Private Eye, N 1392, 15th -28th May 2015, p. 31

Private Eye 1392

Copyright: Private Eye


When do our clients require a translator and when do they need an interpreter?  Most people ask for a translator, however, the difference is quite simple: translators work with a written word and interpreters deal with a spoken word, face-to-face or over the phone. Both mean changing a message from one language into another completely and accurately. When interpreting though, there is an additional requirement to convey the same tone and mood. Being unbiased and independent interpreters doesn’t mean we have to act as robots: customers expect us to be able to express the nuances of native speech in the best way possible.

Translators work with written documents, such as correspondence, transcripts, contracts etc., and have all of the resources available: dictionaries, online glossaries and translation memories with terminology databases.

The only memory interpreters can rely on is their own. In simultaneous interpreting when no pauses are made, the interpreter is catching up all the time with a delay of just few seconds. This is a very skilled job as while listening to the speaker in one language, interpreters have to instantly convert the message into another language and pronounce it while still listening to the flow of speech. Can you ignore your own voice saying one thing in one language, catching up with a flow of speech in another language at the same time? Professionals can.

In consecutive interpreting, where stops are allowed, a note pad is an interpreter’s good friend.

Whether you need a translator or an interpreter, we are able to put you in touch with a reliable professional. Just let us know the date, time and type of job you need a language specialist for by using this form, and we will get back to you.


Grantham magistrates’ court had to adjourn three separate cases due to the absence of interpreters.


Both the case of 19-year-old Marian Szabo, of Hudson Way, who stands charged with assault by beating, and of Berta Laci, 24, of Bridge End Road, who is accused of driving over the alcohol limit, were adjourned because there was no Hungarian interpreter. Szabo will next appear on May 7, and Laci on April 9, with the defendants remaining on unconditional bail.


Meanwhile Henryk Czachor’s case could not go ahead because there was no Polish interpreter. The 32-year-old from Grantley Street is charged with assault by beating, and is on conditional bail not to contact the complainant or attend the street where they live, until his next court date on July 29.


German comedian and broadcaster Henning Wehn explores the fast-growing use of ELF - English as a lingua franca. Around the world there are an estimated 800m non-native speakers of English and the number is growing all the time.

Through talking to French, German, Brazilian and even American expats based in the UK, Henning discovers that just having the English vocabulary and grasping of grammar doesn't really help foreigners understand the nuanced, elliptical way that the British speak their own language.

From Japanese estate agents to French web entrepreneurs, non-native English speakers are baffled by the way the natives communicate using humour, obscure idioms based on cricket or rugby, and the understated codes of class and status.

Henning talks to academics and consultants in the fast-growing field of ELF and learns that it is rapidly developing a grammar and structure of its own - often not understood by those who have grown up speaking English.


Producer: Keith Wheatley
A Terrier production for BBC Radio 4.


Private Eye, N 1389, 3rd - 16th April 2015, p. 29

Private Eye 1389