One Word for One World
One Word for One World

Difference between Translating and Interpreting

Fasttranslator Translation Services

Do you have questions regarding translating or interpreting? Our project managers will be happy to talk with you

The two terms “translating” and “interpreting” are frequently used synonymously. Yet the two words refer to two very different professional language services.

The providers of translation services are called translators. They provide translation of texts from one language into another. Such texts can be, for instance, contracts, operating instructions, transcripts, and CVs, among other documents. This type of work is always done in writing.

Interpreters, on the other hand provide interpretation of speech from one language into another, i.e. convey the meaning of a conversation from one language to another orally. Interpreters interpret at meetings, court hearings, medical appointments, negotiations, seminars, conferences, wedding ceremonies, depositions, and notary appointments, to mention just a few settings. Interpreting is required whenever two parties who don’t speak a common language wish to speak with one another.

There are different types of interpreting. The simultaneous interpreting is used for conferences and seminars. The simultaneous interpreter sits in a booth and, through sound equipment, provides interpretation while the speaker of the source language is speaking without interruption. When the speaker stops after each paragraph and lets the interpreter interpret into the target language after the speaker has spoken, then this is called consecutive interpreting. Both types of interpreting require a high degree of concentration.

Often a translator will work as an interpreter and vice-versa, but when making a request for a quote, you should always state whether you need a translation or interpreting so that we can give you a quote for the correct service.

Would you like a no obligation quote for a translation or interpreting project? We’ll be happy to help. We look forward to your phone call or e-mail!

Boris Rösch
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