Blog - Translators vs. Interpreters

What's the difference between translators and interpreters?


Even though many people use both words interchangeably, translation and interpreting are two very different tasks.

The main difference is that translation is written, while interpreting is spoken.

Interpreters convert spoken materials from one language to another, and they do it orally. They generally offer their services at live events such as hospitals, courts or business meetings.

Translators convert written materials from one language to another, for instance agreements, marketing materials or website content. Translators work with the written word.

Interpreters must possess strong public speaking and rote memory skills.

In turn, translators should master written language.

These are two different tasks that require different skills.

Even though there is a clear distinction between these professions, we can use a single word to include both translators and interpreters: linguists.


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