The Difference between Translating and Interpreting

Fasttranslator Translation Services

Do you have questions regarding translating or interpreting? Our project managers will be happy to talk with you.

The two terms “translating” and “interpreting” are frequently used synonymously. Yet, the two words refer to two very different professional language services.

The providers of translation services are called translators. They provide translations of documents from one language into another. Such texts can be contracts, operating instructions, transcripts, and CVs, among other documents. This type of work is always done in writing.

Interpreting Services

Interpreters, on the other hand, convey the meaning of a conversation from one language to another orally, not in writing. Interpreters interpret at meetings, court hearings, medical appointments, negotiations, seminars, conferences, wedding ceremonies, depositions, and notary appointments, to mention just a few settings. Interpreting is required whenever two parties who don’t speak a common language wish to speak with one another.

There are different types of interpreting. Simultaneous interpreting is used for conferences and seminars. The simultaneous interpreter sits in a booth and, through sound equipment, provides interpretation without interruption while the speaker of the source language is speaking.

Sometimes, the speaker stops every couple of sentences and allows the interpreter to interpret into the target language during the silence. This is called consecutive interpreting. Both types of interpreting require a high degree of concentration.

Fasttranslator provides both translators and interpreters

Often, a translator will work as an interpreter and vice versa, but when making a request for a quote, you should always state whether you need a translator or interpreter so that we can give you a quote for the correct service.

Would you like a no-obligation quote for a translation or interpreting project? We’ll be happy to help. Just give us a call, send us an email, or use the Quote Request Form.


Mariana Mellor
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