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There is no business like an interpretation business in China!
Thread poster: Kevin Yang

Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
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Apr 13, 2004

Hello Fellow Translators,

Lately I have been busy with my tax return and working with a collection company to collect some debts for me from an American company in Atlanta, GA. I was not completely away from you if you were wondering my whereabouts.

I read this article today and want to share it with you. I was so surprised to learn from this article that the interpretation, especially simultaneous interpretation business is so profitable in China. 1000-1500 yuan per hour is remarkable! I am even pumped to give it a try. I have not done simultaneous interpretation for a long time, plus getting to mid-aged, the info processing speed in my brain is acceptable, but the muscle that controls my mouth and tongue is not fast enough. I will definitely need a three-month intensive practice before I can pick it up again. Well, for those young and ambitious translators, this might be a good field for a career change. You might want to give a shot at it just for the sake of generous compensation.

Enjoy!

Kevin

______________________________________________________

海归注意了:上海 "超白金"翻译 年进帐四五十万

近日,上海市对50多种职业的小时工工资发布了指导价,其中市场紧缺的专业类翻译人才的工资最高达到每小时2000元。“小时工”以往总给人一种中低端职业的印象,但目前在该领域内却出现了一个颇受人瞩目的“超白金”群体——翻译小时工。据京城业内人士向本报记者提供的数据,目前北京市场上西、法、德语同声传译的最高价位可达8000元/4小时(半天),英、日语同声传译每小时1000元—1500元。业内人士称,平均每星期做两次同声翻译,一年下来赚个四五十万元没问题。

  上周星期五,高木接了在国宾酒店内举行的一场行业研讨会的同声传译及口译的活儿。主办方定的时间是从下午2点到晚上8点,其中包括了会议上的同声传译和记者专访及自助晚宴时的现场口译工作。其中同声传译的薪酬是1000元/小时,口译是500元/小时。不可否认,会场上的他翻译准确到位,谈吐风趣幽默,举止彬彬有礼,在整个会议中出色地起到了起承转合的作用。主办方也正是由于聘用到了这样高水准的翻译,使得整个会议增色不少。

  高木告诉记者,他做“翻译小时工”已经一年,像上周五的活儿,是他日常所接的业务里比较常见的。高木原来是一家医疗器械企业的白领,离开公司后,经朋友介绍来到了现在的翻译公司。从“白领”转为“小时工”,刚开始时在这个称谓上他还真是不习惯。但慢慢地他发现,其实这个工作对人的综合素质要求比普通白领要高很多,这对人生来说无疑是一种充满刺激的挑战。庆幸的是,他最终成了这场挑战赛的胜利者。

  据了解,目前像高木这样的翻译小时工在市场上颇为吃香。这种“用工成本低、就业灵活度高”的非全日制就业形式正在逐渐受到用人单位和求职者的青睐,出现了供需两旺的态势。而且随着就业领域的拓宽,不少富有创造性的职位也吸引了包括高校毕业生在内的一大批高素质人才的加盟。

  做翻译不容易

  中国市场日趋国际化,各种国际会议应接不暇,国外资料大量引进,这些促使社会对翻译工作的需求日趋增加;同时,社会对翻译人才的要求也日趋灵活化。翻译小时工正是以其工作时间的灵活性而成为翻译行业里的“超白金”群体。

  但要想成为一名翻译小时工可不是件容易的事,据说一万个人里也出不了一个好口译者,其条件之苛刻真是让人咋舌。据北京金舆技术翻译中心的负责人介绍,这家公司聘请翻译,如中英金融法律翻译,一般需要英语8级以上;资深金融、财务审计翻译,要求8年以上翻译经历,并有相关金融、财务、审计经验背景;资深英语工程技术翻译,则要求具有8年以上从事职业英语翻译的经验,具有高级外语职称。爱林翻译公司的招聘要求更是“干脆”,研究生以上学历或8年以上翻译经验。北京华云翻译公司招聘笔译翻译,标准是至少有翻译10万字的经验。翻译公司的挑剔让不少人望而却步,但也正因如此,才充分保证了翻译行业的白金品质。

  好口译一天挣一万

  业内人士告诉记者,一般来说,口译以8小时为一个工作日,不到4小时的按半个工作日算,而笔译是以千字为一个单位。

  据调查,目前北京市场上,西、法、德语同声传译的最高价位可达8000元/4小时(半天),英、日语同声传译每小时1000元—1500元。若平均每星期做两次同声翻译,一年下来也能赚个四五十万元。据业内人士介绍,水平较高的翻译,其口译时价一般一天(8小时)不会低于1万元。

  另据了解,专业类文字翻译更是目前市场的紧缺人才,其身价一般比普通类翻译高25%左右。

  专家介绍,在入行之初,应该接一些小一点、难度相对低一点的“活儿”,同时切忌狮子大开口,张嘴就四千六千元;刚入行每天能拿一两千就行;等经验丰富了,有了口碑,建立起自己的品牌,报酬自然水涨船高。

  年轻人的尴尬

  据北京新东方综合能力培训部听力口语项目主任李莘介绍,翻译人才一般是语言科班出身,这些人毕业参加工作后,在自己所从事的行业里逐渐积累了一些专业知识,并将其与自己的语言功底结合,逐渐向专业类翻译靠拢,最后成为专业领域内的翻译人才。当然,随着目前大学英语教育体系的逐步完善,很多其他专业(如保健、临床、药理、机械制造、自动化、电子、金融等)的学生,在专业学习的过程中,就掌握了大量的专业外语知识,所以当他们参加工作时,就已经具备了作为翻译乃至专业翻译的基础。

  据李莘介绍,用人单位目前在挑选人才时,都会选择具有丰富翻译经验的人员,从而降低用人风险。这种选择标准显然为那些希望进入翻译领域的年轻人制造了一个不小的障碍。很多年轻人拿着国家翻译资格证书却被用人单位拒之门外,无形中造成了人才的浪费。

