Interpreter vs. Translator

Difference Between Interpreter and Translator

The words interpreter and translator might sound similar but there is certainly a marked difference between the two.


Translator translates written words. A translator should have great linguistic skills. He is expected to have a proper knowledge of grammar and he should be in a position to express the thoughts presented in concerned language. A translator has all a lot of time to translate written words and he can refer to books, grammar texts and research works. A translator would work into his native language most of the time so his job does not require special skills. However the job of translation is more about expression as the translator need to expresses the thoughts of the writer into another language.


Interpreter needs to translate the words that are spoken. An interpreter has to translate the words that are spoken ion a different language to a language he is specialized in. Unlike the translator an interpreter has very little time and he has to depend on his knowledge to do his work. He has no scope to refer to any material in case of any confusion. The job of an interpreter is challenging as he has interpret orally and on the spot in most of the cases. The job of interpretation is more conveying in purpose as an interpreter tries to convey the message of the speaker into another language.


  • Jill

    good explanation! you might want to add to the references this webpage as I found it quite useful

    many thanks.