Bilingual vs. interpreter/translator

According to the FBI, only 40% of those who have the necessary language proficiency skills pass their translation test! Translation and interpretation involve specialized skills beyond language proficiency. This series on bilingualism, by Eta Trabing, highlights the additional skills bilingual people need to be translators or interpreters.


It is the process of first fully understanding, analyzing, and processing a spoken or signed message and then faithfully rendering it into another spoken or signed language, according to ASTM F2089-15, Standard Practice for Language Interpreting. See this Gaucha Translations Interpreting Work Order

As a certified interpreter, my goal is to provide services that meet the client’s needs with the best possible chance of success. Working with an interpreter is teamwork. Interpreters need to be involved in the event from the beginning for best results. What does an interpreter need to know? What should anyone expect of an interpreter? I wrote Partnering with interpreters for better communication to answer those questions. After establishing a partnership, I use a work order based on ASTM F2098-15 to set up the details of an interpreting appointment.

Spoken Language Interpreter Job Description

Spoken Languages Simultaneous Interpreting Checklist – Gaucha Translations

ATA Position Paper on Remote Interpreting – American Translators Association (ATA) (

Remote interpreting as a specialty (Oregon Health Authority, 2020)


Interpreters often provide Transcription-Translation services. This process includes the step of transcribing an audio file and the separate step of translating that text while consulting with the audio, ideally by the same professional. The final product is a four-column table which shows the time stamp, the speakers, the transcribed text and the translated text. TT is a hybrid task involving interpreting and translation skills. I am a certified court interpreter and a certified translator and am therefore qualified as a TT specialist. Additionally, I did TT for the federal government for a few years as a Department of Justice contract linguist. See this document for a description of Transcriber-Translators. See this description of Transcription Translation.