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Translation vs Interpretation: What’s the difference?

When the time comes to opt between translation and interpretation, we tend to get confused at times. At the same time, both of them may seem similar but are different. So when you need to choose between the two, focus on the main reason, i.e. language services. This can be true in situations wherein both of the services may seem appropriate, for example, a meeting that consists of a discussion and a written report.

As there are many common use cases for both translation and interpretation services, it is not always necessary to use both. With a focus on your goal, you can make a correct decision and prevent any situation of miscommunication. In this article, we will focus on the difference between translation and interpretation.

What is translation?

Interpretation refers to the act of conversion of spoken words from one language to another. This process is usually performed by a professional interpreter. Furthermore, interpretation can take place in real-time in person, through a video call, or by telephone via OPI (over-the-phone interpretation).

One requires interpretation services when they work with clients, partners, or any customers whose native language is different. Professional interpretation services may comprise over-the-phone interpretation, on-site interpretation, and real-time digital chat capabilities. 

Types of Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation: This type of interpretation requires the interpreter to have intense concentration as the interpreted text has to be delivered almost immediately after the speaker utters the words in their source language. 

Consecutive interpretation: Here, the interpreter is required to speak after the speaker completes a sentence. As it has a more noticeable time delay, it works well under situations where time is not limited. 

What is translation?

In comparison to interpretation, translation refers to the procedure of conversion of a written text from one language to another. With translation services such as medical translation services, you can easily and effectively communicate the meaning and message of the original text. This may include anything from signs to brochures and from websites to books.

Translators hold expertise in certain subjects or industries. With this specialization, they have enough knowledge to interpret the meaning of a  certain text and translate it in the most accurate manner into the target language.

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