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Which Type of Phone Interpreting Service Works for You?

Call for Phone Interpreting Services

Written by Bernadine Racoma

June 9, 2020

When you need interpreting services, and there is no one available in person, phone interpreting service is your best option. Sometimes, you never know when you’re going to deal with a person with limited English language fluency, which makes communication difficult. Understanding one another is essential, whatever the time and the situation. But the need escalates when emergencies require the assistance of linguists to facilitate proper information exchange.

The ongoing health crisis around the world has changed the business and social landscapes. Without the medicine and vaccine to fight COVID-19, most people need to remain within the confines of their homes. Companies operate at 30 percent to 50 percent capacity, and many employees opt to work from home.

COVID-19 makes it difficult for people to meet and interact like before, as physical distancing is the new norm. While face-to-face interpreting is still possible if all participants observe safe distance from one another, it is more practical to use phone interpreting right now.

Over-the-phone interpretation

Phone interpreting or over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) is a language access service that helps people speaking different languages to communicate correctly. An interpreter provides the interpreting service over the phone.

Many industries, including call centers, use over-the-phone interpreting. The service is effective in government institutions, healthcare facilities, emergency call centers, businesses, and courts. Phone interpreting went through several changes and improvements through the years, to ensure that it will provide better service for people who need language assistance.

Organizations and businesses find OPI a fast and cost-effective interpretation solution. It can easily bridge the language gap without costing too much. Over-the-phone interpreting is easy to set up and does not need special interpreting equipment. All you need is to have an account with the phone interpreting service provider and a telephone.

Phone interpreting services are suitable for:

  • International business
  • Help desk centers
  • Legal consultations
  • Customer service call centers
  • Depositions (when agreed on)
  • Medical, dental and healthcare services

OPI’s history

Did you know that OPI started in Australia in 1973? Back then, a free 24-hour Emergency Telephone Interpreting Service was offered by Australia’s Department of Immigration. Initially, they provided interpreting service in eight languages, but with the increasing demand, they added more languages to the service.

OPI service was implemented in the United States in 1981, and Japan followed in 1986. The Royal London Hospital in London introduced the service in 1990. In ten years, from 1981 to 1990, the service became popular and more countries adopted the system, using over-the-phone interpreting for telecommunication, financial, public safety, and healthcare services. Today, governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations find OPI services useful. Some healthcare facilities have established their own in-house OPI services.

Improvements in the service

Improved interpreting quality, speed in dialing, reduced cost of telephone calls, and technological developments help to popularize over-the-phone interpreting.

Service providers employ highly trained interpreters with thematic expertise. They receive training to improve their interpersonal skills because the service does not allow the interpreters to see the body language and facial expressions of the users. They have to improve their sensory and cognitive abilities to enable them to pick up the cultural and emotional nuances of the client’s speech.

Over-the-phone interpreting solutions offer two modes of delivery – on-demand phone interpreting and scheduled phone interpreting. The two styles of interpreting services are similar in execution but differ in the timing of the delivery.

On-demand over-the-phone interpreting

Precise communication is vital for those who engage in global business, particularly in the technical and medical sectors. It is essential to provide people with limited English speaking skills the assistance to communicate with colleagues, patients, and customers. You may not know what language your potential customers will speak, so you need immediate access to an interpreter.

On-demand phone interpreting solution provides access to highly qualified and trained interpreters who excel in different subject matters.

You do not need to have face-to-face meetings or travel long distances to discuss business, exchange vital information, product specifics, partnerships, and contracts. You can do these things over the phone, with each party clearly understanding what they need and want.

The service is accessible when you want it. The service provider offers the interpreting solution 24/7. Most of them provide interpreting services in more than 100 language pairs. With on-demand phone interpreting, there is no pre-scheduling involved. You contact the interpreter when you need assistance. Access is easy, and the service guarantees your privacy and information security. The price is competitive, and you only pay for the minutes you use.

Scheduled over-the-phone interpreting services

The mode of delivery and method to access the phone interpreting service are the same. The only difference between this type of phone interpreting solution is the timing of service access. As the name implies, the client pre-schedules access to the service.

Scheduled phone interpreting is suitable for people who are in different time zones or different locations. They indicate the best time for them to meet and schedule the interpreting service.

When using scheduled phone interpreting, the person who is in charge of the meeting should see to it that each participant knows the exact time of the conference. They should access the service when everyone is ready.

The service provider must know the language pair and the topics for discussion. It is an excellent idea to provide the interpreter with a synopsis so that they can prepare.

Prepare for your multilingual small group meeting with confidence

Remove the worry from your mind when you need to meet with a person who does not speak your language. With our over-the-phone interpreting services, you can meet your colleague, client, patient, or business partner with ease, and ensure that both of you understand one another. eTranslation Services provides highly trained interpreters when you need phone interpreting services. Our interpreters are expert linguists, with years of training and experience behind them to ensure that you get excellent, high-quality phone interpreting service, whenever and wherever you need it. Kindly get in touch with us now via email at contact@etranslationservices.com or call us at (800) 883-6058

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