1.Interpretation is oral:
Interpreters work exclusively with oral content. This is the incredibly daunting task of processing what was said in English and paraphrasing the message into the language of the client. When utilizing an interpreter, it is important to consider the regional language of the client. That’s because a language spoken in more than one country may be similar, but not the same. Take for example, Spanish derived from Spain and Spanish derived from El Salvador. While both speak the “same” language, there are vast differences in slang, accent and speed.
2.Translation is not instant:
Translators cannot do live events. When a translator begins to translate a document, they will have to refer to a series of books, dictionaries and language databases. Translators use their knowledge of language to target the client’s language and its linguistic nuances. Naturally— this means that this process will take more time than say—interpretation, which can happen on the spot.
3.Translators are not always fluent in their second language
I know, I know. It sounded crazy to me, too! Translators don’t need to tap into a large pool of vocabulary for instant translation. While interpreters are conversationally fluent, translators often write much better than native speakers.
4.Translations demand greater accuracy
Think about your oral and written sentence structure. While you might be perfectly capable of writing a coherent sentence, your oral syntax is likely to be grammatically incorrect. However, effective spoken communication doesn’t require the same grammatical accuracy as effective written communication. The same principle applies to interpreters and translators.
Though it may be easy to confuse the two terms, translations and interpretations are two very different tasks. Whatever you do, don’t mistake your translator for your interpreter again! 😊