The Difference Between Translation and Interpretation

By Atlas LS

The terms interpretation and translation often get confused despite being different. While the two services are similar, there are distinct differences that you should be aware of before hiring a language specialist for your next project. Below we discuss language translation vs. interpretation, the types of scenarios that each service is used in, and which skills are needed for a profession in either translation or interpretation.

conference interpretation - difference between translation and interpretation

Language Interpretation

Language interpretation is an oral translation in real-time. A highly-skilled interpreter needs to be knowledgeable and fluent in both languages. Interpreters must also be able to adjust for and communicate cultural nuances effectively. In addition to that, there is a need for an extensive vocabulary as it the interpreter to be fluent in multiple languages  At Atlas Language Services, our interpreters can seamlessly transform complex sentences from one language to another. It enables our clients to understand the meaning of the message delivered.

Situations Where Language Interpretation Is Used

Applications of language interpretation include situations where there are several people and a lot of information to be conveyed, like a business conference. It is ideal during conferences when using technology or slides and dealing with sensitive topics and complex concepts. Also, interpreters come in handy in political meetings and events where the originality of the message is essential, such as meetings between leaders, politicians, and diplomats.

In legal cases, language interpretation may be of help. Legal interpreters interpret written and spoken words in court, helping the judge or other present members to understand a point.

In case of emergency news coverage, interpretation has to be fast. In natural disasters, interpreters help journalists and reporters provide accurate information to their audience and vice versa.

Language Translation

Language translation is the creation of an original piece of writing that follows the source language to carry out its literal meaning and grammatical structure. Simply put, translators translate written words and text from one language to another.

Situations Where Language Translation Is Used

You can apply language translation when a written message needs translation from one language to another. There are various ways to do it, including text, websites, and other media. Translators translate written and spoken words. Their work can range from literature and poetry to websites and marketing material.

Translation vs. Interpretation

Translators and interpreters have different goals. Translators’ roles are to interpret the meaning of a text accurately and closely, staying as close to the source language as possible.

On the other hand, interpreters interpret a message orally. Their responsibility is to produce a precise translation as much as it is to ensure the intended audience understands the message.

No matter what language your business needs require, whether from English to Spanish or from French to Chinese, the translators and interpreters at Atlas Language Services have the talent and experience necessary to complete your project.