The Beginner’s Guide To Translation Services in Singapore

Translation and transcription services in Singapore have been in our daily lives for quite some time more than we expected them to be. Have you ever watched a foreign film with a subtitle in your own language? Do you know that British author J.K. Rowling’s best-selling book Harry Potter has been translated into 80 languages globally? Have you ever wondered why there is a King James Version, New International Version, and other English versions of the Christian Bible?

There are roughly 6,500 languages in the world. To be able to communicate with most parts of the world, we use the universal language– English. The universal language is the language spoken and understood by the majority of the world’s population.

In today’s modern age, where the world economy has been diversified and not centred in English-speaking countries, the need for a translation agency in Singapore has been more in demand than ever. This article will discuss the different types of translation services.

An Introduction to Translation Services

When you hear the words translation services, perhaps the first thing you think of is interpreters who translate what a person says in real-time. But translation services go beyond that. There are lots of things a translation agency in Singapore must consider before laying out the final transcriptions. But what exactly are translation services?

What are translation services?

Translation services are the conversion of a text or oral statement from a language to another. A translator takes into account the words and context of the text and statement before translating it to a different language.

Why Do We Need Translation Services?

There are various ways to communicate with other people. In fact, there is verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication is the use of sound to express ideas and share information, such as speaking. Non-verbal communication includes written texts, body language, and visual cues.

Language barrier remains an obstacle in both forms of communication. Translation and transcription services in Singapore help overcome this hindrance. Through translation services, people who speak different languages can communicate, share ideas, express opinions, and tell a message to people efficiently.

Translation services play a significant role in many industries. Multinational companies use conference interpretation services in Singapore. As Kpop and Bollywood continue to thrive on the world stage of the entertainment industry, many companies, including streaming site giant Netflix, start supporting numerous languages in their service.

This great demand gives birth to several types of translation services. The next part of the article will discuss the different translation and transcription services in Singapore.


Types of Translation and Transcription Services

Literary Translation

Literary translation is one of the hardest translation and transcription services in Singapore.

Literary translation is the conversion of a literary piece, such as poems, novels and literary books, short stories, prose, scripts, and plays to another language. One of the golden rules in literary translation is there should be no omission nor addition and other drastic changes that may happen during the translation of the literary piece.

Literary translation is difficult because the translator has to deliver the same style, emotion, and personality the original author has into the translated piece. The literary translator must successfully reflect the original author’s writing style to the translated work.

According to the Guinness World Records, the book Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), written by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 1942, was the most translated novel in the world with over 300 languages translated. This record excludes religious texts and scriptures such as The Bible and Quran.

Technical Translation

Technical translation is the conversion of manuals, instructional materials, and documents that contain technical, unique and specialised terminologies.

Medical translation, financial reports, engineering materials, and user guides are among the examples of technical texts that need a technical translation.

A technical translator requires a deep understanding and in-depth knowledge in a particular industry to be able to deliver high-quality and accurate translation and transcription services in Singapore.

There are several subgroups under technical translations. These subgroups are scientific translation, economic translation, legal translation, medical translation.

The scientific translation may cover several areas like chemistry, physics, geology, and astronomy. Meanwhile, economic translation may tackle finance and business. Legal translation includes judicial and juridical translations, while medical may involve biotechnology and pharmacy, medical engineering, and so on.

A translation agency in Singapore may offer expertise to one or more industries for technical translation.

Machine Translation


The latest addition to the translation and transcription services is a machine translation. Have you ever used Google translate to convert a text to your own language? Perhaps, you tried the translation feature on Twitter where the app translates a foreign language Tweet to your native tongue.

Machine translation uses computer software to translate text and speech to your language. With a single click of automated translation, a text written in Chinese characters is quickly translated into the Roman alphabet.

Limited vocabulary and the inability to distinguish the context are only a few machine translation drawbacks.


Unlike the first few types of translation and transcription services in Singapore, interpreting is done in oral form. Meaning the translation, or the interpreter, in this case, must translate the content they received promptly with accuracy. The two types of interpreting services are consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. Conference interpretation agencies in Singapore offer these services.

Consecutive interpreting is when the speakers pause in the mid of their speech to let the interpreter translate what had been said.

Simultaneous interpreting is when the interpreter translates what the speaker is saying simultaneously.

The United Nations uses simultaneous interpreting services at their global conferences. Likewise, leading businesses also hire conference interpretation agencies in Singapore for the same service.


Translation and transcription services in Singapore have truly bridged the gap the language barrier made in communication. Today anyone can enjoy watching foreign films with translated subtitles. Businesses can invest in and transact with foreign companies with the help of interpreters. We can now read academic studies from other countries through technical translations.

Elite Asia

Understand the world better with Elite Asia. Elite Asia is one of the leading translation and transcription services in Singapore. Visit Elite Asia today.