What is translation and interpreting services?

In many schools across the country, we are taught to speak in other languages. Particularly in the UK, students are encouraged to take examinations in foreign languages, particularly French, Spanish and German.

Having the ability to speak a second (or indeed third or fourth) language, however, is different from having the skills to sufficiently translate or interpret dialogue and written words from one language to another.

So what is translation and interpreting services? What do they offer and what is the difference between the two? Keep reading to find out more about translation and interpreting services.

What are translation services?

The Oxford dictionary defines translation as:

the process of changing something that is written or spoken into another language”.

Translation services, therefore are professional services that will translate content for you. Professional translation services often offer services in a range of niche industries, such as pharmaceutical, business or legal translation services.

What are interpreting services?

Interpreting services are those where a professional interpreter will convert spoken words from one language to another in real-time. Interpreting services can happen face-to-face and are common in legal sectors, such as in court, or the business industry for international business meetings.

Interpreting services can also take place via phone or video call, but in order for a “translation” to be considered an interpreting service, it has to be done in real time.

Now you know what translation and interpreting services are, you have answered the question ‘what is translation and interpreting services?’ However, as the two are very similar, it’s crucial to understand the difference between them.

What do translation and interpreting services offer?

When you work with professional translation and interpreting services, you will likely receive a range of services encompassed in the one package.

For example, working with Wolfestone offers you:

  • Translations and interpreters in a number of different languages
  • Fluent and native speakers in your language, and the language that you are translating content into
  • Localised translations. This means not only translating content word-for-word, but adapting the translation so it’s appropriate for the specific culture of the language.
  • Translators and interpreters with background knowledge in your specific industry, for example medicine, law or business for these industry translations
  • A human experience that doesn’t rely on bots, including a dedicated account manager to handle your queries
  • Industry-leading and expert technology, such as Synergy X to ensure translations are accurate and precise
  • Fast turnaround time on translations

When you work with a translation and interpreting services company, these are the services you should expect to receive. High quality, native speakers and fast turnaround are the criteria of a professional translation services agency.

Now you might begin to know the answer to the question ‘what is translation and interpreting services?’, you may begin to wonder what their differences are.

What is the difference between translating and interpreting services?

As we’ve mentioned, both professional translators and interpreters will need to be fluent in both the original language and the language you are looking for the content to be converted into.

While there are further similarities between the two services, there are three fundamental differences between translation and interpreting services.


The first is that interpreting services operate in real time, whereas translation services take place slightly longer. In order to get a professional translation service, you need to send your copy off for translation and wait to receive it back. For an interpretation, the translation happens instantly.

The second key difference between translating and interpreting services is that translation services usually focus on written text and translations, whereas interpretations are for spoken word.

The third difference between translation and interpreting services is that when offering a translation service, the language will most likely be converted in a word-for-word format into the new language, ensuring exact translation. In an interpreting service, however, content is often spoken by the interpreter in verbatim for ease of understanding.

This is known as consecutive interpreting. Consecutive interpreting is common for business meetings where you may not need a direct translation of every word someone is saying, but can gain a thorough understanding through a simple paraphrase.

Hopefully we’ve fully answered your question: ‘what is translation and interpreting services?, and now you know what the two are.

Contact us

Whether you’re looking for translation services for a particular niche industry, or an interpreting service in person, Woflestone’s professional translation and interpreting services promise high quality translations every time.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with the team at Wolfestone to get a free quote, and let us take care of the rest.


Information correct: 01/12/2020