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Ways of interpreting from one language to another can help your business right now. What are the three main types of interpreting in the language interpreting community? The first way is on-site interpreting, where an interpreter comes to the location of the individual, business, hospital, court, or government office where the translation is needed. The next way is OnDemand© Over the Phone interpreting, known as OPI. This is where those needing interpreting logs into a mobile app or calls by a landline to an interpreter. The interpreter then provides two-way interpretation between the given languages. Lastly, there is Video Relay Interpreting, known as VRI. With VRI, the party that needs the translation logs in via mobile app or laptop computer. Once connected virtually, the interpreter is able to provide interpreting through a visual medium.
How On-Site Interpretation Can Help Your Business
The traditional and most well-known form of interpreting is on-site interpreting. This form of communication is an ancient way of interpreting that extends back thousands of years. Until the advent of modern telecommunication, in-person, on-site interpretation was the only available option. This way of interpreting is still a viable and often preferable option today.
With on-site interpreting, the interpreter is physically in the room with both the foreign language speaker and the English language speaker. This can be a distinct advantage for several reasons. Number one, interpreters explicate not only the words that are being said, but the tone and body language of the speaker. So much of communication is non-verbal, reports Psychology Today, so having someone being able to see the speaker of the words they are interpreting is very instructive. Every culture has different non-verbal cues that they use to express themselves. Italians are famous for hand gestures, for example. Similarly, millions of people employ hand gestures, head nods, and varying facial expressions to convey meaning.
On-Site Way Of Interpreting Builds Trust And Ensures Accuracy
However, interpreters are not only able to illuminate non-verbal communication, but they are also able to build rapport with a patient. In times of great difficulty, such as when someone is experiencing a medical emergency, it is helpful to be able to build a relationship to help alleviate their fears. Sometimes people may withhold important details, whether intentionally or unintentionally. This may be because they are under duress or do not necessarily trust the medical community seeking to meet their needs. But having someone who speaks their language, understands their culture, and recognizes non-verbal gestures can help a client, customer, or patient. The interpreter can help to alleviate fears, build trust, and ensure full understanding of the person’s needs. As a result, the patient can better provide clearly informed consent for any procedures that need to be performed.
Having someone who speaks their language, understands their culture, and recognizes non-verbal gestures can help a client, customer, or patient. The interpreter can help to alleviate fears, build trust, and ensure full understanding of the person’s needs.
Drawbacks to On-Site Interpretation For Organizations
Although on-site interpreting comes with several advantages, it also presents some unique challenges as well. First, the interpreter has to physically come to the location, which will take time, especially depending upon time of day, weather, and traffic conditions. Next, and more to the point of many budget conscious businesses and institutions, the cost for on-site interpreters is higher. The individual or organization hiring the interpreter will be responsible to reimburse the time spent interpreting as well as additional costs. These costs may include transportation as well as any expenses that may accrue outside of normal business hours.
Why Over the Phone Interpreting (OPI) Can Add Value
Whereas cost can be a major factor for on-site interpretation, over the phone interpretation offers a more affordable option, along with other benefits. For many hospitals, government entities and businesses, cost is a matter of considerable importance. Even though on-site interpreting may be the industry standard, over the phone interpretation is less expensive. There are many qualified, licensed medical interpreters who are able to interpret for less than on-site interpreters.
Even though on-site interpreting may be the industry standard, over the phone interpretation is less expensive. There are many qualified, licensed medical interpreters who are able to interpret for less than on-site interpreters.
Depending on the circumstance, that may not be of utmost importance, however for large systems like hospitals it can be extremely valuable. Especially since a vast number of hospitals do not have a large pool of interpreters who can decipher hundreds of different languages. As this is the case, interpreting agencies can provide those resources for a fraction of the cost for a hospital to otherwise maintain them.
In addition to cost, over the phone interpreters are available on much shorter notice than those who interpret in person. Since there’s no transportation related lag time, the speed of acquiring an interpreter whether it be through a smart phone or a landline is markedly shorter. Furthermore, the remote nature of the call may reduce the risk of unconscious bias against either foreign language speaker or English language speaker.
Disadvantages Of OPI During Interpretation Process
Despite the speed, availability, and cost, over the phone interpreting does come with challenges. On-site interpreters are able to decode body language, facial expressions, and even build rapport with those of limited English ability. However, over the phone interpreters are unable to be responsive to the same degree. Another drawback is the phone connection. Most businesses and organizations have reliable cell phone coverage. But for telephone interpreting, a bad connection or a dropped call can certainly impede the interpretation process.
What Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) Can Do For You
The last way of interpreting is Video Remote Interpreting or VRI. As the name suggests, this is interpreting that is able to transpire across a video medium, whether it be a smart phone or a laptop computer. VRI is able to combine some of the advantages of both on-site and over the phone interpreting. Just as on-site interpreters are able to interpret body language and facial expressions, so are interpreters who are using video. Also, like over the phone interpreters, video remote interpreters are available much more quickly than on-site interpreters. Next, the cost of VRI is below that of in-person interpreters, making it an attractive option.
VRI is able to combine some of the advantages of both on-site and over the phone interpreting. Just as on-site interpreters are able to interpret body language and facial expressions, so are interpreters who are using video.
Finally, one often missed benefit is anonymity. For the speakers of some languages, including the deaf community, there is a small network of people who speak, or sign, in that language. Patients who show up to a medical or legal setting in particular, may run the risk of running into someone they know personally. This, of course, could put the person needing interpretation at a disadvantage. But VRI may be able to provide the anonymity more conducive to full disclosure of necessary details, especially in medical settings.
Limitations For VRI As Language Interpretation Option
Similar to over the phone interpretation, VRI has drawbacks as well. It requires a reliable internet connection in order to take place, which may be a challenge for some communities. Then, in comparison to an in-person interpreter, the translator is not physically there, although they can see the person over the video screen. Consequently, they can connect better than over the phone, but not the same as being there in person.
How To Choose The Best Way Of Interpreting For Your Needs
There is no one right way to do interpreting. Each modality comes with associated benefits and drawbacks. On-site interpreting has the advantage of building rapport with a patient and interpreting body language, but the cost is higher. Over the phone interpreting is more affordable but doesn’t have the same access to body language and facial expressions. Video Remote Interpreting offers a more complete interpretation experience as well as a more affordable price. This type of interpreting is subject to internet connection speeds. VRI interpreting also does not allow for the same human touch as on-site interpreting.
There is no one right way to do interpreting. Each modality comes with associated benefits and drawbacks. No matter your interpreting preferences, however, AFLS is able to accommodate what you need to help your business thrive.
No matter your interpreting preferences, however, AFLS is able to accommodate what you need. We offer OPI, VRI, as well as on-site interpreters. All of our interpreters are carefully vetted, qualified, professional, and ready to help your business thrive.
Language Interpreting And Translation Make A Difference
As a trusted leading language service provider, A Foreign Language Service – AFLS provides OPI/ VRI interpreting and on-site interpreting, certified document translation, and localization services to clients around the world. We offer services in up to 400 languages, including high demand ones such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and American Sign Language (ASL). Depending on your needs, we can also provide support in endangered and emerging languages like Basque, Irish Gaelic, and Quechua. In this vital work, we collaborate with a network of 1500-strong passionate, licensed professional translators and interpreters based throughout the world. Our clients include global brands and government agencies, as well as the medical, legal, business, and education communities. At AFLS, we understand the power and importance of language. We know that every language matters. Your language matters. Contact us today for a free quote!
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