post thumbnail

People who do not deal with translation and interpreting services very often are confused about the translator’s and interpreter’s different roles. The two professions are often erroneously considered as the same, but this is not true: the roles of a translator and interpreter do not always coincide.

Interpreting services differ from translations, as they take place in real time and in the presence (whether physical, televised or telephonic) of the speakers and recipients for whom the interpreter provides the service.

Since the skills involved in the two processes are different, translation and interpreting services should always be considered as two different things. The main requirement of a translator is the mastery of his/her mother tongue (TL – Target Language) and its usages in any kind of register and context. Obviously, an excellent knowledge of the foreign language from which he/she translates (SL – Source Language) is also important, even if it is secondary compared to the importance of using resources for translation (dictionaries, glossary, CAT tools, Internet, etc.).

On the other hand, the immediacy of language interpretation requires a more in-depth knowledge of the SL, from both colloquial and technical points of view. Concentration, quick reflexes and a good level of calm and self-control are essential requirements for all professional interpreters.

Because of the difference in skills involved, not all good translators are good interpreters, and vice versa. For example, some translators who are excellent in translating written texts might have many difficulties in taking over even the easiest interpreting job if they are not familiar with the spoken SL.

They both operate in the same field (the language and translation industry), but translators and interpreters represent two separate professional roles. Considering them as one would be like saying that violin and double bass are the same musical instrument. They both have strings and belong to the same family, but you would never ask a violin player to play double bass during a concert. Even if there is a virtuoso who is able to play both, that does not mean that every player can do the same.

Accordingly, being a translator does not necessarily mean being an interpreter as well. For more information about the difference, have a look at our interpreting services page.

disney-institute-lingua-translations 178 × 75
amazon-lingua-translations 120 × 28
procter-gamble - Lingua Translations 114 × 92
london-partners-lingua-translations 154 × 101
Swansea City | Lingua Translations 154 x 146
Man City | Lingua Translations 154 × 154
FC_Barcelona_(crest) 154 × 156
Star_Wars_Logo.svg_-1 1280 × 773
FiFA | lingua Translations 154 × 86
The-Score 232x120
M & S 271 × 186
Walmart-Lingua Translations 232 × 65
Welsh Government & Lingua Translations 400 × 400
Costco & Lingua Translations 232 × 155


TUI-Group Testimonial 205 × 46 EN

Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

Do you know how many different languages Ed Sheeran has sung in?

It’s no secret that Ed Sheeran wrote his latest album while traveling the world and soaking up different cultures and styles of music. But he went further than that. He also isn’t afraid to delve into the world of languages either. What’s most impressive is his commitment to getting the foreign lyrics and their pronunciation …

Read More

International French Fries Day

Today is one of the best day of the year: the international French Fries Day. But let’s find out something about most people’s favourite guilty pleasure. Apparently, French fries are not French at all. Their origin can be tracked back to Belgium, where potatoes were allegedly being fried in the late-1600s. The legend says that …

Read More
Get a quote today