Usually, when people are not very familiar with the topic, they use terms “translator” and “interpreter” as if they were synonyms, but the truth is that they are not the same. Although it is true that both jobs are linked to languages and to the capacity of building communication bridges between two languages, there are some substantial differences between both tasks that will be explained in today’s article.
2 differences between translators and interpreters
As we just said, when people are not very familiar with the topic, they use terms “translator” and “interpreter” as if they were synonyms, when both jobs are completely different even if linked by the role languages play in their development and by the capacity of becoming a communication bridge between languages. In order to better understand the world of languages and what the role of each domain is, we first should have a look at the differences between jobs.
Written language versus oral language
The first and main difference between a translator and an interpreter in the type of linguistic expression they use and work with. On the one hand, interpreters work orally, while translators are a written bridge between two languages. As you probably imagined, every task requires its own skills in order to provide a proper result.
Different skills required
Taking into account the fact that translators juggle with written language and interpreters do it verbally, skills and capacities required and recommended to work in these fields are not the same. In the first case, good writing skills, spelling and grammar are a must. As for interpreters, they need to understand language fast and transfer what it is heard to another language automatically.