Q. what is the difference between an interpreter and a translator?

A. An interpreter speaks; a translator writes. A patient at a doctor’s office, a visiting diplomat, or a witness in court needs an interpreter. If you want a novel, manual, or document transferred from one language to another, you are looking for a translator.

The distinction is professionally important because interpreters and translators receive separate training and develop significantly different career paths. Think of it as a sprinter versus a marathon runner: some skills overlap, but there is a necessary distinction. It would be disastrous to expect one to do the other’s job well.

Q. Why should I hire an interpreter?

A. Thank you for asking! First of all, do hire a professional interpreter if precise and accurate interlingual communication is your goal. Bilingualism is a prerequisite to interpreting, as are hands to playing the piano. Interpreters have received training in terminology, false friends (for example, intoxicado in Spanish does not mean “intoxicated” in English), ethics, and professional practices (i.e. note taking, memory). If you want to seamlessly remove the language barrier, I recommend hiring an interpreter.

Q. how much do you charge for your services?

A. Interpretation is charged by the hour, with applicable mileage and preparation costs falling on the client. After-hour rates also apply. Please feel free to contact me and request a quote using the contact form below!

Q. how far in advance should I request you as an interpreter?

A. Please provide as much notice as possible. My schedule is typically full several weeks in advance. Last-minute appointments are sometimes possible.


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