What is the difference between a BSL Interpreter and a BSL Translator?

What is the difference between a Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) and a Sign Language Translator (RSLT)?

A BSL/English interpreter works between live spoken English and BSL. Interpreters normally interpret in ‘live’ settings. For example, if you have a meeting with a Deaf person, you will need to book an interpreter. The interpreter will sign what is said and will interpret what the Deaf person is signing into spoken English. This ensures full access to both parties during the meeting.

For Interpreting services click here.


A Sign Language Translator works between written English (or recorded speech) and BSL. If you have a written document that you want to make accessible, or a video with spoken English, a translator (typically Deaf themselves) will take the meaning from the transcript and translate it into BSL. This could mean that the video will then have what we call an in-vision presenter that you might see on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen on the television or on videos online.

For BSL Translator services click here.

Can you spot the difference?

All NRCPD (National Registers of Communication Professionals Working with Deaf and Deafblind People) Registrants are issued with an ID Badge as proof of their registration. Please see below an example of what each ID badge looks like for each RSLI and RSLT on the NRCPD register.