Translation vs Interpretation

Translation vs InterpretationInterpretations and Translations walk hand in hand for their interrelated linguistic disciplines. But these two similar jobs are rarely done by the same person. The differences in skill sets, aptitude, language efficiency and training are so significant that these two similar looking jobs are never assigned to the same person to ensure unhindered efficiency and successful turn up. In fact, the nature of job is different, while an interpreter is interpreting the dialogues; a translator has to note it down too. If you consider it on the surface, the job shows that it is all about the mediums used to perform both these jobs, but when you come at the skill set and efficiency, interpreters have to be far quicker, vigilant, have sharp memory and powerful correspondence skills.


A translator has to write down the conversation, lecture, and debate or anything said or shown in from source language to the target language; however, an interpreter has to speak orally and deliver the conversation in the target language, while preserving the real idea said in the original debate or content. Say, for instance a translator could be asked to translate English Language to Arabic Language and vice versa but his edge would remain between these two languages only.

The Skill Sets of Technical Translators

For both, the differences in skills are arguably bigger than their similarities. The main objective of a translator is to understand and narrate the source language and its respective culture to reach its origin and the unannounced facts over it. Using a good virtual or manual dictionary and references are good to do the needful and to render the right information and the right message into the target language. Thus, linguistic and cultural skill sets are critical while writing in the target language. However, an efficient translator is able to right fluently in the desired language while preserving the real idea-that’s it.

TranslationEven bilingual translators offer their services in any one language to focus largely at one given subject in one language. Bilingual translators are preferred for having an added skill but they are not asked to provide services in both language. When it comes to technical translators, a translator would only be asked to translate into his native language. A translator might be asked to do Arabic language to English language translations in Dubai or vice versa.

The Skill Sets of Professional Interpreters

Interpreting very similar to translating is an art of paraphrasing. Interpreter listens to what is said, renders into the target language and delivers it to the audience as precisely as he could without losing the main idea. Without having mastery at listening, interpreting and narrating skills, you can never be a good interpreter. It is seen, when an interpreter is hired, his efficiency is assessed as equal to his experience. If an efficient interpreter is inexperienced, he would probably have less selection chances.

Team Building DubaiUnlike translators, an interpreter is preferred if he could interpret in two or more languages at a time, without any guide or referencing tools. One of the reasons for this is, interpretation is done orally with extra ordinary listening skills for simultaneous interpretations. Interpreters must have extraordinary listening abilities, especially for simultaneous interpreting. Interpreter must have strong vocational skills, public speaking confidence and gestures to stand strong and intellectual capacity. He must have an edge to integrate cultural references into analogous statements to convey message at large.

Perk and Benefits for both:

Whether an interpreter or a translator, perk and benefits stands equally for both. Apart from usual monthly encashment, a translator or an interpreter when accompanies foreign delegations, for example to UAE or Gulf regions, they avail best breakfast, lunch and dinners in Dubai along with stays in international hotels and resorts. They get TADAs and other fringe benefits for their 24/7 availability. Travelling, foreign exposure, social hangouts etc. help translators and interpreters to learn more about cultural diversity.

Translation vs InterpretationSummary:

Read this article to understand some of the thin linings between an interpreter and a translator.


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