[Infographic] Interpreters vs Translators –Knowing the Difference


Many of us interchange “interpretation” and “translation” when in fact, they are two different schools of thought. Interpreters interpret language from one language to another and translators translate language from a source to target language. So, what’s the difference between interpreters and translators?

First, both professions and skillsets require years of education, practice and professional training to become a master of their craft. A common misconception is that bilingual friends, co-workers, and employees are qualified to perform these services, when in fact, they are not. The skills needed to perform professional interpretation and document translation services do not just rely on one’s ability to convert language word-for-word, but also to relay context and meaning between the person(s) in conversation.

Recruiting your bilingual receptionist or other such person raises the risk of poor communication, HIPAA violations, and confusion. This practice can severely impact a limited English proficient person’s ability to trust and engage in conversation with others outside of their culture, religion or community. Professional interpreters and translators are up-to-date and versed in cultural differences, regional dialects, phrases, idioms and meaning associated with their language specialty.

The infographic below illustrates the differences between interpreters and translators.

Difference Between Interpreters and Translators | Interpreters Unlimited Blog

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Making Connections Nationwide. Interpreters Unlimited provides professional foreign language and American Sign Language interpretation and document translation services in the United States. IU serves state and county government departments, hospitals and medical facilities, school districts, law firms and other businesses. For more information please call (800) 726-9891 to speak with a representative or fill out the form below.

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