NPR’s All Things Considered: The Difference Between a Translator and an Interpreter

2011 February 11
by Judy

In a brief segment on the Wednesday, January 19, 2011 edition of NPR’s popular All Things Considered, a repeated reference was made to a “translator” who interpreted for the visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao during his recent trip to Washington.  This mistake is made in the media quite frequently, but it’s surprising that National Public Radio has not been able to use the proper terminology.  Judy Jenner immediately fired off a clarifying e-mail to NPR, explaining that translators work with the written word, while interpreters work with spoken texts. The very next day All Things Considered read it on-air. We are very happy to report that NPR has now consistently used the terms correctly — well done.

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