You might often hear the words translator and interpreter used interchangeably, but they actually mean very different things. They are similar in that both professions convert a source language into a target language. One of the main differences is that Translators work with written material and Interpreters work with spoken language.
Another difference that you will find between the two is the settings they work in. Translators typically work at a computer where they receive, translate, and deliver documents for translation. Some examples of these documents are contracts, training materials, emails, and websites. Interpreters can be found in a number of settings depending on the location of the client needing language services. These settings can include conferences, board meetings, and court rooms, to name a few.
Now that we’ve made that distinction, are there any other examples that you can point out where the two might differ? Have you ever experienced working with either an interpreter or a translator? Please leave your comments below!
See below for a short video to witness “A Day in the Life of an Interpreter.” It features one of our favorite contract interpreters, Iciar Gomez.