What is interpreting?

Translation is a written art, whereas interpretation deals with spoken language. As such, it requires a very different set of skills than translation. Translation can be mulled over, and the best phrasing considered carefully, whereas with interpretation, the interpreter is put on the spot. This means the interpreter needs an exceedingly high familiarity with both languages, and an ability to switch instantly between the two, without having the luxury of referring to dictionaries or reference materials. Prior to starting a job, a good interpreter will ensure they are familiar with all the field-specific terminology that is likely to come up.

What do I need to know about interpreting?

As with translators, no interpreter will be comfortable in all fields ― someone familiar with pop-culture will unlikely be comfortable interpreting at a deposition, and vice versa. Similarly, an interpreter who specializes in fashion will probably not be comfortable in an automotive plant.