Trained Interpreter & Bilingual Individual

What’s the difference between a trained interpreter & bilingual individual?

All Bilinguals Are Not Interpreters

Source: University of Minnesota, Introduction to Community and Medical Interpreting, Part One: Introduction to Interpreting, Unit 1. (Modified by MAMI Interpreters)

“Bilingual” is a term that is used to mean a wide variety of linguistic competencies in two languages—from someone who can casually converse to someone who can conduct all personal and professional matters competently in both languages.

Although interpreters must be bilingual, not every bilingual is an interpreter. An interpreter must have a high degree of linguistic competency in both languages and have the ability to process a message in one language and then accurately render it in another language. Although many bilingual individuals have grown up conveying information between languages, they are not automatically “interpreters” in the sense of trained professionals. Interpreters need to have had specific training, particularly in the areas of role and ethics.