The differences between Translation and Interpreting explained

10th November 2021

Miranda Sambidge

differences between Translation and Interpreting

Many businesses have to communicate effectively with international audiences, and this often involves the need for translation or interpreting services. However, working out which service you need is sometimes difficult because the differences between them can be confusing. Find out more about them now so that you know which service will help you to achieve your business needs.

Translation or Interpreting?

The key difference between the two services is that translation is about the written word, whilst interpreting is about the spoken word. Translation requires close attention to detail as the translated text has to convey the source material’s precise meaning, so it’s always carefully crafted text. Interpreting, on the other hand, is a very fast and in the moment service, so the interpreter has to think on their feet.

What are translation services used for?

Translation services take any written text and change it into another language (which is also delivered in written form). There’s a huge variety of texts that you can have translated; our customers often request translations for websites, marketing materials, technical manuals and even documents for professional industries like the legal and medical sectors.

When working with Andiamo , you’ll be allocated your own project manager to guide you through the entire process. They’ll assign you a professional translator for your specific sector which is important because it’s the only way to guarantee a truly authentic translation. This means that they’ll pay close attention to the precise meaning of your source material to ensure that it’s truly replicated in the translated text.

Why would I need an interpreter?

Our interpreting services are generally used for events (such as conferences, business meetings, training sessions, workshops, legal meetings, and so on) where there are people attending that speak different languages. Sometimes these events are attended in person, but at other times they’re done over the phone, or through video calls.

Interpreting services are delivered immediately, meaning that the interpreters have no source material or script to work from. A professional interpreter will listen to someone speaking, and immediately translate it (verbally) into the language of your choice. You can have more than one interpreter at a time if you need the content to be interpreted into several languages.

Choosing between translation and interpreting

When deciding which service to choose, it’s important to consider the outcome that you’re looking for. Sometimes, it may feel like you need both services, but this isn’t often necessary. If you’re focussing on a specific document and getting the details of it locked down, then you’ll need high quality translators. However, if your focus is an in-person conference where you’re having meaningful discussions, you’ll need interpreters.

Moving forward with translation or interpreting

The two words often get misused, but in working practice translation and interpreting are very different. Translation is based on written text in a variety of formats, whereas interpreting is all about the spoken word, in real-time. For more information about different types of interpreting click here:

Both services are vital in our global world, and they’ll help you to communicate effectively with your business partners and your customers to achieve your business goals.

If you’d like to find out more about our translation and interpreting services, please contact us now on 08450 345677 or fill in our online form.

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