Don’t Be Deceived! This Handy Guide Will Give You Command of the Translation Jargon.

Make sure you understand the most frequent terms and expressions talked about in the Chinese translation business.


Don't be deceived!


Consecutive Interpretation (consecutive translation)

In this kind of translation, the performer or speaker making a presentation will pause from time to time and give the interpreter the chance to get the message across. This can be done in short-term workshops or field sessions involving a small number of participants.

Free Translation

This is translation in which more attention is given to the overall meaning than to isolated words.

Literal Translation 

This is where more attention is given to the words than to the overall meaning. One must be very careful with this kind of translation.


This concept is somewhat new. It means adapting a message to a new cultural context intended.

Let us conceive an example of a text in which the author resorts to American football for an analogy. He may want to talk about rules of that particular sport in order to clarify his ideas and to add some humor as well. Once translated into Brazilian Portuguese, the analogy may lose its appeal completely and even make the text boring for one simple reason, and that is that people in Brazil just are not acquainted with American football at all. The translator (or localizer) may instead look for an alternative that mirrors something sports fans in Brazil would be able to grasp, using soccer instead of American football, for instance, for that same analogy. 

Localization goes beyond translation by adding that local flavor to a product or message originated somewhere else and making it sound and look as if it had always been with “us”. Localization is particularly necessary for software packages.



Normal x Urgent Turnaround

The price of Chinese translation services is a function of the urgency with which these services are ordered. Don’t know how to quantify your real urgency? Here’s a tip: your translator should regard your request as a “normal” one – and therefore charge you the normal fee – whenever it calls for a maximum output of 5 standard pages per day. Anything beyond this would justify an extra charge that may easily rise up to and beyond 100% of the normal price. The sooner you arrange your texts to be translated, the least expensive translation will turn out to be.                            



Simultaneous Interpretation (simultaneous translation)

This is translation performed verbally and immediately after the original message has been verbally produced by somebody addressing an audience, say, in a course, seminar or the like. This job is usually performed by two interpreters who take turns during the presentation. They stay in a soundproof booth from which they can see the performer. With headsets on, they can clearly hear what is being said. The interpreters (one at a time) immediately repeat the message in a different language. The interpreter’s voice is then put through to participants in the audience who will have been given wireless receivers and headsets. 

Your translation company shall provide the interpreters as well as the equipment needed for this kind of job. Beware not to hire systems that operate in the commercial FM broadcast bands, though! For one, their use for simultaneous interpretation purposes is banned by law. Plus, the quality is really low. Depending on where the presentation takes place, much interference from local radio stations can occur and make a mess out of your event. With thousands of people watching, and your reputation at stake, you do not want to take chances.


Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment  

YBD Translations relies on its professional SI equipment to make sure these problems never happen to you. With the use our equipment the sound is always crystal clear. And the system is also very compact. 

YBD Translations can help you put your simultaneous interpretation problems behind you. Let us know next time you plan to organize an event. We will be happy to design and install the simultaneous interpretation system that best suits your needs.



Standard Page  

This is one of the parameters used to quantify translation jobs. 

Until not so long ago, translators worldwide were equipped with little more than a typewriter. Back then, the standard page used to be calculated on the basis of “rows” and “columns” typed on a sheet of paper. The length of this standard page, however, would vary in direct proportion to the number of translators in business. You could have a standard page of, say, 1,250 “keystrokes” (25 rows x 50 columns) or one of 1,800 (30 rows x 60 columns), etc. You had the literary standard, the technical standard, the legal standard, you name it. That gave room to much difficulty for anybody hiring translation services. Plus, the client ended up paying for a lot of blank spaces between the words or those left in incomplete lines in a header or title entry, for instance. 

With the advent of personal computers and the applications known as word processors this had to change. The number of characters (columns) in a line (row) became variable depending on paragraph format and on whether or not you allow for word hyphenation. 

The problem was solved by focusing on “characters” as opposed to rows and columns. The total number of “characters” is automatically calculated by the word processor, leaving the blank spaces behind. The most popular standard is the 1,000-character page. It makes final calculations easier while ensuring a fair amount of information per page. So if the final translated version totals 11,397 characters you have 12 standard pages. You always round up to the nearest unit, for there is no such thing as half a standard page. 

One good thing about this criterion is that it gives translators great freedom in formatting documents. Since the calculation is made automatically, you no longer have to stick to a template of so many rows and columns. You can easily include tables or graphics and still have the software count characters for you. 

The number of characters in a given standard page is a relative issue and does not really matter. Keep in mind, however, that the longer the page (i.e., the more characters) the higher the price. Make sure to consider that when comparing prices from different translation providers. In other words, be certain to get exactly what you pay for.




My Random House American Heritage Dictionary puts it this way: “n. 1. the rendering of something into another language or into one’s own from another language; n. 2. the act or process of translating.” No big issue here.



There is another simultaneous interpreation technique known as whispering, in which the interpreter provides a sotto voce translation to one or two people in a room. While this technique calls for no sophisticated equipment, it on the other hand applies only to very specific cases. It can be useful, for instance, in role-playing exercises.    



Working Shift  

This is the minimum measurement unit for the work of interpreters in simultaneous or consecutive engagements. A typical shift has 6 hours. Anything beyond this time limit is charged for as overtime by the hour or fraction thereof.