  翻译给人的感觉应该是很洋气很前卫的一个行业,但据业内人士介绍,很多年轻人进入这个行业还是靠“找师傅带”这种传统手段。由一个翻译经验丰富的 “老”人带入行,几乎成为翻译领域的“规矩”。而这样带人入行无形中减缓了翻译人才及翻译领域的发展。专家指出,做翻译,尤其是做同声传译,进行前期训练是越早越好,最好不超过30岁,大学刚毕业时最佳。

  工作需紧跟时尚

  以同声传译为例,由于国内目前缺乏权威的同声传译资格评价体系,市场成了检验译员水平的惟一标准,口碑的好坏决定着一个同声传译员的市场价值。而要想成为一个优秀的翻译,尤其是专业类翻译,必须有足够的决心和毅力。据业内人士介绍,目前全国仅30多个优秀的同传人才,而北京仅十余位。

  北京峰然翻译公司经理马晴介绍说,翻译工作有两点是最难的。第一是对两种文化的把握,小时工受工作形式的限制,其工作内容往往都不具有可预见性,所以对知识面的把握要宽,而这就需要对两种文化具有精准的理解。第二,翻译工作需要不断进行知识更新。随着社会和专业的发展,各种新名词、新说法层出不穷,翻译必须随时进行知识更新。

  北京新东方的李莘建议大家在进行知识更新时要注意两点:对最新出现的词汇和行业发展趋势一定要关注,这可以通过看一些英文报纸、电视新闻进行学习;再有,一定要在日常翻译工作中运用这些新知识。

  翻译:职业中转站

  翻译小时工应时而生、随需而变,不稳定性注定了它的短期工作性质。专家建议,不妨将翻译小时工作为个人职业发展的敲门砖,用它来开启自己未来的职业之门。李莘介绍说,从目前的市场看,很多从业人员都充分利用了这个工作的优势,由普通翻译转而成为了某专业的资深专家。由于需要对领域内的专业知识有持续性的关注,他们在翻译工作的过程中很自然地积累了扎实的专业知识。这为他们转行成为某领域内的专业人士奠定了良好的基础。李莘建议那些暂时找不到合适工作的年轻人,可以先从翻译小时工做起,逐步积累自己的工作经验,为将来转行做准备。(记者/金可)

  相关链接

  翻译专业资格(水平)考试

  “翻译专业资格(水平)考试” (China Aptitude Test for Translators and Interpreters –CATTI),是对参试人员口译或笔译方面的双语互译能力和水平的认定。分资深翻译;一级口译、笔译翻译;二级口译、笔译翻译;三级口译、笔译翻译几等。 原则上,考试一年一次。

  翻译专业资格水平考试合格,颁发由国家人事部统一印制并用印的《中华人民共和国翻译专业资格水平证书》。该证书在全国范围有效,是聘任翻译专业技术职务的必备条件之一。取得翻译资格考试证书后,对翻译专业资格水平证书实行定期登记制度,即每3年重新注册登记一次,一次注册有效期3年。根据国家人事部有关规定,翻译专业资格(水平)考试已经正式纳入国家职业资格证书制度,该考试在全国推开后,相应语种和级别的翻译专业技术职务评审工作不再进行。

  翻译专业资格水平考试在国家人事部指导下由中国外文出版发行事业局以下简称“中国外文局”组织实施与管理。中国外文局组织成立全国翻译专业资格水平考试专家委员会。全国翻译专业资格(水平)考试考务工作,分别由国家人事部人事考试中心和国家外国专家局培训中心具体承担。

(转引自文学城网站 )

[Edited at 2004-04-13 19:41]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
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不准确 Apr 14, 2004

Kevin,
看了你转贴的文章,我多么希望这一切是真的!也许我孤陋寡闻,不过,据我所知,能拿到这个价位的翻译是极少数。再说,同声传译的业务量也不大,一年恐怕也没几次。很想听听其他同事怎么说。

Zhoudan


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 04:37
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I agree with Zhou Dan Apr 14, 2004

And do you know what is the translation rate I can get from a Chinese agency??? RMB90/1000 characters (Shanghai agency) and RMB70/1000 characters (Beijing agency)!! They offered Steffi (native German) RMB180/1000 words for EN>DE translations.

Sad but true.....


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
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Life is not so easy for fulltime translators in China. Apr 15, 2004

if you go to the websites of some translation agencies and check their rates, you will find the majority of them offer a ridiculously low rate. competition is out of order. they always boast of having experienced translators and even foreign experts. in fact, they find undergraduates or college students to work for them. even without proofreaders in most cases.

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Libin PhD  Identity Verified
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新闻追求轰动效应,不可尽信 Apr 15, 2004

文章中的假定有问题,一个星期做两次,一年要做100次口译,而且每次都要运气那么好,能拿到那么高的价钱,恐怕没有这么幸运的人。做翻译国内一年做得好挣个十几万人民币大概要可信一些。我用的几个翻译,高的每年我付给三万多,也只是间隔着做一段时间。

国际会议、公司活动内容多种多样,今天是这个领域,明天就是完全不同的东西,即使是像以前给中央领导人作口译的冀朝铸那样的翻译大家,大概也只能做政治、经济、文化方面的口译,如果让他去做医学、法律和科技方面,照样译不出来,要想揽那么多的活,恐怕不可信。

另外,作同传需要事先阅读一定的材料,我想很少有人能做科技、医学、法律方面的活事先不需要预习,上去就讲而且能够真正做得好的,这些预习时间也应该算进去,实际工资就没有那么高了。

我最近的一次同传是中国海洋石油公司的一个代表团来ExxonMobile的研究中心访问时做的,其实只有两个小时的工作,算是一天,加上来回各半天旅途,总共两天,我是通过休斯敦的一家翻译公司给他们做的,就是在Proz上看到广告联系的。一天工资$900,餐饮费$100。如果按上面文章的算法,那就是每小时一千美元,是不切合实际的。再说,我事先也花时间看了他们的幻灯片,两个小时算是很顺利地做下来了,并不感觉很累。如果不熟悉材料,做不好不说,人的体力的消耗都是难以想象的,同传的钱并不好挣。所以我觉得同传既是脑力劳动,也是体力劳动。倒是给律师事务所作庭审取证的交传口译比较轻松,待遇通常也不错,前年去台湾作了一个星期这样的活,也是通过翻译公司,一天1000美元周末工作加50%,结果来回路途正好是周末,坐飞机来回也挣了将近5000块,但是这样的好事并不多。在美国国内通过翻译公司给其他律师事务所做时,也是这个价位。翻译公司大约要收律师事务所一千四、五百一天。

