What is Translation vs. Interpretation

Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. This service is intended for written documents and text based materials.

translator is a person who translates the meaning of a text from one language into another language while respecting cultural tones and idiomatic expressions.

Even though interpretation and translation are two very closely related linguistic disciplines, the two are not the same.

Translation basically refers to the rendering of a written text accurately from a source language into a target language, what might be called written interpretation.

Whereas interpretation refers to the rendering of oral messages from one language to another in both directions, and many times on the spot.

Globalization has changed the world in ways we could only have imagined a few years ago and as long as different cultures and languages continue to come into contact with one another, there will be the need for these services.


Interpretation is the facilitating of oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between users of different languages.

An interpreter is a person who converts a thought or expression in a source language into an expression with a comparable meaning in a target language in “real time”. The interpreter’s function is to convey every semantic element (tone and register) and every intention and feeling of the message that the source-language speaker is directing to target-language recipients.

In Canada, translation and interpretation services are crucial for a number of reasons:

First, the Official Languages Act of Canada mandates that there should be equal respect for both English and French and therefore federal agencies should work towards this ideal.

Second, all who live within Canada’s borders have certain inalienable rights guaranteed by the government but such rights would be meaningless unless everyone understands them.

For instance, in the healthcare sector, without proper translation and interpretation services, many people, especially immigrants who do not speak English or French, may not have access to quality health care.

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