Is There a Difference Between Korean Interpretation and Translation Services?

When looking for someone to translate information from one language to another, you will come across both interpretation and translation services. Although these words are often used interchangeably, especially by those not in the industry, they do denote slightly different services. Knowing the specific type of service you need, such as Korean translation services over interpretation, can help you ensure that you use the right individual for your situation.

What is Interpretation?

Interpretation is typically the term used for translations that need to happen in person, either face to face or over the phone. You can have interpreters for simultaneous interpretation of speeches during conferences or meetings, or you can use one to translate after something is said, with the original speaker giving time for the translation. The focus is on interpreting the language as it is spoken, with a verbal translation of the information to the other person. It is often also a bi-directional service, meaning that the interpreter translates for both sides of a conversation, for example from Korean to English and back again.

What is Translation?

When you hire someone for Korean translation services you typically are looking for someone who will be working on translating written language, rather than verbal. This type of service typically has a longer turn around time frame, and the translator may work offsite. Depending on the situation, you may just send the document to the person, and he or she will translate the language, writing out a similar looking document in the new language. The new document will be what is used in communication with the person speaking the other language, which in this case would be Korean.

What is the Difference?

The main difference between interpretation and Korean translation services is in the format and setting of the language needing to be translated. At the very basis, translators work with the written word while interpreters focus on the spoken word. Translations typically do not need to be done right away, and focuses on creating new documentation. Additionally, many translators only offer their services in one direction, such as Korean to English, rather than both Korean to English and English to Korean. Alternatively, interpreters often have to interpret back and forth, especially if they are in a meeting or conversational setting that will need to interpret both sides of the conversation. They also focus on spoken communication, rather than written.

How to Know What Type of Service You Need

When you search for Korean translation services, you should first consider whether you truly need translation services or if you might need a translator. Some people are able to provide both types of services, while others may specialize in one. Therefore, you should consider your needs. If you are looking for someone to interpret a document or write a written translation of one, then you do want a translator. However, if you want someone to be able to moderate a meeting, conversation, or conference talk, then you should hire an interpreter instead.

The two terms interpreter and translator are often used interchangeable by those not in the industry. This can lead to problems when you search for someone to work on a project with your company. By understanding the small but important difference between the two, you can ensure you hire the right person for your situation.