美国这里翻译公司的内部(in-houose)翻译,才上班时年薪也就两万多块钱,有的甚至低于两万,做几年下来做得好,能够做到四、五万就不错了。


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Libin PhD  Identity Verified
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东方网嘉宾讨论区上关于同传的讨论 Apr 15, 2004

东方网嘉宾讨论区邀请了上海外国语大学高级翻译学院翻译研究所所长、著名翻译家谢天振教授做客东方网嘉宾聊天室,回答有关同传方面的问题。谢教授认为同传正确率达到30%就基本合格了,似乎较低。自己通常一、两个小时同传中如果有两、三个地方没译好,混过去了,下来后总是想着,心里很是过不去,看来可以坦然一点了。

问:同传中一般信息的准确率为多少才算合格?

谢天振:这是一个要讨论的问题,因为翻译质量的测试,它的标准是一个模糊概念,一般的同传正确率在30%以上,已经算是基本合格的了。


链接为:
http://vipchat.eastday.com/index.asp?ID=426

下面是主持人的引子:


“一天就能拿800美元的报酬”对很多人都是充满诱惑的。有报道显示,目前除了老板之外,单个小时收入最高的职业是“同声传译”。这个被喻为“烫嘴的金饭碗”的行业,却很少有人能捧得起。同声传译人才属于全球稀缺人才,也是最难培养的人才之一,它既拼脑力、又耗体力,要求从业者说得快,想得快,协调性还要好,在翻译领域属于高端精英人才。据不完全统计,我国专业的同声传译人才仅25至30人左右,大多在北京、上海和广州等国际交往频繁的大都市。至于国际上流行的在经贸、科技、政法等各个领域学有所长的专业型同声传译人才仍是一片空白。因此,同声传译近几年已被政府部门列为“二十一世纪第一大紧缺人才”。

2004年4月15日(周四)15:00—16:00,上海外国语大学高级翻译学院翻译研究所所长、著名翻译家谢天振教授,应邀做客东方网嘉宾聊天室,就“同声传译等高端翻译市场的现状、前景以及同声传译的培训技巧”等话题,与广大网友作在线交流、咨询。

想聊聊吗?在此处留言……



[Edited at 2004-04-15 09:58]


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ysun  Identity Verified
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What is the reality? Apr 16, 2004

I appreciate Kevin for sharing that article with us, but I don't think it painted a realistic picture in China. I also agree with Libin. I think $100 per hour plus traveling expense is normal for simultaneous interpretation in the US, but not in China.

Not many people are capable of doing simultaneous interpretation. Those simultaneous interpreters are specially trained. When I worked for SINOPEC ( http://english.sinopec.com/index.jsp ) in 1980's, a top interpreter of our company was chosen and intensively trained at China Foreign Affairs University (中国外交学院 http://www.cfau.edu.cn/ ) for 3 years (master level), and then was further trained in a foreign country for a few more years before becoming a simultaneous interpreter in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some of his classmates were not even qualified for further training as simultaneous interpreters although they were still excellent interpreters.

They were trained in some special areas or they acquired certain knowledge in other particular areas during their translation careers. For a technical conference at ExxonMobile, I don't think a UN simultaneous interpreter would do as well as Linbin did. A single unexpected complicated chemical name might make him lose his tongue. Most of simultaneous interpreters I saw at international conferences in China were under 30. They are busy with their officially assigned duties and would not have the leisure fooling around everywhere. When they are getting older, they may no longer be suitable for the job.

The reality for translators in China might be a quite different picture. Sometimes, I receive emails and even phone calls from translation agencies in China. They needed “translators in the US” to do their jobs, but they were only willing to pay just “a little more" than what they paid for translators in China. I feel so sad about my colleagues in China.


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isahuang
Local time: 16:37
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not that bad in China Apr 17, 2004

Yueyin Sun wrote:

The reality for translators in China might be a quite different picture. Sometimes, I receive emails and even phone calls from translation agencies in China. They needed “translators in the US” to do their jobs, but they were only willing to pay just “a little more" than what they paid for translators in China. I feel so sad about my colleagues in China.


It is true that translators in China are not well paid. However, when it comes to interpretation, it is a quite different story. Before I came to the states one and half years ago, the rate in Beijing for simultaneous interpretation was $700 a day. And I personally knew people who earned this amount. But this kind of job was not there everyday. Also many of the jobs were never published in the job market. This was the situation almost two years ago. It may have changed today. But my professors in Monterey Institute of International Studies (the leading university in translation and interpretation in the US) told us simul interpretation in Beijing and Shanghai is still a very lucrative profession. An interpreter could make up to 200-400$ a day. If he/she gets the job directly from the client, he/she could make even more. Well, not every translator can do interpretation, let alone simul interpretation. And there are very few people in China that could do simul interpretation. This is probably why it is so disproportionally well paid compared to translation and other profession. However, a professional simul interpreter has to go through systematic, intensive and painful training. I agree with Li Bin. Simul is really stressful and requires multitasking skills. I don't think anybody beyond 35 years old could do it. In my university, T and I not only stands for translation and interpretation but also torture and inquisition. However, no matter how hard it is, my classmates, motivated by the big money this profession could bring in later, are willing to pay more than 20,000$ a year's tution to go through the torture.


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ysun  Identity Verified
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Clarification Apr 17, 2004

I just want to make some clarifications. Please note that I distinguished “interpreters” from “translators” and “interpretation” from “translation”. The last paragraph in my comment which Tingting Huang quoted was actually talking about translation.

It may be true that some simultaneous interpreters in China are paid very well for some particular occasions. However, it doesn't mean he or she would be paid so well every day and every week. I doubt they could get such chances twice a week in average as the article said. Besides, even those young simultaneous interpreters I saw in Beijing were not able to do the job the whole day. Usually, two or three such simultaneous interpreters were “tortured” in turn about one hour for each.

More importantly, they can not represent the entire translation industry in China.


