A language services provider (LSP) offers various forms of translation and interpreting services. For language interpretation, the most popular are the consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. But these two are just part of the various ways many institutions, organizations, individuals and companies use language interpreting services
One of the other forms of interpreting services is over-the-phone interpreting (OPI), which is vital to centers and offices that deal with people speaking languages other than English at different times of the day. These centers include healthcare facilities, emergency phone call centers, various departments of government, particularly those that provide services to the general public, financial companies and law firms.
Individuals and businesses also use phone interpreting where two or more people are speaking different languages participate in a short meeting by phone. The interpreting service is usually in one language, but the host of the meeting can arrange to have the interpretation done in different languages. Some clients arrange a phone link where a participant of a conference who is unable to be physically present can still join in the discussion.
What is phone interpreting?
Phone interpreting is a type of consecutive interpreting serving. It connects individuals to human interpreters through a telephone. Typically, telephone interpreting is done to facilitate communication between individuals who do not speak a common language. The role of the phone interpreter is to listen to the speaker and render what the speaker just said into the language that the other party understands.
The first country to introduce telephone interpreting service was Australia. In 1973 Australia offered a language phone interpreting service without charge to handle its growing multilingual immigrant communities. The initiatory over-the-phone interpreting or OPI service in the U.S. was offered in 1981. From 1981until 1990, major industries in the U.S., including public safety, healthcare, telecommunications and financial services used telephone interpreting service.
Technical requirements for phone interpreting
Phone interpreting is typically accessible by using a telephone or a computer with VoIP (voice-over-Internet protocol) capability. If the two communicating parties are in the same place, using a phone with two receivers or a dual handset phone makes it easier for the two parties to communicate. Although a speakerphone can be used, it is challenging in terms of the quality of the conversation the interpreter can hear and understand due to background noise and confidentiality of the conversation.
Users generally access phone interpreting services using a computer with VoIP or a telephone. If the two parties that wish to communicate are, however, in the same location, using a phone with two receivers or a dual handset phone, can relieve them from passing the phone back and forth. Using speakerphones is also possible, but it can be challenging in terms of confidentiality. For the interpreter, background noise can hinder the interpreter’s ability to hear.
It is essential to have phone connections that have excellent and clear and non-crackling sound. The interpreter uses a full headphone set instead of a single earpiece phone headset. The interpreter should be in a room where they cannot hear their own voice through the headphones they wear. The room should be free from sound feedback. The connection from the caller to the phone interpreter should be of high quality as well.
For the speech-impaired, hard-of-hearing or deaf, the communication through an offsite sign language interpreter through a video link that connects to the right equipment from video telecommunication.
Accessing phone interpreting service
Two primary categories are available when providing telephone interpreting service.
This category uses an IVR or interactive voice response application. This application converts DTMF or keyed Dual Tone Multi-Frequency data or the spoken word into a request to connect to a target language interpreter. The system provides unique language codes that the caller keys in.
For the operator-led category, a human customer relations staff receives the call. The team gathers the pertinent information from the calling party and connects him or her to an interpreter. This is often used in emergency services in which the caller has no knowledge of which language code to use.
A third option is available as well, although this is one is a hybrid of the two principal categories. In this case, the caller creates an account with the phone interpreting service provider. If the client needs telephone interpreting, he or she should call into the service by providing their account code using the keypad on their phone into the single-layer IVR. The client will be connected to a call center agent. Because of the account code the client provides, the agent can identify the caller and quickly processes the data capture and target language relevant to the client’s call.
Delivery of over-the-phone interpretation
The most appropriate method of delivery for over-the-phone interpretation is consecutive interpreting. The interpreter works in a specific language pair such as English and French. It means that one party speaks in the preferred language, for example, English. The interpreter listens to the message and translates it into French. The other party replies in French, and the interpreter translates it into English for the other conversation participant.
In over-the-phone interpretation, the parties who speak different languages can be in the same room. The interpreter provides the interpreting service over the phone.
In a meeting room, an outside party can phone-in to join in the conversation. If the participants speak more than one language, the interpreters will translate the message consecutively for the delegates in the meeting room. The interpreter may have to ask the caller to break the delivery of the message if it is quite long.
Although simultaneous interpreting over the phone is doable, it is not advisable, mainly if the phone reception is bad. If the call in from a third party into the meeting room where simultaneous interpretation is going on, the phone call has to be sent into the simultaneous interpreting system so the interpreters can listen to the message from the outside participant before simultaneously interpreting the given information.
What is video remote interpreting?
Video remote interpreting or VRI is a particular telephony interpreting service that uses specialized equipment. The service is generally provided to persons with hearing and speaking disabilities. It requires videophones or web cameras along with a computer monitor or a television so that the interpreter can be seen while providing the spoken language or sign language interpreting services for the concerned parties. The interpreter is usually located offsite or in a remote location, while the two parties are in the same room or location. VRI has some similarities to video relay service (VRS). The latter is regulated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) whereas the VRI is not.
The equipment that the clients and the interpreter use should have audio and video connectivity, although using a telephone for audio is also viable.
The field of VRI is growing, as the service is now not only utilized by the hearing and speaking impaired persons. While it is still the popular method used in healthcare facilities, particularly in the emergency rooms of hospitals, many offices use VRI services to conduct short but frequent meetings instead of waiting for all participants to be available. Businesses and schools in areas that have limited access to onsite interpreters are also finding the service adequate for their needs.
Advantages of telephone interpreting
A company requiring an interpreter to be present onsite has to pay for the traveling costs of the interpreter. With telephone interpreting, the rate the client pays is more effective. There is no traveling cost to pay. The working time of the interpreter is utilized efficiently. If the distance the interpreter has to travel is long, it can take a toll on the interpreter. With telephone interpreting, the interpreter is ready to work immediately.
Telephone interpreting provides you access to more interpreters. This is particularly essential in an emergency when the interpreters in your community are already occupied or do not speak languages that that are not interpreted frequently. The interpreter keeps a professional distance and can concentrate on the task, as he or she avoids emotional involvement in whatever shocking or traumatic event is happening at the location.
Phone interpreting service is available any time of the day, which makes it valuable when there is a crime or medical emergency happening involving people speaking foreign languages.
With a phone interpreting service, a caller can have access to more languages, including languages that are only spoken by a few members of the community. Impartiality during the interpretation and the confidentiality of the information are maintained because the callers and the interpreter do not see each other.
Phone interpreting at your fingertips
Phone interpreting is becoming more essential today as the number of multilingual speakers needing help and assistance for emergency, health, business, legal and personal matters not just in the United States but in many parts of the world continues to grow. DayInterpreting, a division of Day Translations, Inc. offers phone interpreting, and other services tailor fit to your linguistic requirements. Our phone interpreters are native speakers and work with over 100 language pairs. We also have different teams of interpreters who are subject matter experts to ensure that you get the most accurate interpreting service anytime, anywhere. We are open 24/7 and available to serve your telephone interpreting needs any day of the year. Give us a call at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us.
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