What’s the Difference Between Interpreters and Translators?

By Site Admin | Aug 19, 2019
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An interpreter’s job is translating spoken language orally, while translators translate written text.

The key skill of a good translator is the ability to write well and express oneself clearly in the target language. This involves the ability to understand the source language and the culture of the country where the text originated and using a good library of dictionaries and reference materials to render that material into the target language.

On the other hand, an interpreter’s job is not only about translating spoken words. It is:


1. Conveying the speaker’s nuance and emphasized point


How the listener feels really depends on nuance, tone, or how to talk. So, the interpreter has to care about the speaker’s behavior and way of speaking.


2. Adapting



Interpreters are under pressure while working because they have to translate languages immediately in very important situations. Also, sometimes the speaker says things that might be very hard to translate to the other language. So, they need to have enough soft skills to adapt to a lot of things.

To work as an interpreter, you need to learn vocabulary specific to your interpretation job, have an understanding of your language skill and typical behaviors in your work to improve next time. Read more about 4 qualities a successful interpreter should have here.


We trust this brief post has made it easy for people to distinguish between an interpreter and a translator, and hope this prevents any future confusion about these two very important linguistic fields.


See also