Translating versus Interpreting

Translating is defined as the written transfer of information from a written text in one language to another. Generally speaking, a professional translator will only translate into his/her mother tongue to produce a high quality translation.

Interpreting stands for the oral transfer of information from a spoken message in one language to another. Interpreters can work from and into a variety of languages and it is for this reason that I can interpret French into German and vice versa. These are my active languages, which means that I understand them entirely and speak them without fault. On the contrary, English and Spanish are my passive languages, which is why I don't translate into these languages: while I understand them well, I have not mastered fluency in speaking them, unlike my French which I have come to perfect over six years of living in France.

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