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Interpreting is an art. Although many believe it’s simply repeating what’s spoken in a new language, there’s more to it than just repeating words and phrases verbatim. Instead, it often involves rewording or rephrasing to accurately and clearly communicate what’s spoken in a timely and efficient manner. Therefore, an interpreter’s greatest assets are linguistic and subject-matter experience, a great memory, and fast reflexes.
We have seen a significant shift in demand for interpreting services as the world continues to embrace technology that allows businesses and people speaking different languages to connect in real time from anywhere in the world using modern modalities of interpretation, including video, phone, and in-person interpreting services.
Although in-person interpretation is the most preferred for effective communication in all settings, it isn’t always the most practical nor affordable for public sectors like healthcare and education. However, today’s interpreters can work with clients from anywhere with only a wifi link or cell signal, making interpretation services more accessible than ever.
Today’s post examines the types of interpretation utilized in healthcare, education, and other environments, like conferences, law, and media. Specifically, we’ll review the three types of interpreting services these industries rely on most and the benefits of each.
There are three types of interpreter delivery services available, each with its own set of benefits. Determining which type of interpreting service is needed depends on the setting, circumstances, and parties involved in the interpreting exchange. Let’s examine the three main types of interpreting services available, which are video remote interpreting, over-the-phone interpreting, and in-person interpreting.
Video remote interpreting (i.e.,VRI) facilitates interpretation by connecting parties together in a video meeting environment. Video remote interpreting shares the same features as telephone interpreting, which we will cover next, but it also enables interpreters to use body language and gestures to aid their work. Therefore, VRI provides more flexibility than traditional in-person interpreting while still featuring a face-to-face engagement.
As the name implies, over the phone interpreting (i.e., OPI) is performed over the phone. This modality serves well for high-volume contact centers requiring on-demand services in multiple languages, emergency situations, interpretation under tight deadlines or in remote locations, or in cases where an on-site interpreter isn’t available. Like VRI, it affords more flexibility than in-person interpreting.
In-person or on-site interpreting is the most traditional and preferred modality for effective communication in all settings. It involves having the interpreter and the rest of the participants physically onsite together to interpret what is being said between parties who speak different languages. In-person interpreting is usually preferred in public and social service settings, as it allows the interpreter to better observe and interpret body language. However, due to the physicality and logistics involved, available interpreters can be limited, and are affected by issues like traffic, location, and scheduling.
Interpreter services for healthcare facilitate communication between patients and healthcare providers, like doctors, nurses, lab technicians, etc., in cases where the participants speak different languages or are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Interpreters in the healthcare arena are expected to possess a working knowledge of medical terminology and medical systems, making medical interpreting services a more reliable and accurate communication resource than friends or family members interpreting conversations between patients and providers.
Although healthcare facilities often use VRI and OPI remote interpreting when necessary, in-person medical interpreter services are usually preferred, especially in cases where physical examination is required. Overall, medical interpretation services, especially in-person, can increase patient satisfaction, decrease readmittance, ensure regulatory compliance, and maximize efficiency. It is never recommended to have family members take on the responsibility of interpreting for their loved ones. They do not necessarily have the training and linguistic skills, and the liability taken on by the medical facility allowing this is extreme.
Educational interpreting services are in more demand than ever, given the cultural diversity of U.S. classrooms in both primary and secondary education. After all, nothing impedes learning more than a lack of understanding. Therefore, providing access to language services for schools is crucial to ensure that all students have equal access to the same education.
Interpreting for schools and school districts is most often conducted between parents of children and teachers or administrators. Therefore, the flexibility and convenience of remote interpreting services using phone or video can be a great solution if scheduling prevents an in-person setting. However, in cases where the interpreter is working with a Deaf and Hard of Hearing student, an in-person interpreter is ideal, though VRI can definitely get the job done.
There are plenty of other environments that rely on these various types of interpreting services to conduct business between people of differing languages.
Organizers of conferences and other large events often enlist the help of interpreters to enable communication with all event participants. Conference interpreters often possess the highest levels of training of any type of interpreter, as they are typically expected to execute their assignment via simultaneous interpreting, which is extremely challenging. They must also possess a large vocabulary, the ability to keep calm in high-stress environments, and always be the most professional interpreter possible.
Interpreting for legal environments presents unique challenges and a supremely difficult environment, where it is critical to ensuring accurate communication involving complicated legal terms. The pandemic created a surge in demand for legal remote interpreting services as courts eliminated in-person hearings and other court proceedings due to local and federal social distancing restrictions.
Legal interpreters must have thorough and specific training in legal terminology and be able to distinguish between technical jargon and relay the messages clearly and accurately while also adhering to the principles of fidelity, impartiality, and confidentiality. The legal industry utilizes all types of interpreting services; however, most courtroom interpreting is preferred in person.
Media interpreting, a.k.a. broadcast interpreting, is a type of language translation mainly used for mass media broadcasts, including taped or live interviews, press conferences, and major news and sports events. Typically, these styles of interpretation settings require a soundproof booth where the interpreter translates the speech in real time for the audience. For this reason, in-person interpreting is preferable to remote interpreting.
Different types of interpreting services are available for any occasion requiring language communication facilitation, and the setting often dictates the service needed. If you need interpreting services in healthcare, education, legal, conference, or media environments, Dynamic Language can help make it possible for you. We provide world-class interpreting services for intelligent, multilingual communication on a global scale using highly skilled interpreters with diverse industry expertise.