professional interpretation services
professional interpretation services

Key Differences Between Interpretation and Translation

4 minutes, 8 seconds Read

People often misunderstand interpreting and translating but these are two completely different terms. Each requires a different set of skills, linguistic proficiency, and knowledge that is applied to different situations and offers different solutions. However, there are professionals that can perform both translation and transcreation. 

“Translation refers to the conversion of written materials from one language (source language) to another language (target language).

Whereas, interpretation involves repeating the same process with the spoken language instantly.” 

Let’s dive deep into the depths of the main differences between translation and professional interpretation services. The main difference between the translation and interpretation services is the difference in the medium of delivery. Moreover, there is also a difference between the process. Interpretation requires real-time delivery with utmost precision and contextual relevance. Whereas, translation required a bit more relaxed delivery time. Furthermore, another important aspect is professional interpretation services are dependent on human interpreters for emotional accuracy and tone. While translations involve both human and machine translations. 

What Exactly is Translation?

Translation is the process of converting one or any number of languages into another while communicating the exact contextual meaning. Furthermore, there are many forms of translations that language service providers offer.

  • Technical Translation
  • Legal Translation
  • Certified Medical Translation
  • Document Translation 
  • Desktop Publishing Translation

Additionally, besides linguistic proficiency and cultural familiarity, writing skill is a prerequisite for any good translator. Normally, professional translators are well-versed in a particular field. Furthermore, a skilled translator must pay attention not only to the meaning of the text but also adhere to the important contextual nuances plus the tone and style of the source document. Moreover, structural and grammatical accuracy is a must. 

Nowadays proficiency in how to use computer-aided tools (CAT) is also a prerequisite for professional translators. This includes converting the source content file, integrating translation memory (TM), and machine translations, including adhering to the old glossaries and specific style guides are the responsibilities of professional translators.

What Exactly is Interpretation?

Interpretation is translation but in oral form. It is basically translations but in the medium of voice instead of written content. It is also very important to consider that not all languages have a translation-to-interpretation correlation. To navigate through this crucial task, it is advised to acquire professional interpretation services.

“Interpreters must be fluent in both the source and target languages. Because they have to turn the words into meaning and then change the meaning into another language simultaneously.”

Here things take a technical turn. But the thing is, interpretations are not word-for-word translations. Because of the different grammar and sentence structure, the translation of one sentence could look quite different in another language. 

“Interpretations are all about paraphrasing the words into the ideas, preserving the original intent, meaning, and tone and the delivery of words.”

Additionally, in specific professional environments like diplomatic meetings, high-level business, and legal occasions, interpreters are required. These high-level formal meetings often involve government or business officials. While acquiring interpretation services, look for professional interpretation services because this is not a cup of tea for any novice. That is why the skills of public speaking and highly professional conduct become highly relevant. Moreover, interpreters cannot rely upon any external help. His tools involve professional experience, sharp memory, understanding, and decision-making skills.

All Languages Are Not Compatible for Interpretations 

As we have discussed earlier, not all language pairs are interpretation-compatible because of several reasons. For example, key languages have dozens of different dialects. The Chinese language has over 200 dialects.

Technical Breakdown of Translations and Interpretations

Medium of Delivery 

When we talk about the main differences between translation and interpretation, the first and most important element is the medium of delivery. Professional Interpretation service providers can work on the spot and over the call. Whereas, translation has no instant timebound limitations.


This is where interpretation gets a bit more tricky. No doubt all the interpreters try to deliver accurate results but the element of live setting is still a challenge. There is always a chance that some part, e.g. idiomatic expression, etc. can be left out in the interpreted language. When accuracy is the primary concern, always go for the translation services. Document translations are the best form of translation aimed at 100% accuracy.


Because most of the interpretations take place instantaneously, the service provider has to deliver without any aided tools and reference materials. That is why it is a prerequisite for interpreters to be fluent in both the target and the source languages.


Translation is a key term. Interpretation is a technical type of translation that is performed instantaneously. Because of its live setting, there are many challenges and limited control over the quality of the interpretations.

Furthermore, interpreters are highly qualified subject matter experts in both the target language and the source language. Interpreters are supposed to change the words into the meaning and simultaneously change the meaning into another language while maintaining the crux of the matter.


harry james

i m Seo Expertr

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *