Luciana Scrofani of One Stop Language Solutions (pictured) explains: “Simply put, a translator works with the written word, whereas interpreters work with the spoken word, usually in person or over the telephone and in real time.
“At One Stop Language Solutions, we offer both translation and interpreting services. Although some people can do both, someone that is good at translating is not necessarily good at interpreting and vice versa, as the skill sets required are very different. “
Translators are often based in one place, whether at their homes or at an external office, while interpreters attend assignments on-site, from hospitals and workplaces to international events and conferences. If it’s an interpreter you need, remember to factor in travel and accommodation expenses for your event.
While translators deal with written material, interpreters tend to work on TV and radio and at conferences, so they also need to be performers and public speakers in their own right. In both instances, of course, the interpreter or translator needs to fully understand the subject matter concerned.
So, do you need a translation service or an interpreter?
The first question to ask is what exactly you are looking for. Do you need a written document or email translated? Or are you holding an event where you need an interpreter to work in real time?
Once you’ve established which service you need, you can then ask for a quote. If you need translation services, you need to specify the length of the document, the subject area, the original language, the language it needs to be translated into and the desired deadline.
For interpreting services, you must clarify whether you need support for an event, telephone conversation or video conference. It helps to know the date and length of your event, the languages involved and the subject matter. It would also help to give an idea of your budget.