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Medical Translator vs. Medical Interpreter

A medical translator specializes in translating written documents, such as patient records or medical legal documents. A medical interpreter typically is hired for verbal communication skills. Medical translators convert written materials (scientific papers, complete medical texts) from one language into another. They must have excellent writing and analytical ability, and because the translations that they produce must be accurate, they also need good editing skills. They translate patient documents, medical software interfaces, medical product specifications, instruction manuals, training guides, and pharmaceutical documents.

Medical interpreters or healthcare interpreters, provide language services to healthcare patients with limited English proficiency. Simultaneous interpreting requires interpreters to listen and speak at the same time someone is speaking. Consecutive interpreting begins only after the speaker has verbalized a group of words or sentences. Sign-language interpreters must be fluent in English and in American Sign Language (ASL), which combines signing, finger spelling, and specific body language