Jublo is a certified UK translation and digital agency based in Leeds.

Translator vs Interpreter: What's the Difference?

3mins read

In today's increasingly connected world, businesses are able to operate across borders with greater ease. However, with this new opportunity comes challenges, one of the most prominent being the need to communicate with international audiences. 

Creating good content that resonates with your audiences requires the skills of translators, interpreters and more. But, what exactly is the difference between an interpreter and a translator? As a certified translation and digital agency, we have the expertise to explain this to you. 

What are translation and interpretation services?

Both translation and interpreting fall into the speciality of linguistics and are closely related. However, one key difference distinguishes these two services: interpreters translate orally, whereas translators interpret the written word. While this is the most prominent difference, there are some other factors that differentiate interpreters from translators. 

What are translation services?

Translators work exclusively with written material and typically make use of computer-aided tools to complete their work. Now, if you think this means a translator's job is as easy as using Google Translate, think again. 

Professional and experienced translators will first take the material they need to translate and convert it into a file type that’s easy to work with. They will then take the new file and apply a translation memory (TM) to the text. This application automatically interprets the content based on texts it (the TM) has translated in the past. 

After this, the translator will then work through the content themselves, filling in any gaps. The translator will also consult glossaries, dictionaries and other guides in order to ensure the best quality of translation. Once this is complete, the translator will send the interpreted text to another linguist who will translate the content back into the original language. This guarantees the best and closest translation. 

What are translators used for? 

Due to the medium with which these individuals work, translators tend to work on translating content such as that found on websites, print content, video subtitles, software and multimedia. Additionally, they work in a wide range of industries such as business, travel and law

What are interpreting services?

As mentioned above, interpreters translate spoken language orally. This means that the translation occurs either simultaneously as the language is spoken or directly after. Due to the nature of the translation, interpreters are unable to consult additional materials such as dictionaries, scripts or other references. 

In addition to this, interpreters must also take the context of the situation into account as they translate the spoken language. This helps to ensure that the original, culturally-specific meaning of the words is relayed as well. 

What are interpreters used for?

Interpreters typically work on live translations, such as at conferences, meetings, medical appointments, legal proceedings, live TV coverage, or sign language. 

Here at Jublo, we work exclusively with native-speaking translators in order to get the best results. If you’d like to learn more about the language translations and the services we offer, click here. 

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