The Difference Between Translators and Interpreters

If you work in a global market, it is likely that your company must face a few language barriers. You probably have the need for linguistic services such as hiring interpreters or translators. Occasionally, these terms are used interchangeably. However, they are in fact separate disciplines with different skills and abilities.


What is an Interpreter?

Interpreters are speech professionals who convert information from one language to another in real-time or near-real-time. They may perform their duties in various situations like business meetings, conferences, medical consultations or educational events.

Professional interpreters must quickly understand the speaker, catch possible culturally specific references and nuances, and immediately provide an oral rendering in the other language.

They must consider non-verbal communication and the speaker’s tone, gestures, facial expressions, and general body language. These help them better understand the context so they can provide a precise interpretation of the speaker’s intent.

Interpreters possess exceptional language proficiency, quick thinking, and cultural awareness to ensure effective communication between parties. They may use specialized equipment like headphones and microphones in conference settings. They must be able to interpret conversations simultaneously or consecutively, depending on both the source and context.

This high-pressure technique demands exceptional concentration, lightning-fast linguistic processing, and the ability to seamlessly convey the speaker’s tone, nuances, and intended meaning on the spot. Being bilingual doesn’t guarantee accuracy when conveying language. Interpreters go through extensive language studies and years of training and practice to obtain proper certifications.


What is a Translator?

Translators focus on the written word, transforming one language to another while preserving the essence and style of the original source. They carefully analyze the text, check dictionaries and specialized resources to ensure accuracy. They are trained to capture the nuances specific to the content they are working on.

According to the American Translators Association…”Like many professional writers, translators specialize in certain subject areas, such as law, medicine, business, banking, technology, and science. Specialization requires an in-depth knowledge of the subject and its terminology in both the source and target languages.”

Translators work tirelessly to refine their craft, building an extensive vocabulary in both languages they work with. They can be aided by CAT (computer-Aided-Tools) which leverages translated sentences to increase consistency.


As an ISO 17100 and 18587 Certified company, Targem Translations works with the best translators and interpreters in the market. These professionals have been vetted and qualified to provide our clients with the highest quality. We can provide translation and interpreting services in over 300 languages. Contact us today to start your new project.

2024-07-01T23:51:00+00:00 June 14th, 2024|0 Comments

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