Translation and interpretation are two similar linguistic disciplines but they should not be confused with each other.

Whereas the translator works with the written text, the interpreter deals in the spoken word.

Materials that are often translated include certificates, legal documents and web pages.  The translator will possibly use their language skills, as well as dictionaries and reference material, to translate a document accurately from one language into another.  A translator will have excellent written skills in both languages.

An interpreter needs slightly different skills.  They are hired in situations where a conversation between two people who don’t speak the language need to communicate.  They will listen attentively to what one person says says, before giving a version in a different language to the other person instantly after.  Situations in which an interpreter would be useful, if not essential, include court hearings or business meetings where an individual does not speak the majority language.

Both translators and interpreters should preserve the original tone as much as possible and be aware of cultural sensitivities, but their skills are slightly different.

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