Are Translators and Interpreters the Same Thing? Here’s 5 Most Common Misconceptions That People Still Believe

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a translator or interpreter?


You might think that all translators and interpreters do is just sit in front of their computer screens, type away, and then send the finished product over to clients. 


But there’s so much more to this profession than meets the eye.


In fact, there are 5 common misconceptions about translators and interpreters that people still believe today. 


Some people think that the job of a translator or interpreter is easy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 


There are many misconceptions about what they do and how hard it can really get at times!


1.Translators and Interpreters Have the Same Roles – Although translators and interpreters are often used interchangeably, they are actually two different tasks. 

Translators deal specifically with written language, don’t have to manage any interaction between two parties and don’t have the same time constraints as interpreters. 

They have more time to look for specific words and phrases. Whereas, interpreters mediate between two parties, focus on the spoken language and must be able to translate in real time. 

2. Any Bilingual Person Can Interpret – Just because you speak another language doesn’t mean you’re qualified to be an interpreter or translator. A lot of training is involved to become a professional interpreter. 

Interpreters must have a deep understanding of how to translate between different languages and be able to break down the components that make up one particular dialect or language. Even though bilingual speakers may know two sets well enough on their own, it can still become difficult for them when conveying information in another tongue.


3. It’s Expensive to Work with an Interpreter – What you pay for in interpretation largely depends on the type of service you need. In-person interpreting is most expensive, but there are other options that can meet any language need and still stay within budget constraints. 


4. Translators and Interpreters do not need to understand culture language – When it comes to delivering culturally sensitive translation or interpretation, the linguist needs to have a deep understanding of their target culture. This allows them to understand idioms and nuances that are specific only in this particular region but not others so they can correctly convey messages without coming off as offensive.


5. Translators do not have to understand what they’re translating – Translators are often called upon to render documents including legal contracts, patents and financial reports in a variety of different languages. Due to the complex nature of these documents it’s essential for translators not only to know how language works but also have knowledge about their subject matter too so there isn’t any chance that something will be lost during.


It’s important to remember that translators and interpreters are not interchangeable. 


When you’re looking for a translator or interpreter, make sure they have the expertise in your area of need. The best way to do this is by asking specific questions about their experience with your industry before making a hiring decision. 


If you want help finding someone who can work as both an interpreter and translator, reach out to us today! 







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