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Relata refero - Передаю, что слышал (Геродот, V в. до н.э.)
Cross-cultural Communication



“At its best translation is an art, a creation of a talented, high-skilled professional”.

 (Komissarov V.N.)


As it is known, any language can exist in oral and written forms. The forms in which a language of the original and a language of the translation (or target language) are used determine the type of the translation; it can be either oral or written.






Oral translation of a pronounced or heard text is commonly referred to as Interpreting. The language of the original and the target language are both used in an oral form, which means that the interpreter perceives the original message only once and is unable to collate the original with the target message or correct it further on after it has been produced. There are two types of Interpreting: consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. The quality of the interpreting services largely depends on the level of proficiency and qualifications of the professionals, their response time, acuteness and, so-called, “automaizations” skills, which are abilities to instantly switch between the language of the original and the target language.




Consecutive interpreting is produced after the original message. In other words, consecutive interpreting follows after the message of the speaker, which is either produced completely, or is being produced with pauses after each paragraph. Consecutive interpreting is mostly  used during business negotiations, presentation, visits and excursions.




 Simultaneous interpreting is produced by the interpreter simultaneously with the speaker, therefore this type of interpreting requires special equipment; either an interpreters booth or a portable system with a microphone and headsets. The former type of simultaneous interpreting is usually used during conferences or meetings with many participants with lengthily talks or presentations. The latter type of simultaneous interpreting is referred to as “chuchotage” from the French verb “chuchoter” – to wisper. Chuchotage interpreting is used during court sessions or o one-to one meetings when the room  is not equipped with the interpreter booths and the interpreter has to stay located behind the client and interpret the conversation in a low voice.


Both of types of interpreting – consecutive and simultaneous – have peculiarities; to produce high quality consecutive interpreting a professional has to have a good memory and an instant reaction, high quality simultaneous interpreting is impossible without abilities to listen and talk simultaneously, which requires long practice and high expertise.





Written translation is a translation in which the language of the original and the target language are both used in written form. This is one of the most commonly used and widely accepted types of translation. Since the original and its translation are both written texts, the translator can come back to the original at any time and make multiple correction or editions of the translation. Written translation allows the translator to consult dictionaries, thesauruses, reference books, and domain specific literature, and to work on the translation at its own pace and time.



There are also other types of cross-cultural communication, which are the so-called mixed modalities; these are written-oral translation – oral translation of a written text (“à vu”), and oral-written translation – written translation of an oral message. These two types of translation are very rare and are not widely used.
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