Interpreter vs. Translator

Difference Between Interpreter and Translator

Interpreter and Translator are words which are often used interchangeable since the public has an idea that these two words mean the same thing. But contrary to popular belief, the two words may have language translation as a common factor but their similarities almost stop there. One of the major difference between Interpreter and Translator is that an Interpreter translatess spoken language whereas a Translator translates written language.

Aside from their aforementioned differences, Interpreters and Translators also differ on the following counts:

  1. Interpreters will require impeccable linguistic skills to effectively translate, he or she should be in possession of sound knowledge in grammar to correctly express the translated work. Translators, on the other hand, are equipped only with the knowledge they have at their disposal with regards to what they need to translate. His interpretation is based on his on hand knowledge and expertise of the subject.
  2. Interpreters have the luxury of time in translating written work and can take the time to refer to books, grammar texts, and research work. Translators, meanwhile, have no such luxury; they have to translate the words as they come out of a person’s mouth. They have to think on their feet without depending on references books, research works or grammar texts, thus making this job more challenging than that of an translator.
  3. A translator’s job does not require special skills because most of their work involves the use of their native language. An interpreter, on the other hand, has to translate orally and on the spot frequently.
  4. A translator’s job is more expressive in its purpose; an interpreter’s job is more on conveying the purpose. VN:F [1.9.6_1107]