Certified Spanish Translator and Interpreter  

The Interpretator

Interpretator for dummies

Posted by rpospina on April 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM

For this entry, I wanted to start off by offering clarification on what is the difference between a translator and interpreter.

In simple terms, a translator converts text from one language into another. Most translators specialize in certain fields. Also, it is an industry's standard for a translator to convert texts out of a foreign language into their native or mother language as this tends to ensure better results than if it was done the other way around.

There are no classifications for translators per se, only specializations, however some can point out that based on the way their services are provided, they can either be:


  • Freelance translators: Independent contractors who run their own business and work on a “project-by-project” basis.
  • In-house translators: Translators hired as employees of translation agencies.


Interpreters converts spoken words between two languages and most of the time, interpreters have to work converting messages out of AND into both languages involved.


The work of an interpreter can be categorized several different ways:

Based on location:


  • On-site: The interpreter is physically present at the location where the interpretation is taking place
  • Over-the-phone (OPI): The interpreter is contacted by phone. The interpreter can assist people that are at the same location through a dual phone or a speaker phone, or the interpreter can connect other parties on a conference call as well.
  • Video-remote-interpreter (VRI): A growing trend thanks to the smart phones and smart tablets, interpreters can be contacted at a remote location and can see and hear what is happening where the interpretation is needed and of course, the parties involved can see and hear the interpreter as well.


Based on the type of interpretation provided:


  • Consecutive: A speaker states a message (usually 3 – 5 sentences long is the standard) and then after the speaker has finished, the interpreter renders the message into another language. 
  • Simultaneous: Most common method used in conferences or official meetings, the interpreter has to listen, process and interpret the messages while the original speaker is talking, all at the same time (with a delay of just 1 - 2 sentences). Usually a special type of interpretation equipment is needed (microphones, wireless head-phones, etc.)
  • Chuchotage: A French word that means whisper, it's a type of simultaneous interpretation in which the interpreter whispers the renditions into the listener's ears.


Professionals that work both as interpreters AND translators are: INTERPRE-TATORS! Get it? 

Categories: Interpreting, Translation, FAQ

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