What is the difference between “interpretation” and “translation”?

In popular usage, the terms “translator” and “translation” are frequently used for conversion of either oral OR written communications. However, within the language professions, translation is distinguished from interpreting according to whether the message is produced orally (interpreting) or in writing (translation).

What is the difference between an interpreter and a bilingual individual?

A bilingual individual is a person who has some degree of proficiency in two languages. A high level of bilingualism is the most basic of the qualifications of a competent interpreter, but by itself does not ensure the ability to interpret. A bilingual employee may provide direct services in both languages but, without additional training, is not qualified to serve as an interpreter.

How do I pick the right translator or interpreter?

Unlike some countries, Chile has no examinations for certified or sworn translators. To ensure that you are dealing with a competent professional, look for indicators such as years of experience, formal education in translation and membership in a respected professional association such as COTICH.

COTICH recommends the American Translators Association’s booklets: Getting it Right downloadable from http://www.atanet.org/publications/getting_it_right.php. These publications describe the qualities to consider when hiring language professionals and give selection guidelines.

What is a Certified Translation?

Chile does not have a system of certified translations or accredited translators. As such, a “certified translation” is construed to mean one that includes a statement signed by the translator attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the work performed. Sometimes this statement is called a “Certificate of Accuracy.”

Note that only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile can produce “official” translations.

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