Although interpretation and translation have much in common, the practice of each profession differs in the same way that written language differs from spoken. Thus, both involve careful analysis of meaning in context and attention to extra-linguistic aspects of communication. Interpreters must be good public speakers who are adept at grasping meaning and solving complex linguistic problems quickly, whereas translators must be able to conduct thorough and meticulous research and produce accurate, camera-ready documents while adhering to tight deadlines.
Translation and interpretation are indeed complementary pursuits: the research conducted for a translation project can enhance in-depth knowledge of a given subject and ease preparation for a subsequent interpreting assignment, while the spontaneity necessary for interpretation can increase the speed with which translation assignments can be completed. By the same token, the training received in the translation & interpretation program is complementary in that students reinforce their mastery of the written and oral aspects of their working languages by performing both translation and interpretation of related texts. Recent technological innovations blur the distinction between the two.
Many clients, unaware of the distinction between the two aspects of the profession, expect the same person to be able to perform both tasks. As a result, more than 60 percent of students choose to pursue a translation & interpretation degree. Graduates have found that being able to provide both translation and interpretation services gives them a significant edge in today's competitive job market.