It is important to note that although translation and interpretation are seemingly similar & often misunderstood as one and the same, there are several distinguishable factors which prove otherwise. There is a vast difference between a translator and interpreter.
Here are some interesting things to note about difference in translator & interpreter
- Translation indicates conversion of written text matter from source language to the target language. Alternatively, interpretation refers to oral translation of any subject matter.
- Translators usually work in a single direction, i.e. they have to translate source text into the target language. However, this isn’t as uncomplicated as it seems. To translate is to fully understand the context, cultural nuances, idiomatic intricacies, etc. so as to present the closest possible replication in the target language. Interpreters on the other hand, work in a bilingual manner. They have to translate to & fro, often in two, sometimes multiple languages, depending on the assignment.
- Translators do not have immediate deadlines to meet, so there is a certain amount of liberty, wherein they could refer to glossaries, dictionaries, other materials, in order to translate in the best way possible. Interpreters work in real time; as they listen, comprehend & reproduce the subject matter in little or no time; hence seldom get a chance to refer any external material. To help prevent or reduce errors, the interpreter must do a good amount of pre-assignment preparation
- While translators have to produce a polished, more refined version of the source text, not deviating from the given domain; interpreters, because of the fact that they work in real time, can be more colloquial in their approach, as and when required. Errors too can be rectified much sooner.
- Translators work with diverse range of texts like technical, scientific, literary, marketing, legal, business, financial. Interpreters for machine installation & repair, trainings, interpreters for business meetings & conferences, hospital or court visits, etc. These usually fall under consecutive, simultaneous interpretation. In addition, it could also be a relay or whispered interpretation.