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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
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Even us old dried up types can do it... :-) Apr 27, 2004

Tingting Huang wrote:
Simul is really stressful and requires multitasking skills. I don't think anybody beyond 35 years old could do it. In my university, T and I not only stands for translation and interpretation but also torture and inquisition.


Um...I don't think the age problem is quite what you think it is. I'm 40 already and I do not find any difficulty in doing simultaneous interpreting. I worked with an excellent interpreter in the US, who came from the PRC, and she was still in the booth at age 73. She was outstanding, too. The only reason she finally retired last year is that her breathing became noisy, and that sound could be heard over the mike! We were all sorry to see her go.


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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
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Usually it's 2 people for 20 minutes or so each in turns Apr 27, 2004

Yueyin Sun wrote:

However, it doesn't mean he or she would be paid so well every day and every week. I doubt they could get such chances twice a week in average as the article said. Besides, even those young simultaneous interpreters I saw in Beijing were not able to do the job the whole day. Usually, two or three such simultaneous interpreters were “tortured” in turn about one hour for each.

More importantly, they can not represent the entire translation industry in China.


Definitely true...I can't speak for the PRC market but the Taiwan market is definitely this way. Although the "day rate" is high, and people are envious when they hear it, they don't realize that a) we don't interpret every day (only a very few people have good enough connections to do so, and most of those are on salary for a government organization of some sort to have such regular work) and b) even if you get US$600 per day, you don't ONLY work that day; you have to do a lot of preparation to get ready for the conference if you want to do a professional job. Older, more experienced interpreters may not have to do as much preparation (if it's your twentieth conference on sustainable development, you probably have a pretty good idea of what will be said and how to say it) but us new kids on the block still have to do our homework.

A professional interpreter will work for 15-20 minutes, perhaps 25, and then switch with a partner (this is simultaneous mode). Studies have shown that after 25-30 minutes, interpreters start talking utter garbage and don't even realize they are doing so -- pretty scary! They did a study where they asked interpreters to interpret until the quality went down, and almost everyone went on well beyond the place where they started making a significantly higher (and unacceptable!) amount of errors.

Yet last month someone in the US asked me why I wouldn't accept a job to do 2 hours straight of simultaneous on a phone link to a videoconference between Anhui and the US (no visuals, of course). She said, "I do it all the time in French..." I refrained from telling her that what she did "all the time" was likely garbage...


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
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Let's generate an outline for the translators to use as an guideline! Apr 27, 2004

Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

A professional interpreter will work for 15-20 minutes, perhaps 25, and then switch with a partner (this is simultaneous mode). Studies have shown that after 25-30 minutes, interpreters start talking utter garbage and don't even realize they are doing so -- pretty scary! They did a study where they asked interpreters to interpret until the quality went down, and almost everyone went on well beyond the place where they started making a significantly higher (and unacceptable!) amount of errors.


谢谢诸位的踊跃发言!的确让我很受启发。

很高兴得知李宾、Yueyin和Terry都有同声传译的实际工作经验。我和你们相比,这方面的经验太少了。这样的生意要在有国际会议中心的大城市才会多一些。我去年做了一次,是关于城市的可持续性发展规划的,客户先发给我讲演稿,讲演的过程中还有幻灯和PowerPoint的投影。虽然只给了三天的准备时间,我还是对付下来了。后来仔细想想,我的这种情况也太特别了,因为手里有讲稿。正规的同声传译可就没有这么幸运了。

我希望大家帮我一个忙。我们把自己在同声传译方面的知识和经验总结一下,用提纲要领的形式登出来,供阅读本文件夹的同行们学习和借鉴。我们可以从两个方面进行总结:一个方面是对同声传译的规定和要求;另一个方面是同传的注意事项(do's and don'ts)。一个人一次谈不完整,另一个人进行补充,最后我们进行总结归纳。所有提供意见的人,都会得到谢启提名。请诸位继续补充。谢谢!

杨志坚 (Kevin Yang)


[Edited at 2004-04-29 18:51]


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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
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Which direction? Apr 27, 2004

Hi Kevin,

Gosh, I really don't agree on the "tell the speaker to speak more slowly than usual" idea. First of all, they won't. Second, even if they start out slowly, they'll speed up. And third, if you're trained, you can deal with a faster speaker. If your goal is 70% accuracy, you should be able to deal with 160-170 wpm at least. Of course it depends on what kind of content you're interpreting -- a very dense speech full of proper names and numbers will be more difficult than somebody telling a story, of course. Direction counts, too (IMHO) -- I think Chinese to English is more difficult than English to Chinese, because C>E requires filtering as well as interpreting -- at least in Taiwan, the first step is to eliminate the meaningless garbage and impose some kind of logical structure on what you're hearing. English USUALLY (but not always!!) comes with logic pre-installed, so it's easier to go from English (a more definite language) to Chinese (a less definite one) than to go the other way around, especially if you've got other things to think about at the same time (i.e, when you're doing simul).

Everyone says it should be easier into your native language, but I still find it easier to go into Chinese...I think because of the analysis involved. Does anyone have a similar experience?

Of course we have to work harder...if I were doing conference work in Spanish, I would only have to translate OUT of Spanish (my acquired language) into my native language...but ChineseEnglish interpreters have to go both ways even in simultaneous.


