Translation versus Interpretation
If you look at it from a very basic level, translators and interpreters seem to have interchangeable jobs, but it’s not the job title that defines the position—it’s the tasks required to do the job.
Translators must be able to write, express, paraphrase and even joke using a specific linguistic combination of the language they are translating. Most translators will work with their own native tongue to translate documents in one language into another. Overall, the work is rather one-dimensional.
Interpreters, on the other hand, must take spoken words and divide them into two categories—the language of the speaker and that of the listener. They don’t have the luxury of time or the ability to review documents—they’re on the spot. Interpreters often work as bridges between two cultures and they are relied upon to portray tone, emotion and even intention from the words another person is speaking.
Many people confuse the terms interpretation and translation. Though they have similar qualities, these two terms are by no means synonymous. The fact of the matter is that these are two entirely different jobs that have two entirely different skill sets. Therefore, when you’re in the market for interpreting services, it’s imperative that you understand what interpreters do and why translation is an entirely different job altogether.