Interpreting for the Community
What is the difference between a translator and an interpreter?

Interpreters and translators perform similar tasks, but in different settings. While an interpreter converts any spoken material from one language (the source language) into a different language (the target language), a translator converts written material in the same manner.

Interpreting can occur in a variety of settings, such as conferences, meetings and over the telephone, and can take the form of either simultaneous (performed as the speaker delivers a speech act with the help of interpreting equipment) or consecutive (the interpreter listens to portions of a speech at a time, then interprets the segments as the original speaker is silent).

Translation can also occur in various settings. Translation can occur on any form of written work, including literature, newspapers, contracts, software interfaces, and web sites (which is known as localization).

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© 2004 Olgierda Furmanek, Heidi Achenbach