Interpreting, or «interpretation,» is the intellectual activity that consists of facilitating oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between two or among three or more speakers who are not speaking, or signing, the same language.


The words «interpreting» and «interpretation» both can be used to refer to this activity; the word «interpreting» is commonly used in the profession and in the translation-studies field to avoid confusion with other meanings of the word «interpretation.»


Not all languages employ, as English does, two separate words to denote the activities of written and live-communication (oral or sign-language) translators. Even English does not always make the distinction, frequently using «translation» as a synonym of «interpreting.»