Translation, interpreting
Vector created by freepik

Translation and interpretation: what are they?

Translation and interpretation are two very close, and at the same time, different concepts that go back centuries of antiquity. Over the years its teaching and uses have been formalized given its importance in social development. Today you will learn a little more about this trade.

First thing’s first

First of all we have to be clear about the difference between both notions: translation is the translational process in which a message transmitted in one language (source language) is communicated in the most precise, clear and written way in another one (target language).
Interpreting would then become the same concept, carried out orally. These two activities are commonly confused, however it is not wrong to refer to interpretation as a translation since it is derived from it.
Translation and interpretation
Photo by Sarah Shaffer on Unsplash

Translator and interpretor

The training to be a translator is different from that of an interpreter, as each one requires different competences. Translating is usually a more thorough activity in terms of grammar and letters. Knowing the grammatical norms of each of the languages ​​in which one works is an obligation of the translator, as well as the types of text he faces (narrative, informative, expository …), its nature (legal, commercial, scientific) , etc.), the investment in translation memories and the management of them, etc. Its main objective: to be completely invisible.
There is commonly in the guild the saying that “the translator is the ninja of languages”, because the less you notice his job in a translation, the cleaner and more genuine the text will be.
On the other hand, the interpretation represents a totally different environment, since it is about the airing and the permanent and direct contact with the client. Among the particular competences of this trade there’s an excellent encyclopedic ability (preparation before the interpretation), a vast knowledge in general culture of the territories in which the language is spoken and the countries involved in said interpretation, level C1 domain (preferably ) of the languages ​​spoken, good handling of discourse in public, ability to improvise, proxemics, among others.
To be a translator or interpreter, you do not necessarily need to have an undergraduate degree in it. Most of the specialized translators have studied different careers and after that they have focused on translation themselves, being it health sciences, literature, biology or any other area pretty useful to their professional profiles. Translation is the fall of the Tower of Babel, it creates bridges and connects the world, so that any area of ​​knowledge has been and will be submitted to the linguistic translation process.
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash


Currently there are academies, schools and universities around the world that offer postgraduate courses, diploma courses and undergraduates to train you as a translator and interpreter. However, when searching you will notice that the academic offer is sectorized and in places like Latin America is still quite small.
If you are passionate about translation and interpretation, the most likely is that you should travel to one of the following countries to find the right program and institution: Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, United States. In any case, if you’re based in Colombia and do not want to go that far, in Medellín and Manizales you can find some alternatives.

Also take a look at this blog: Tips to Meet People who Speak other Languages

An occupation as avant-garde as ancestral. Translation is as important in the world as any other profession because it has been a fundamental record in the construction of civilized and globalized society in which we live, and it is essential to know that training in this discipline is a necessary and mandatory process for those who aspire to exercise it.
Juanita Gallego

Juanita Gallego

Digital Content Creator

Share this blog!

Life is better when you share content you love.

Learn and practice languages with Bilingua

Learn with our Spanish course and practice any language by downloading Bilingual from App Store or Google Play.

Get connected and inspired with more of our blogs

Cultural exchanges: advantages and disadvantages

Cultural exchanges: advantages and disadvantages

A lot of students decide to complement their studies with an exchange, therefore if you are thinking about doing a cultural exchange, this entrance will be a great help for you. Here you’ll find some advantages and disadvantages to make this type of exchange.

The cultural influence of reggae music in the worldwide

The cultural influence of reggae music in the worldwide

Reggae music was popularized in different parts of the world thanks for its main musical exponent Bob Marley who promoted the Rastafarian love and peace from Jamaica culture through his songs. It has generated the acceptance and recognition of that culture in the worldwide.

How to Study and Work at the Same Time and not to Fail in the Attempt

How to Study and Work at the Same Time and not to Fail in the Attempt

When university studies are carried out, not everyone have the fortune to dedicate themselves totally to them. Since in some way, many people must contribute in their homes to cover certain economic expenses that studying implies; therefore, it is important to study and work at the same time.