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What's in a name?

by Steven Marzuola

Translator vs. Interpreter?

The general public and news media often use the terms “translator” and “interpreter” interchangeably. But in the profession, in academia, and in some cases the law, there is a distinction.

Many people can do both. But the skills are different.

Certification, qualification, licensing: what's the difference?

In the United States, it's complicated.


Many countries have laws or regulations that covers licensing or certification of translators. There is no such authority in the United States.


To my knowledge, the only fields that are regulated by government are court interpreters.

Healthcare or medical interpreters

Other fields:

Interpreters and translators also provide services to:

Generally there are no regulatory or educational requirements to perform those assignments. Translators and interpreters working in these fields often become informally qualified by way of their specialized education and work experience.

October 18, 2019
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