Translators and Interpreters – The Same, But Different.

Translators and Interpreters – The Same, But Different.

If you need a linguist, you need to know which type.  

To the uninitiated, the terms interpreter/translator and interpreting/translating are often used interchangeably. However, they refer to very different skills and jobs.  

If you didn’t know this, you are forgiven, and you are not alone. Fear not, however, as we can quickly and easily clarify the differences between the two.  

(and for the avoidance of doubt, you don’t want to hire an interpreter to complete a translation, or a translator for interpreting!) 

The Same.  

Both translators and interpreters facilitate communication across languages and between cultures.  

Both have brilliant knowledge of at least two different languages.  

Both have trained for years to become skilled at what they do.  

Both require academic discipline and professional qualifications.  

Both work with the base goal of rendering messages from one language to another.  

Both (usually) run on coffee.  

But Different.  

Translators deal with written languages; interpreters with spoken word. 

Translators usually work in one language direction (their second language into their native); interpreters work in both language directions 

Translators consider their target language before committing to a translation and submitting it to a client, whilst an interpreter has to render a message between languages in real time without the opportunity for review.  

Translators can utilise reference materials and research to benefit their work as they translate, whereas an interpreter cannot make use of such tools on the spot. 

Translators tend to work remotely from their clients; however, interpreters may be required to be present in person during assignments. 

In short: 

A translator works with written text, such as contracts, literary works, witness statements, evidence bundles, financial documents, marketing copy etc. 

An interpreter works with spoken word, such as medical appointments, court hearings, business conferences, solicitor-client meetings etc. 

IMD Translation can help you with both! Get in touch with our team to understand more or get a no-obligation quotation today at / 03309121530