│ FAQ │

│ What is TRANSLATION? │

Translation is the understanding of the meaning of a text written in a language (the “source language”) and the rendition of that text in another language (the “target language”) so that the speaker of the latter language may understand the text.

Translating also involves understanding the author’s intentions and rendering them faithfully so the target text has the same effect on the readers as the source text.

The translation industry is not a regulated trade. Anybody can claim themselves to be a translator if they want to and if their professional status allows them to issue invoices and cash in payments. However, translating texts written in a foreign language is demanding, very time-consuming, and not as easy as it looks like. Every new project is like a challenge for which you need to do research on the subject, analyze the content and get the general idea and tone of it, and look for the right word, all the while coping with the time constraints. But if you have something of a self-taught person, if you’re open to the outside world and curious about technical, scientific and cultural topics, then it is a pleasant job.


Interpreting is the same thing as translating, but it is done orally: you interpret the meaning of a speech given in a given language and then render it into a target language.

The other difference is that the interpreter does not have as much time to find the “right” word! Therefore, the interpreter must prepare for the assignment beforehand, if possible, in order to ensure efficiency when actually interpreting.

There are different kinds of interpreting: consecutive (the interpreter listens to the speech during a few minutes while taking notes and then gives the same condensed version of it in the target language), simultaneous (the interpreter works from a booth with a headphone and microphone, and interprets the speech as the speaker talks with no interruption for 20 or 30 minutes), and liaison interpreting, which is what I do: the interpreter accompanies the client on a meeting, an interview or a visit at a factory (depending on the setting, this involves either short consecutive sections or whispering).


In computing, the word localization is used to refer to the translation of software. This usually involves translating the user interface from a source language into a target language, and adapting it to the target country’s culture, legislation and standards.

Software translation is specific as languages differ from each other (dates, decimals, word and sentence length) and software constraints affect the way the language is used (number of characters in the strings, presence of informative and thus non-translatable strings, etc.)
The translator must be given the possibility to interact with the developer in order to understand the program thoroughly so the end user has no difficulty using it.

Please read the article on Localization in Wikipedia for more information:


Regional adaptation is adapting a text written in an international language to the culture of a specific country where this language is spoken.


Internationalization is mainly about websites that are written in an international language and need to remain as culturally neutral as possible so it applies to all speakers of that language, no matter what country they live in. Internationalization involves removing all visual and text elements that refer to a specific country and thus may attract the speakers from that country more than others, which can be upsetting in some cases.

For instance, the language versions on this website could be referred to with flags: the Stars and Stripes or the Union Jack for English, and the flag of the Russian Federation for Russian. However, using the Stars and Stripes would exclude the speakers from the United-Kingdom and other English-speaking countries (such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, etc.) Similarly, using the flag of the Russian Federation may exclude the speakers from countries which are not members of the Russian Federation, but where Russian is spoken (Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc.) This is why ISO language acronyms have been used here (e.g. “EN” for English), as they refer not to a particular geopolitical area, but to a language.

Internationalization is not as easy when it comes to spelling, unfortunately, because some words have a different spelling from one country to another (‘colour’ in the UK becomes ‘color’ in the US). The same issue applies with the meaning of certain words, which may actually sound totally acceptable in one country yet rude in another country… But you have to choose one or the other at some point. The only solution is to avoid any expressions or cultural references that are too specific to one country and may not be understood by the speakers from other countries.