1 Corinthians 14:12-16 (NLT) And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. 13 So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said. 14 For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. 15 Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. 16 For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying?
Various kinds of Tongues is: a supernatural utterance in an unknown Tongue
Interpretation of tongues is: The interpretation of what was said in an unknown tongue – specifically regarding the spiritual gift of diversity of tongues.
The gift of various kinds of tongues is not to be confused with the spirit-filled believer’s ability to speak in tongues. I Cor 14:12-19; 27-28. Those are two different and distinct manifestations of this aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. One is mainly for our own private use, while the other is mainly for public use.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit as found in Acts 2:1-4 and the subsequent speaking in tongues was a sign to the believer and the unbeliever that the Spirit of God had come, that the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy had come true. One of the main purposes of tongues in our personal lives is to enhance our prayer life – Rms 8:26.
The spiritual gift of various kinds of Tongues which we are now looking at along with the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues is mainly given for public use. The tongues we read about at Pentecost comes with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and is personal in nature. The Spiritual gift of various kinds of tongues is public in nature. The gift of tongues flows as the Spirit wills: your prayer language of tongues operates as you will.
An example of these two gifts following would be: Someone speaks forth under the unction of the Holy Spirit in a unknown tongue. We, then as Christians should pray that someone would come up with the interpretation. The interpretation can come from the person who gave the tongue, but the optimum use of the gift is by another.
The interpretation of a tongue is just that, an interpretation not a translation. That is why a tongue may come forth that is long and the interpretation short or vice-a-versa.