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HymnLau
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既然Kevin感兴趣: Apr 27, 2004

英汉同声传译技巧与训练 (作者:广东外语外贸大学 仲伟合)

1、同声传译的概念

  口译按工作方式分为连续(consecutive interpreting,又叫交替传译、逐步传译)和同声传译(simultaneous interpreting)。同声传译因为与发言人同步进行翻译,无须占用会议时间而受到了会议组织者的欢迎,二次世界大战之后,流行于许多国际组织。所谓同声传译指的是用一种语言(译入语)把另外一种语言(原语)所表达的思想内容,以与原语发言人几乎相同的速度,用口头形式表达出来的一种翻译方式。近年来,世界很多地方称这种翻译为“会议传译”(conference interpreting)。在大多数情况下,同声传译是通过会议设备来完成的。译员坐在特制的口译箱里,通过耳机接听发言人的讲话内容,随即通过麦克风把原语发言人的讲话内容用译人语传达给大会的听众,听众则利用耳机选择所需要的语言频道,接受翻译服务。
  与交替传译相比,同声传译具有以下优点:(1)在同声传译中,发言与翻译同时进行,不占用会议时间;(2)同声传译可以利用电子设备,在同一时间内对多种语言同时进行翻译。(3)在大型国际会议中,译员有时可以事先得到发言稿件,早做准备,提高翻译的准确率。因此,现在国际上的会议,百分之九十都是采用同声传译的方式进行。
  同声传译又可分为以下几种情况:(1)常规同传:在翻译中,译员没有稿件,靠耳听、心想、口译来在同一时间内完成同声传译工作。(2)视译:译员拿到讲话人的书面讲话稿,一边听讲话人的讲话、一边看稿、一边口译。(3)耳语传译:不需要使用同传设备。译员一边听讲话人的发言,一边与会代表耳边进行传译。(4)同声传读:译员拿到书面译文,边听发言人念稿,边宣读译文。同声传读需要注意发言人在宣读论文过程中增加及减少的内容,有时发言人也可能会突然脱稿进行发言。
2、同声传译的工作程序
  同声传译的工作程序可能简单表示为:
  也就是原语发言人在会议厅主席台(或会场)对着麦克风发言,同传译员则坐在特制的口译箱里通过耳机接听原语信息,同时用目的语言准确传达原语信息,通过麦克风把信息传达出去。面听众则通过耳机接收翻译内容。在上述同声传译程序中,以下几个方面对同声传译的质量会带来影响:(1)发言人:信息发出者。其讲话内容、发言速度、言语逻辑、讲话口音等都对同声传译员对原语的理解带来影响,进而影响整个翻译质量;(2)同传译员:同传译员是翻译成败的关键。同传译员在工作中要做到“一心多用”,听、想、记、译几乎要在同一时间内完成。因此同传译工作极具挑战性;(3)同传设备:同传译员的翻译结果要靠设备才能为听众所接受。同传活动中,译员要熟悉设备的操作。特别是遇到多语种翻译要用“接力翻译”(relay interpreting)时,更应该熟练掌握设备的操作。同传译员一般要在工作前30分钟到场检测设备。在检查过程中,一旦发现问题应立即找有关的技术人员解决。在口译过程中,始终应该有设备技术人员值班,以解决应急问题。
3、同传译员素养要求
  《羊城晚报》2000年11月19日曾在头版同日特稿中对担任“广东省经济发展国际咨询会”同声翻译工作的同传译员做了较高的评价,称他们是“九段翻译,技惊四座”。这一评价道出了同传工作之难。同声传译工作一向被认为是口译工作的颠峰。因此对译员的素养要求很高。一般来讲,同传译员应受过专门的职业训练并具备以下素质:
  (1)扎实的双语能力和口头表达能力:同传译员应该是属于语言敏感型的人。对语言(外语与母语)的捕捉能力要强。对于新生事物要感兴趣并及时记住一些新闻新语的表达。同传译员在工作中是没有时间可以考虑的,因此,平时的语言积累对造就一个成功的译员至关重要。除了要有扎实的双语能力外,同传译员还要有较强的口头表达能力。为了能紧跟发言者,同传译员的讲话速度一般在250字/分钟左右,而一般发言人的语速为150字左右。因此,同传译员一定要“灵牙利齿”,同时要做到言之有序、言之有物。吐字清晰,语言语调流畅、利落。
  (2)掌握百科知识:著名的口译专家Jean Herbert曾说过,做一个好的译员要"know everything of something and something of everything."(好的译员要既专才,又是通才)。同传译员所要翻译的会议没有两个完全一样的,所翻译的内容涉及面宽,包括全球发展的方方面面,如政治、经济、文化、科技、人口、环境、卫生、战争、和平等。因此,要求同传译员要“上知天文、下知地理”。对越是熟悉的题材,同传译员的翻译质量则越高。
  (3)良好的心理素质:初步译坛的译员经常会觉得翻译时“心发慌、嘴发紧”,平时熟悉的内容也有可能会译得一塌糊涂。这主要是因为心理素质欠付佳所造成的。同传译员要有良好的心理素质。要能做到“处乱不惊、情绪稳定”。同传译员要有较强的情绪控制能力,在任何情况下都要保持镇定。如果情绪不稳定,就会出现怯场(stage fright)现象,影响理解,影响翻译质量,译员甚至会出现“大脑空白”现象。要保持良好的心理素质,主要靠平时的打造,基础打扎实了,自信心自然有了,有了自信心,心理状态也便容易调整了。
  (4)有强烈的求知欲望:同声传译的技能包括三大板块:①口译技巧;②专业知识;③语言工夫。三大板块中的后两个都要求译员要不断地学习、积累。如果译员对新知识的习得缺少兴趣,则很难应付日新月异变化的翻译题材。
  (5)团队合作精神:专业化的同声传译工作一般都是2-3人一组,一人做20分钟左右,另一人再接过来,轮流进行。这就要求,同传工作不仅仅要求译员个人素质好,还要求译员之间组成一个和谐的整体。互相配合,做好整个翻译工作。团队合作体现在以下几个方面:①分工:可以按各个译员的优势进行分工,这样可以在翻译过程中做到取长补短;②译前准备工作:分头进行准备工作,然后互相交流,节约时间,提高效率;③轮空休息的译员应帮助在线译员做好辅助工作,包括笔记、清除干扰、监视设备等。总之,在同传翻译过程中,译员要互相体谅、互相支持。
  (6)职业道德:译员应该遵守会议译员职业道德规范。如:保守秘密、保持中立、准确翻译等。译员应严格遵守《国际会议口译工作者协会关于职业道德准则的规定》。译员不应该对会议发言人进行任何评论。另外对超出自己能力范围之内的翻译任务不应该接受,哪怕报酬很高。一旦接受了翻译任务,就要按时、按质完成。要表现出良好的业务水准(professionalism)。
4、同声传译基本原则
  同声传译既是一门艺术、又是一门技术。因此,有一定的基本原则可以在翻译中遵循,以达到更加有效地完成口译工作。在同声翻译,特别是汉英同声翻译工作中,以下几条可以作为指导我们进行翻译的原则:
  (1)顺句驱动:在同传过程中,译员按听到的原语的句子顺序,把整个句子切成意群单位或信息单位,再使用连接词把这些单位自然连接起来,译出整体的意思。这种翻译方法为“顺句驱动”。如以下句子按顺句驱动的原则来译:“所有人//都可以借助互联网资源//来学习,不论他们是哪个民族、//何种性别、//何种肤色、//只要他们可能接入互联网。”译文:“All can study //by relying on internet resources// regardless of their race, nationality and sex// providing that //they could have access to the internet.”同声传译是与原语发言人的发言同步进行的,翻译活动必须在原语发言人讲话结束后瞬间内(或同时)结束。因此,同传译员要最大限度地在翻译过程中争取缩短翻译与原语发言之间的时间差。这个时间差越小,译员记忆的内容就会越多,译出的信息也就越多。英汉语的语序差别较大,要完全听明白原语语序、意义之后再进行翻译则很难跟上原语发言人。因此,“顺句驱动是英汉同声传译的一个最大特征。”
