Many of our clients who encounter foreign languages in their daily work often require both translation and interpretation for their live events, meetings and conferences, or for documentation to be distributed as internal or external communication.

But what does it actually mean to translate and to interpret and how are they different?

Here are a few tips on how to distinguish a Translator from an Interpreter, and which of the two specialists to choose for your task.

Translator Interpreter
How Written Spoken
Types Subject-specialised; general; sworn Simultaneous; consecutive; whispering
Where Working remotely, but can also attend for on-site translation checks/proofing, e.g. on the staging server with your developers Usually present at the meeting, event or conference, but can also connect to a conference call or online
Tools CAT tools: Glossaries and Translation Memories – technological enhancements to the translator’s workshop to support and maintain translation quality and consistency Interpretation equipment: booths, microphones, headsets are recommended for events and conferences to increase productivity
Language pair Translate only into their native language Translate both ways
Qualifications Several years of experience and thousands of words translated in specific subjects, plus relevant degrees Several years of experience and hundreds of hours of interpreting assignments, plus relevant degrees
Certification Sworn translators can certify their translations as official documentation
Introvert and reclusive* Extrovert and outgoing*

                        *not necessarily a confirmed fact


A Translator and an Interpreter, both professional linguists prepared to bridge the gap between languages, require different skill sets in their work despite sharing the principle. A specialised language service provider will be able to advise and ensure your events and documents are handled by the right person for the job.



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