The Difference between Translation and Interpretation

Today’s technologically advanced world has enabled businesses to grow their reach well beyond the borders of their cities and home countries towards international borders. While this has expanded their target client base, it also poses certain communication barriers. It often gets difficult to communicate to a completely different community because of a different language. In order to communicate your message to a global audience, translation and interpretation services play an integral role. However, to ensure that you use the right service, it is important to understand the difference between the two.


Professional interpretation deals with the spoken and signed language. An interpreter establishes the message style, context and content in a specified language while interpreting the message, simultaneously, consecutively, hand signing or orally. Interpreters work in numerous industries, including public services, media, politics, and business.

There are various ways to do interpretation – through video call, via telephone or in person. Moreover, there are several types of interpretation as well, including:

Consecutive Interpreting –the speaker pauses to enable the interpreter to translate the message in the target language.
Simultaneous Interpreting – the interpreter speaks simultaneously as the speaker from a headset, or isolated booth.
Whisper Interpreting –the interpreter literally whispers simultaneously as the speaker talks.
Other types of interpretation include travel interpreting, conference interpreting, on-phone interpreting, and on-demand phone interpreting.

It typically depends on your business needs and requirements to determine the way and type of interpretation you need.


Professional translation deals with the written word. A translator translates a message from one language to the other. This translation, however, is not merely done word-to-word as done by online tools, but is done in a manner which makes the most sense to the reader so that they understand the context better.

Professional translators are required to conduct thorough research and must have strong proofreading, editing, and writing skills. Moreover, having industry specific knowledge is also crucial for translators. There are translators available for specific industries as well. For instance, if you require translation services in financial industry, you would need a translator who has a complete understanding of business practices and financial terminology.

Understanding the difference between translation and interpretation services is essential in determining which service you require to fulfill your business needs. If you are looking for high quality professional language services, feel free to contact Equal Access. Our team will help you in determining the right type of service as per your requirement. Whether you need in-person interpretation, conference interpretation, or translation services, we will find the right fit for you to help you in breaking the language barriers and expanding your business

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