Deadlines vs. live performance

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Hi there. This is the second cartoon in the series about the main differences between translators and interpreters at a glance. As mentioned in my previous post, many times most people use the term “translator” to refer to both professions, but these two disciplines require a different set of skills and different types of training, too.

This cartoon shows a difference regarding the time given for the delivery of the work performed. Translators usually work with the deadlines set by the clients. This means that they can administer the time given until the final delivery to translate the text, check the terminology, rephrase or change the translation, proofread it and so on. However, it is worth noting that more often than not the deadlines given are brief (some could even be only hours), which causes translators to work non-stop for long stretches of time (there are many cartoons depicting this).

On the other hand, interpreters have to deliver their rendition in the target language at the same time or immediately after the source is uttered so they have no time to look up words and have to rely on all the knowledge and skills they have acquired before the interpreting event.

It would be fair to say that translators can get back to their translations and make improvements whereas interpreters have just one change to get it right. In both cases, their work is incredibly challenging and worthy of admiration and recognition. Keep up the good work, translators and interpreters!

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