  (2)随时调整:调整是同声翻译中的校译过程,是译员根据接受到的新的内容调整信息、纠正错译、补充漏译的重要环节。如英语中的时间、地点状语等大多出现在句尾,在使用“顺句驱动”进行翻译时,会出现译完主句,又出现状语的情况。如:“I went to Holiday Inn//for a seminar// at 10 o'clock//yesterday.”按顺句驱动的原则,可能这样译:“我去了假日酒店//参加一个研讨会//在十点钟//昨天。”加上调整过程,这个句子在实际翻译中可能会被译为:“我去假日酒店//参加一个研讨会//时间是昨天上午十点。”
  (3)适度超前:同声传译中的“适度超前”是指口译过程中的“预测”(anticipation)技能。就是在原语信息还不完整的情况下,译员可能要讲的内容而进行“超前翻译”,从而赢得时间,紧跟发言人进行同步翻译。如在很多会议的开幕式中都会出现这样的套话:“……我谨代表……//对与会代表表示热烈的欢迎//并预祝本次大会取得圆满成功!//”在翻译这段话的时候,译员就可以根据自己的经验在发言人说出“我谨代表……”的时候把整句话都译出来“Please allow me to be on behalf of …to extend to our warnest welcome to the participants of this conference…”在听到“预祝……”之后,就应该知道后面要讲的是“……本次会议成功”。不善用“预测”技能的译员很难做好同声传译工作,因为在翻译过程中要是等到全部信息接受以后再进行翻译就不是同声翻译了。即使翻译能够进行下去,也是断断续续。听众很难接收到完整的信息。
  (4)信息重组:信息重组(reFORMulation)是同声翻译的总策略。初学同传的学员往往把注意力集中在译“语言”上,结果经常“卡壳”。因为英汉语的语言差别较大,要做到一一对应地进行翻译是很难的。因此,在同传中应遵循译“信息”的原则。也就是根据原语的住处点在目的语中根据目的语的语言习惯重新组织信息。如在翻译中遇到以下的原语:“Strange behavior on the part of whales in the southern Atlantic has been observed over a number of years now. A team of marince scientists has come up with a new theory to explain this behavior.But considerable controversy has arisen in Argentina about the theory.”经过信息重组之后可能会以下面的内容译出:“Over a number of years,// whales in the southern Atlantic// have been observed//behaving strangely.//To explain this behavior,//a team of scientists has come up with a new theory//. But there has arisen considerabel controversy about the theory// in Argentina//”(经过好多年的观察,人们发现南大西洋的鲸行为怪异。为了解释这一行为,一些科学家提出了一种新的理论,但该理论在阿根廷却引起了争议。)
  (5)合理简约:所谓简约(simplification),就是同传译员在不影响原文主要信息传达的基础上对原文中出现的无法用目的语处理的材料或原文中出现技术性较强的材料,在直接译入到目的语中很难被目的语听众所理解的情况下而采取简化语言形式、解释、归纳、概述原语信息的一种翻译原则。同传译员要根据听众的背景决定本原则的使用频率。如果听众对于所译内容比较陌生,译员对翻译中出现的术语(jargon)则要最大限度的简约。如在一次对青少年介绍“欧盟农业政策”的会议上出现了这样的内容:“If the CIF price of produce at the community boarder is below the guideline price as determined under the Common Market Organization, then at levy, which is not a tariff duty, is imposed.”如果“忠实”地译人到任何一种语言青少年听众都会出现听不明白的情况。使用简约的原则,可以按如下的内容进行法翻译:“If farm produce comes into the Community at a price below the official Community market price,a special agricultural levy is imposed”。(译文:如果农产品进入欧共体的价格低于欧共体的官方价格的话,就要征收农业特别税。)
  (6)信息等值:“忠实”(faithfulness)一向被认为是检验翻译的标准。但在同声传译工作中,有时很难做到“忠实”于原文,有时虽然忠实于原文,却得不到听众的认同。口译不同于笔译,可以足够的时间去构思、推敲,同声传译要求译员在极有限的时间内对接受到的信息进行重组,使目的语听众了解原语发言人的讲话内容。因此,在同声翻译中,对原语中的字、词、句有时候很难译得十全十美,译员要努力做到的是根据接受的词、句及语篇内容掌握原语发言人要传达的主要信息,同时用听众很容易理解的语言方式表达出来。也就是在翻译过程中,要做到整体“信息等值”。
5、如何学习同声传译
  随着经济全球化的发展,国际交往越来越多,对专业翻译,特别是同传译员的需求也越来越多。不少外语专业毕业的学生都希望能在这方面接受一些专业训练。以下介绍几种提高口译专业水平的途径。
  (1)正规专业训练:正规专业训练主要是指进入高等学校或专门的翻译培训机构接受专业学位(文凭)教育。七十年代以前的同传译员大多没有机会接受正规的专业训练,主要靠译员的经验与天赋,摸索着进行各种各样的翻译工作。而今天,翻译课程已经是许多 外语院校的核心课程。专门化的翻译学院、翻译系科也遍步世界各地。仅以英汉翻译为例:英国就有如下学校开设英汉双语翻译硕士学位课程:The University of Westminster、Bath University、The University of New Castle等;美国加州的Monterey Institute of International Studies、澳大利亚的The University of Griffith、新西兰的The University of Auckland等也开设了英汉翻译硕士学位课程。在中国,翻译(包括口、笔译)一直都是外语专业的必修课程。由于师资的原因,有些高校未能开设口译课。目前国内较有影响的、开设口笔译专业方向课程的机构有:北京外国语大学高级翻译学院、广东外语外贸大学英文学院翻译系、厦门大学外语系等。另外,外交部翻译室对于录用的翻译人员也进行专门化的职业训练。香港、台湾开设翻译学位课程的学校有:香港中文大学、香港浸会大学、香港岭南大学、香港城市大学、香港理工大学、台湾国立师范大学、辅仁大学等。
