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TV, Books, Websites - Translation is Everywhere: A Brief Outline of what Translation is.

Today marks one week since the launch of PRT - Paige Rheannon Translations, and what a week it has been! I was overwhelmed with support from friends, family, colleagues and my LinkedIn network and I can't express how grateful I am.

Yet, I was flooded with statements of people mistaking what I do - translation - for interpretation. I realised that to the general public, this isn't always so clear cut! So, before I get too deep into translation blogging, I thought it'd be best to clear this up for those of you wondering.

First, let's briefly clarify the differences between interpretation and translation:

Interpretation is a form of verbal communication that can be done to and from different languages. It is often interpreters you see on the TV, not translators.

Translation is a form of written communication from one language into another, most commonly from a foreign language into the translator's native language. (This is what I do!)

Here are examples of translations that you may have come across in your everyday life:


Have you ever watched a foreign series on Netflix where the English subtitles appear? Those subtitles are the works of a translator.


Have you ever read The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or any Scandinavian noir books? These are all works of translators.

Instruction Manuals

Have you ever bought a new gadget from a German or a Chinese company and had to read the instruction manual? This was written by a translator.


Have you ever gone to purchase a product or service from a foreign website that gives you the option to toggle to the English version? That's the work of a translator too.

These are just some very broad and vague examples of what translators do. It is so much more than just writing text from one language into another, it involves patience, time, skill, specialist knowledge and so much more. The job of a translator involves becoming a specialist or expert in some of the most diverse fields out there - but it's all part of the job.

I hope this post helped those, who weren't 100% sure of what translation was, come to some understanding of it!

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