A Comparison of In-person, Video and Telephone Interpreting
With the spread of technology, interpreting services have become more accessible. Now interpreters can translate over the phone and on video-calls. Yet, it can still be difficult to know which service is right for you and your situation.
Generally, in-person interpreting is the most reliable. Aside from their fluency in multiple languages, interpreters rely on the body language and facial expression of the speaker to deliver accurate and precise translations. For example, if the speaker has a confused expression, an interpreter will be able to see this and can communicate the confusion to the other party. If the interpreter is not present, this confusion could go unnoticed.
Video interpreting allows interpreters to be remote without sacrificing the visual element of interpreting. In comparison to in-person interpreting, video interpreting saves time and money. It is commonly used during international business meetings and video conference calls. Video interpreting very useful in emergency situations, such as medical emergencies. It is also useful in any situation which requires quick access to an interpreter or interpretation of an uncommon language combination. The issue with video interpreting is that it requires access to a strong internet connection. It also requires clear audio and video streaming to ensure the interpreter can provide an accurate translation.
Telephone interpreting offers the fastest access to an interpreter. It also doesn’t rely on internet connection so will work almost anywhere. It involves the interpreter speaking to various parties over a conference-like phone call. The issue with telephone interpreting is that interpreters lose their visual aids. They are no longer able to see body language or facial cues. The oral translation can suffer because of this. Telephone interpreting is best used in environments where people are already on the phone and where interruptions of other people’s comments are rare.