Difference Between Translation and Interpretation. People often confuse the terms translation and interpreting, and even though the two share the same goal of overcoming language barriers and both interpreters and translators have high language skills, there are big differences between the two. Some of these differences are:

  • The clearest difference between the two is that translation is transferred in written form and interpretation in oral form. Translation consists of reproducing the message from a written text to one in a different language. And interpreting involves orally conveying the message from one language to another.
  • Another difference is the immediacy with which it is done. To carry out a translation, there is a period of time, however, the interpretation is carried out in real time. Interpreters must master the tasks of listening, translating and speaking, all at the same time. Translators, on the other hand, have a period to be able to investigate or verify concepts, clarify doubts and translate texts.
  • Both translators and interpreters may encounter cultural references, metaphors, etc. that they must transfer in the best way to the target language. The interpreter must also adequately transmit both the verbal and nonverbal language of the speaker, taking into account his gestures, tone of voice, his movements, etc.
  • Despite the fact that both services require a lot of study and mastery of languages, when performing an interpretation, there is a certain freedom to express what the speaker says. That is to say, although perfection is always sought as it is in real time, many times the interpretation does not have the same precision as the translation. This relates to the immediacy difference as translators have more time to make sure the translation is as accurate as possible.

Which service should I hire?

In the case of a document, contract, certificate, manual, web page or any type of text, a translation service must be requested. When it comes to meetings with foreign clients or suppliers, conferences, networking fairs, etc. You must hire an interpretation service.