Translator & Interpreter: What Is the Difference?

Many people do not see the difference between translation and interpretation. Both of these types of translation are considered as communication in different languages, or a change from one language to another, but essentially the main difference is the way of communication - writing or speaking.

It is widely believed that an interpreter can act as a translator, and vice versa. These two professions, however, are not interchangeable. You can pay a specialist like https://srs-uebersetzung.de/ to translate or to interpret from German. What is a difference between this two options?

4 Key Distinctive Features of Translation and Interpretation

Here we are going to discuss the main differences between a translator and an interpreter.

1. Time to complete

When documents are translated in writing, the translator has time to read, re-read and, if necessary, change the style of the translated document. Then they can double-check the finished document by comparing it with the original version. A written translator can use various resources to assist him, such as dictionaries, spell checkers and thesauri.

Interpretation is usually instant. An interpreter must translate very quickly, without the use of additional resources. In addition, it often happens that the speech they hear is very fast, and the translator does not have enough time to pause and plan the translation.

Interesting fact: The most translatable document in the world is the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has been translated into 300 different languages!

2. Accuracy

It is associated with time and available tools; written translations are considered to have a higher level of accuracy than interpreters.

3. Fluency

While translators and interpreters are bilingual (or, in some cases, multilingual) specialists, they use the language quite differently. As a rule, translators translate from a foreign language into their native language, one that is natural for them and in which it is easy for them to create an adequate and accurate written text. An interpreter must switch between two languages spontaneously and often acts as an intermediary between people. Translators should be fluent in each of the working languages.

4. Number of people

While both translators and interpreters tend to do their work alone, it is also possible for translators to work on the same document as a team. In addition, as a rule, the text translated by the translation team is still checked by the editor before handing over the work to the client. At the same time, the translator must rely only on himself, although usually, with long translations, interpreters work for a short period of time in turns, and the duration of these intervals is determined by the intensity and theme of the text (speech, lecture).

Interpreters deal exclusively with living languages — languages spoken by a group of people in the modern world. There are also translators who communicate in sign languages, and they can use a combination of speech and gestures in their work. Translators, in turn, can work with living, dead, and endangered languages.




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