Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Translator and Interpretor

Translator vs interpreter

Language and Linguistics are very interesting fields of study. Many job opportunities await for those who have a good in different languages. Among these jobs are translating and interpreting’”two seemingly the same but only related jobs under Linguistics.

Though translating and interpreting are related, they are unusually done by the same person. Basically, translation is different from interpretation in terms of the medium. The medium is the material or source which an interpreter deals with is oral language or sign language. An translator, on the other hand, deals with written texts like important documents, books and product information label.
A translator needs to have a great understanding of the source language and a country’s culture when translating documents. This is important because words and other expressions have different meanings and connotations in different countries. Translators must have excellent writing and analytical ability to come up with an accurate material. They must as well know how to edit their own works.Other techniques in translation are also employed. Translators are aided with dictionaries and other reference materials to deliver a written document into the target language with clarity and accuracy. The key here is to effectively write a text to the target language without setting aside the cultural variations.

The case is different for an interpreter. Most of the time, interpreters engages in an on the spot work so they do not have the luxury to consult dictionaries and other reference materials like the translators. Listening is very important for an interpreter. He or she must be trained in simultaneous interpreting where the interpreter needs to process and memorize the words that a person is saying and simultaneously, he or she delivers the output in the target language. To add to this, an interpreter must develop great public speaking skills and the ability to transform colloquialisms, idioms and the likes into equivalent statements that can be understood by the target audience.

An interpreter, and also a translator, must be fluent in at least two languages. Most of the time, a Bachelor’s Degree is needed for either job. Though it has been said that two languages or more are needed to become a translator or interpreter, being raised as a bilingual is not necessary after all.

Upon reaching high school, a student can already prepare for a career as an interpreter or translator. Many courses in English comprehension and writing are given during high school and college, as well as foreign language courses. If a person wants to become good in translating or interpreting, he or she may also want to consider community immersion. This means the person can spend some time abroad to engage in a direct contact with foreign cultures. Besides, this is the most effective way to learn a language.

An aspiring translator can work in-house for a translation company though there are only a few job openings like this. Translators need a thorough understanding of vocabulary, technical concepts and knowledge and understanding of target audience or readers. In the United States, a certification in universal form is not required for translators. However, there are certain tests that can show the proficiency of a translator.

1. Interpreting and translation are both related linguistic disciplines but are rarely done by the same person or people.
2. A translator works with written text while an interpreter deals with sign language or spoken words.
3. Interpreters are trained to deal with oral and sign language on the spot, without the use of aids like dictionaries which are highly essential for translators.
4. Listening skills, public speaking skills and simultaneous interpreting is very important for an interpreter. A translator, on the other hand, must be good in writing, editing and understanding of cultural contexts.

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1 Comment

  1. The end of the 2nd paragraph mistakenly transpose the media of translator with interpreter, and thus is in contradiction to the rest of the article.

    “The medium is the material or source which a translator deals with is oral language or sign language. An interpreter, on the other hand, deals with written texts like important documents, books and product information label.”

    Translators deal with written and printed media; Interpreters deal with oral or sign language.

    Also, both, not one or the other, should possess an understanding of cultural and historical contexts.

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