Interpretation handles spoken language in real-time, while translation services are text-based.
Interpretation takes place on the spot. The process can occur in person, over the phone, or via video. Translation, on the other hand, can happen long after the source text is created. This gives translators ample time to utilize technologies and reference materials to generate accurate, high-quality translations.
Interpretation requires a somewhat lower level of accuracy to translation. Interpreters aim for perfection, but it’s challenging to achieve in a live setting–some of the original speech may be left out of the target language, for example. Again, time is on translators’ side when reviewing and editing written text for accuracy.
Interpreters must be fluent in both the source and target language, as they’re required to translate in both directions instantaneously without the aid of reference materials. Professional translators typically work in one direction: into their own mother tongue.
Making metaphors, analogies, and idioms resonate with the target audience is a challenge that both interpreters and translators face. On top of this, interpreters must capture tone, inflections, voice quality, and other unique elements of the spoken word and then convey these verbal cues to the audience.
Now that you know the difference between translating and interpreting, and if you need help, you can always contact OrdenTop to translate your project!