Q: What is the difference between a sponsor and a godparent in the RCIA. I know the Latin translates to godparent so why sponsor in the english? Thanks
A: The difference is explained in RCIA 10 and 11. A sponsor accompanies a candidate through the early stages of the process, and a godparent begins helping with the Rite of Election, continuing from then on out.
When the crafters of the RCIA were drafting their work after Vatican II, the concept of long-term preparatory sponsors was new, and they were afraid that they were making too many demands on people. So they split the role. But the same person may fulfill them both: A pre-Rite of Election sponsor may become a godparent.