider that the gap between English words and Italian words is about 25.

2. The false friends that the Italian-English interpreter knows

Among the language errors, Sager highlights the case of false friends. An interpreter from Italian to English will know that an editor in English becomes a publisher, and not an editor. Or that eventually stands for at the end and not for eventually. While presenting a morphological similarity, the semantic sense changes from language to language.

3. Idiomatic expressions

Always moving towards a more cultural aspect of the language and textual context, idiomatic expressions, the product of oral transmission from generation to generation, are those which show great mastery of the target language and translate great respect and knowledge of the cultural context of reference.

4. Terminology and glossary for an ItalianEnglish interpreter

An English-Italian interpreter called upon to provide interpreting services is chosen on the basis of his experience in the field and his sector of specialization. Every field, every sector, every subject, and every event duly requires a well-defined glossary. Especially when switching between English and Italian, the difficulty lies precisely in being able to convey the meaning of the original message as effectively as possible through a weighted choice of the right word. Given the variety of Italian and English vocabulary, finding the right word is the result of years of study and in-depth knowledge.

5. Rendered by an Italian-English interpreter

Literal translation sticks too much to single word-for-word transposition. Proper rendering by an Italian-English native interpreter will make the translation balanced and natural. It should also not be forgotten that, unlike written translation, other factors can influence the performance of an interpretation. We typically talk about verbal communication and paraverbal and non-verbal communication, including facial mimicry, body gestures, promises.

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