  (2)在职训练:很少有译员一加入到一个机构就可以立刻开如工作的。一些较大的机构都会给予他们一定的在职培训,并且定期给予业务进修,提高业务水平。如中国外交部每年招收的译员都要在翻译室培训中心进行约一年时间的在职培训,然后才能真正上场翻译。一些技术性较强的机构、还会对译员进行专门化的技术培训。使译员熟悉工作环境,掌握基本技巧。
  (3)自我训练:提高同声传译技能的另外一条很重要途径就是自我训练。毕竟不是人人都有机会得到专门化的职业训练。有些译员已经在一线工作了很长时间,具有良好的语言基础和心理素质,如果了解同声传译训练的内容和主要方法是可以进行自我训练的。但同声传译的训练是一个艰苦的过程,学习者一定要有恒心、耐心和决心,并制定切实可行的学习计划,循序渐进逐步提高自己的同声传译水平。当然并非人人都可以进行同传译的学习,它要求学习者要有扎实的双语基础、良好的心理素质,有一定的连续传译专业训练的基本步骤和常用方法。
  ①影子练习:影子练习(shadowing exercise)又叫原语或单语复述练习。就是用同种语言几乎同步地跟读发言人的讲话或事先录制好的新闻录音、会议资料等。该训练的目的是培养译员的注意力分配(split of attention)和听说同步进行的同声传译技能。做影子练习时,开始的时候可以与原语同步开始,经过一段时间的练习后,可以在原语开始后片刻,经过一段时间的练习后,可以在原语开始后片刻到一句话跟读原语。跟读原语时不仅仅是鹦鹉学舌,要做到耳朵在听(原语)、嘴巴在说(同种语言复述)、脑子在想(语言内容)。在跟读完一段5-8分钟长度的讲话或新闻之后,应该可以概述出原语的主要内容。在影子练习的后一阶段,可以安排“干扰”练习,就是在听、说同步进行的同时,手也动起来。要求学员从999开始写起,按倒数的形式往上写999、998、9997…。影子练习视个人的基础可以进行3-5周(每周2-4小时)的训练,练习形式相对自由,在听广播、看电视、听报告时都可以做此练习。学员在练习中产手了想用译人语同步陈述时就可以转入下一阶段的练习了。
  ②原语概述:原语概述练习是在影子练习的延续。就是学员用原语跟读完一段讲话内容后,停下来凭记忆力对刚刚跟读的内容用同种语言进行概述,归纳讲话内容的核心思想。如:“On April 8 we have noticed the news of Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa's resignation.This is an internal affairs of Japan. Prime Minister Hosokawa has made a valuable effort to promote Sino-Japanese friendly relations.We hope that Sino-Japanese relations can continue stable and healthful development.”就可以概括为:“Japanese Prime Minister resigned.We hope this will not have impact on Sino-Japanese relations.”开始做该类练习时,间隔时间可以相对短一点,在学员掌握要领之后再逐渐加长。原语概述练习的目的是培养学员短期记忆力、边听、边说、边想(抓核心内容)的习惯。
  ③译入语概述:译入概述练习是在原语概述练习进行一段时间后将概述原语内容用译人语进行。目的是巩固听说同步并逐渐过渡到真正的同声传译。练习时译员不必过度强调句子结构和具体内容,而是培养用简练的译人语传达原语的中心思想和主要信息点。如:“The protection of the environment is a vital component of continued economic development.Here and in Hong Kong decades of explosive growth have taken a toll on the environment resulting in air and water pollution, destruction of the natural environment, traffic congestion and deforestation. Not only does this discourage further economic investment and encourage industries already here for relocate,but it also makes it increasingly difficult for Guangdong to enter into the next level of economic development.”可以用译人语——汉语概述为:“环境保护是经济持续发展的重要因素。//过去广东和香港在这方面已有过教训。//环保是广东吸引更多投资使经济更上一层楼的保障。//”
  ④视译:视译(on-sight interpreting)是指同传译员拿着讲话人的发言稿,边听发言、边看原稿、边进行同声传译。在练习时,第一步可以找一些有译文的发言稿,边听发言录音,边做“同声传读”。逐渐过渡到脱离译稿只看原文进行口译。视译时可以用很短时间对原文通读一次,了解发言的主要内容并对语言、专业难点做“译前准备”。
  ⑤磁带练习:同声传译是实践性很强的活动,其所涉及到的技巧要靠平时的练习才能为学习者掌握。因此,要在平时做很多的练习才能成为真正合格的同传译员。一般正规训练同传译员的机构都要求受训者除课堂接受的训练外要进行近300磁带时(tape-hours)精听、精练。磁带练习的内容要丰富多彩、题材广泛、音调齐全,要包括中英两种语言。最好是国际会议发言录音或录象。在练习时,可以把自己的翻译录下来,进行分析,找出不足的地方及误译、漏译的地方。任何技能的掌握都是靠平时的日积月累,靠艰苦练习。
  ⑥模拟会议:这一练习主要针对有组织的课堂教学。自学同传的译员可以自我组织几个或更多爱好者一起来做这个练习。练习要求使用同声传译设备。事先给学员布置好模拟会议题目,如:“环境保护与经济的可持续发展”、“人口控制与经济发展”、”互联网时代的教与学“等、要求学员自己准备5-10分钟的发言两面三刀篇(中、英各一篇),由学员自己组织会议、轮流发言、轮流翻译。这一练习形式不但锻炼了学员的口译技巧,同时也使学员掌握了公众演说技巧——口译中另一很重要的技巧。
6、结束语
  随着中国经济的发展,对外交往越来越多,对同声传译的需求也越来越大。但国内目前除北京英汉语同声传译尚勉强满足市场需求外,其它各地都有缺少职业同声传译。以广东省为例,广东的人口有7000多万,而真正合格的英汉同声传译员仅10人左右。因此,培养同声传译人才的任务艰巨。当然,同传译员目前属“精英人才”,精英人才的培养要求的条件较高,除译员本身的素质外,对硬件也有一定的要求。但只要关心这项事业的人多,中国就一定能培养出世界一流的会议口译人才!

