Anything in mind about interpretation? If you are learning at the college majoring foreign language or you are just working with the language, you must have been familiar to get deal with interpretation. Basically, there are many things to relate when it comes to understand what and how interpretation is. Culture, law, math and computing media, philosophy and religion are all the things that interpretation refers to.

In this article, we are going to discuss everything related to interpretation. However, the first thing to basically understand about it is to find out the definition what actually interpretation is. So let’s look up at the following review sections about interpretation.

The Definition of Interpretation

Based on the language point of view, interpretation is defined as the way something is explained and understood. It is also the act of explaining through a particular method, work or style. Interpretation definition relates much to what something is categorized. If you are dealing with literary appreciation, interpreting means expressing your point of view toward one of the literary works. If you are dealing with the language translation, interpreting means translating one language to another desired language particularly for spoken term of communication.

Interpret synonym

It is considered necessary to know some synonym of interpretation in order to understand more about interpretation. In this regards, there are some synonyms of interpretation that are clarification, construction, elucidation, explanation, illustration, road map, exegesis, illumination and explication. The use of these synonyms depends on the contexts you are in.

Translation and Interpretation

In relation to the language, the term of translation and interpretation is often interchangeable. If you are speaking or writing in a language and turning it into another language as a service, it is frequently questionable whether you are translating or interpreting.

Specifically, the key differences between translation and interpretation lay on the service’s medium and skill set. Interpreting means translating spoken language orally while translation means translating the language in a written form. Both of them require a high ability of understanding linguistic, subject matter and spoken/written communication.

Thus, to provide you with the clear understanding about both translation and interpretation, let’s learn the key differences below.


In term of format, translation services are in the written form or the text-based while interpretation handles the spoken language in place in a real time. This means, when you are speaking, you are interpreting. If you are writing, you are translating.


Translation can be handled in your time long after the source text is created or delivered. This way, the translators have a time to use technologies and browse some reference for the materials to create an accurate and high-quality translations.

On the other hand, interpretation occurs on the spot, in a person, on the phone, or even through a video. In this case, the interpreters must have a trusted skill to interpret directly and correctly at the time they are speaking.


Compared to translation, interpretation offers a lower level of accuracy. It is considered challenging for interpreters to interpret perfectly. However, in some live settings, the original speech might not be as perfect as the desired goals of interpreting into the target language. On the other hand, translators have a specific time to review and edit the written text for more accuracy.


The next key difference between interpretation and translation is the direction. In this regards, interpreters must have a greater fluency both the source and the target language due to the fact that they won’t be assisted by any of reference materials. Thus, the interpreters work in both directions.

The translators, on the other hand, generally work only in one direction that is their own mother tongue.


Intangible is the last key difference to differentiate interpretation from translation. In this case, both the interpreters and the translators face the same challenge to make metaphors, idioms and analogies in the target language. This way, the interpreters must work with the tone, inflections, voice qualities and other unique elements of the spoken sentences and change the verbal cues for the audience.

In addition to provide you with the clear understanding, translation service requirements include the high technical content.

Now that you know the key differences between interpreting and translating, you must have something in your mind what skills that are must-to-have to be either interpreter or translator.

Well-Spoken Interpreting

Interpreting refers to an activity to produce the expression in source language and change it into a target language. Typically, there are two common modes of interpreting. First is the simultaneous interpreting which occurs at the time of the source language exposure and the second is the consecutive interpreting which occurs at the breaks to the exposure.

There are some types of well-spoken interpreting you need to catch the description the brief sections below:


Conference interpreting is a well-spoken interpreting done at the conference or large meeting both simultaneously and consecutively. In the last 20 years, the multilingual meetings occurs more simultaneously rather than consecutively.

There are two markets for conference interpretation that are institutional and private. Some international institutions present multilingual meetings at which the interpreters must interpret several languages into their mother tongues. On the other hand, the local market tends to have bilingual meetings allowing the interpreters to work with the target language and the mother tongue.


Well-spoken interpretation include judicial in the list since interpreting also occurs mostly in courts of justice, administrative tribunals and wherever places where a legal proceeding is held. In this case, the interpreters work out an interpreting about the witnesses’ testimony. Accuracy of interpretation is important in interpreting judicial to avoid the misinterpretation. For a greater accuracy, two interpreters are usually required to deploy.

Escort Interpreter

Escort interpreting involves the interpreters to accompany an individual or delegation on a vacation, visit, interview and even business meeting. In this role, the interpreters are usually called as escort interpreters. They generally work for days, weeks or even months depending on the client’s visit. Escort interpreting mostly deals with the business presentations, investor meetings and business negotiations. In order to convey the message both back and forth, equipping the interpreters with the background knowledge of business and finance is much important.

Public Sector

Public sector is another type of well-spoken interpretation referring to community interpreting such as legal, health, federal and local government, housing, social, education and welfare service. In this type of well-spoken interpretation, the interpreting includes speech’s emotional content, social surroundings, relationships among participants and the interpreter’s degree of responsibility.


Medical interpreting is categorized as a subset of public service interpreting which comes as a means of communication among the personnel in the Healthcare and the patients as well as their families. In this case, they may speak different languages. This is when the interpreters come into play. These interpreters are usually well-educated and qualified to provide interpretation service. In most specific situations, some interpreters may speak multilingual languages along with the broader knowledge about medical terminology, the patient interview and medication process and common procedures. Medical interpreters are commonly aimed to provide assistance for people who are not familiar with the hospital, medical or clinical settings.

Sign Language

It is actually a must for sign language interpreter to accurately convey messages between two different languages, the source and the target language. In this kind of well-spoken interpretation, the interpreters must be skilled to be available for deaf and hearing people. This way, the interpretation occurs when the hearing person speaks in his language and the interpreter must render the speakers meaning into a sign language. In reverse, the interpretation also occurs when a deaf person signs and the interpreters render the meaning that the deaf person express.


Media might place the last but not least well-spoken interpretation. In relation to the interpretation mode, media interpreting must be held in simultaneous mode due to the purpose of live television coverage like press conference, taped interviews with musicians, political figures, sportsman, artists or even individuals form business circle. Media interpreters must also sit in a sound proof booth where the speakers sit on a monitor.

For the best result of media interpreting, all of the required equipment must be checked before the recording starts. It is also much recommended that the interpreters specifically double-check the satellite connection to make sure that the interpreters’ voice is clearly listened at a time. In some cases, the interviews are recorded outside the studio or everywhere else and the interpreters work on interpreting what they hear on a TV monitor.

In well-spoken interpretation, media interpreting is more visible especially after the Gulf War period. In that period, the television channels started to hire interpreters to render press conferences, interviews, telephone beepers and other similar live coverage for the viewers. However, media interpreting can be more stressful than any other types of interpreting due to the fact that there is a large number of technical problems dealing with the live coverage.