Lost in trans­la­tion

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De­spite the cru­cial roles that trans­la­tors and in­ter­preters play in pro­vid­ing The Post and all other me­dia in­for­ma­tion about global events, the me­dia con­sis­tently con­fuse the two.

A trans­la­tor trans­lates doc­u­ments. An in­ter­preter in­ter­prets oral or signed speech. (Some tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als in­deed do both, but the skill sets are dif­fer­ent. I’m a for­mer in­ter­preter who couldn’t cut it and am now a trans­la­tor.)

The Jan. 4 Metro ar­ti­cle “For those who aided U.S., a lift” was a case in point. It said, “De­spite ef­forts by non­profit groups to lo­cate and sub­si­dize hous­ing for in­ter­preters, trans­la­tors of­ten lack work his­tory to land even ba­sic jobs and have no credit his­tory to ob­tain loans or apart­ments.” The ar­ti­cle pur­ported to be con­cerned about in­ter­preters who are trans­la­tors?

Trans­la­tors and in­ter­preters re­ally de­serve to be called by their proper job ti­tles. Ben­jamin Bar­rett, La Con­ner, Wash.

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