 摘自《中国翻译》(2001年第五期)


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
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How about this version? Apr 29, 2004

Thank you, Terry and HymnLau, for the comments and information! I am certain many people have done extensive and intensive studies in this field. HymnLau proved it. The information that HymnLau found is extremely detailed and helpful. I suggest those who are interested in preparing themselves for such jobs in future should read it and begin to train themselves. The skills for simultaneous interpretation can be trained by yourself and get improved with reasonable practice.

I did not mean to reinvent the wheel here in terms of rules and requirements. What I am trying to suggest is to put together an outline, based on our real work experiences and what we read in the past, for the simultaneous interpreters "want-to-be" to have a QUICK REFERENCE in future. Here comes a revised version of this draft outline. Your inputs will be very much appreciated.

特此声明:以下内容仅供参考,不具任何法律效益。

一、专业同声传译的要求:
1.译员需要具备职业道德。保守秘密、保持中立、准确翻译。不对发言进行任何评论。对超出自己能力范围之内的翻译任务不应该接受。一旦接受了翻译任务,就要按时、按质完成。
2.具备良好的双语理解能力和表达能力。具备扎实的双语基础,准确掌握常用的和专业的词汇、句型、逻辑和特定的表达。灵活运用同传翻译的各种技巧,做到翻译有序,意思表达完整,口齿清晰。语气沉稳,无须采用与发言人相同的语气。
3.知识掌握全面。在接受任务之前,要明确将要涉及的领域。如果没有机会进行事先的准备,译员的原有知识面将直接影响同传翻译的质量和成败。
4.一心多用。译员听、想、记、译几乎要在同一时间内完成。译员通常没有记笔记的时间,主要凭借记忆能力。译员应该在发言人说话的同时或稍后开始翻译,与讲演人说话相差的时间不应该超过15秒。同传译员的讲话速度一般在250字/分钟左右。
5.发言人的因素。作为信息的发出者,其讲话内容、发言速度、言语逻辑、讲话口音等都会影响同声传译员对原语的理解,进而影响整个翻译质量。发言人的说话速度要比平时的说话速度放慢,一般发言人的语速为150字左右,以便给译员时间完成翻译。
6.同传的完整和精确程度:翻译的完整度和精确度应该达到讲演人讲话内容的70%。
7.同传的工作时间。译员必须进行轮替或“接力翻译”(relay interpreting),每人每次的翻译时间不应该超过30分钟。但是,可以根据不同的同传种类进行工作时间长度的调整。比如:(1)常规同传:在翻译中,译员没有稿件,靠耳听、心想、口译来在同一时间内完成同声传译工作。同传时间一般在15分钟左右。(2)视译:译员拿到讲话人的书面讲话稿,一边听讲话人的讲话、一边看稿、一边口译。同传时间可以相对加长。(3)耳语传译:不需要使用同传设备。译员一边听讲话人的发言,一边与会代表耳边进行传译。翻译时间酌情处理。 (4)同声传读:译员拿到书面译文,边听发言人念稿,边宣读译文。同声传读需要注意发言人在宣读论文过程中增加及减少的内容,有时发言人也可能会突然脱稿进行发言。翻译时间酌情处理。
8.年龄限制。虽然对译员没有年龄限制,但是翻译人员应该明白同传任务的要求,所需要的同传种类(见第7条的分类),所涉及的领域,以及翻译人数的安排来确定自己是否胜任。


二、同传的注意事项

应该做到:

1.接受任务时要以接收到雇用单位的书面合同书为准。书面合同包括“任务订单” (Job Order), “购买订单”(Purchase Order)等,其中注明工作时间、地点和任务说明(Job Description),以及付费的标准和清偿期(Term of Payment)。
2.要求客户事先提供相关资料,比如:讲稿,提纲,介绍,以便提前进行准备和预习。
3.提前进行热身练习。比如:收听收音机时进行同传练习。
4.要求提供工作正常的耳机和麦克风。提前30分钟到场,熟悉对设备的操作和测试,确定负责排除故障的技术人员和联系方法。
5.要求提供单独的,隔音效果良好的翻译房间或口译箱(booth)。
6.收费应该根据同传工作的种类、语种和地区而定。在美国的收费一般在每小时$85美元左右。在大陆和台湾也有较为优厚的付费。即使有两个或多个译员轮流交替进行翻译,工作间歇均算作工作时间。

下列是应该避免的情况:

1.没有适当的同传训练和经历,以为作过普通翻译便可以胜任同传翻译;
2.翻译公司因为找不到适合的人选,把同传翻译说得相对简单,试图说服你接受任务;
3.过于紧张而出现“僵住(froze)”或怯场(stage fright)的现象;
4. 没有迅速按照意群和句式结构对较长的句子进行分节式或分解式翻译;
5.因为缺乏“预测(anticipation)”技能而不能做到“适度超前”,因为等待对发言人语句的完整理解而落后于发言人讲话的时间过长;
6.过分使用“合理简约”,即使用简明易懂的话来处理复杂的句式或表达,而造成过分省略;
7.工作时间超长,出现记忆力减退等疲劳现象;
8.口齿不清,语无伦次,让支离破碎的断句和断意影响听众的理解;
9. 制造不必要的噪音,如:咳嗽,呼吸,等等。


[Edited at 2004-04-29 19:25]


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TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

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