Data collected by the Migration Policy Institute in 2019 showed that immigrants accounted for about 14% of the total US population. Approximately 46% of these immigrants were Limited English Proficient (LEP). The data also showed that immigrants accounted for about 17% of America’s civilian labor force. These immigration statistics alone highlight the growing need for American businesses to invest in quality language interpretation solutions. That is the surest way of appealing to immigrant consumers and getting the most from immigrant and overseas talents.
Immigration aside, globalization has immensely contributed to linguistic diversity in the business world. Almost every business today is targeting multinational customers and talents. The people and agencies you need to partner with for business success are scattered all over the planet. That makes it almost impossible to get everyone in one venue for business meetings. That is where Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) comes in to help.
What is Video Remote Interpretation?
Video Remote Interpretation is a tech-based and real-time language solution that is facilitated by remote interpreters. Interpreters, in this case, operate from remote call centers. They are equipped with modern telecommunication technology and connected to clients through a videoconferencing platform. This makes it easy for clients to access quality interpretation services on-demand, 24/7/365. You are guaranteed impeccable broadcast quality on a wide range of communication devices, mobile devices included, provided that you have fast internet connection speeds.
With that in mind, why is it important for business meetings to have remote interpreting?
- Remote interpreting is more cost-effective than on-site interpretation
Although costs vary from one language services provider to another, it is a standard industry practice for VRI providers to charge on a per-minute basis. That means you only pay for the exact number of minutes that an interpreter works for you. That is different from on-site interpretation where you have to pay a minimum charge of at least two hours. You could end up using only an hour of an on-site interpreter’s time, but you have to pay for an extra whole hour that you didn’t need or use.
Secondly, remote interpretation also saves you money by eliminating transport costs for both interpreters and meeting attendees. On top of that, ferrying out-of-town interpreters and their equipment for an on-site interpretation session will in most cases necessitate unwanted accommodation and food costs.
Thirdly, on-site interpretation demands a sizable amount of space for interpreting booths installation. The bigger the venue you need, the harder it will be to find a good venue in your area, and the pricier it will be when you eventually find it. That is not a problem for remote interpreters; you can even hold a meeting in your company’s meeting room provided that it is big enough to accommodate all attendees. You actually don’t need to worry about space at all if the meeting is virtual.
To wrap up the cost implications of remote interpretation, we have to mention that VRI doesn’t necessitate any special equipment or software. It operates entirely on online platforms and can be accessed through a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. That is unlike on-site interpretation where installation of special booths and headsets may require the expertise of a tech team.
- Remote interpreting is convenient and reliable
Remote interpreting services are available on demand. You can even source for one a few minutes to an emergency meeting; you don’t have to make plans in advance. On-demand availability also makes it possible for you to hire top interpreting talents from all over the world. You aren’t geographically tied to interpreters from your city or country. The danger of being geographically tied is that there are only so many quality interpreters in your location, particularly when rare languages are involved.
If you are a multinational company with offices worldwide, you cannot run away from middle-of-the-night emergency business meetings. Your multilingual and multicultural business associates operate in different time zones, after all. For this reason, you need someone interpreting remotely for them at any time of the day.
- VRI provides authentic face-to-face interaction
Many people who discredit remote interpretation solutions argue that important information, emotions, or subtext is lost when participants in a meeting cannot see their interpreters face-to-face. That is actually the biggest limitation of over-the-phone interpretation. Video Remote Interpreting fixes this problem and adds a more personal and intimate connection between your remote interpreter and your target audience.
- VRI is an integral part of the “new normal”
COVID-19 infection rates are still alarmingly high all over the world, even as scientists and governments rush to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Your workers have probably returned to work, which makes you responsible for vulnerable staff members. Interpreting COVID-19 protection and control protocols for your LEP employees is one way of keeping everyone safe.
Then there is the need for businesses to adapt their operations to the “new normal”, which is mainly defined by remote working. According to McKinsey, about 52% of American workers would prefer remote over in-office working even after the pandemic. If such stats are anything to go by, it is clear that staff and business meetings in the “new normal” will still be remote. Organizations must, therefore, keep investing in video remote interpretation in order to effectively manage their growing multinational remote workforce.
2020 was defined by restricted travels, cessation of movement guidelines, social distancing, and banned in-person meetings. This adoption of video remote interpretation skyrocketed during this period, across countries and industries. Many organizations have since learned that VRI is the most efficient and affordable solution possible for face-to-face interpretation. Most of your potential business partners are using VRI as a result. If you are reluctant to go this route, going forward, you might struggle to convince people to attend your in-person meetings.
- Reducing your carbon emissions
What comes to mind when you think of climate change? For many business leaders, the solution to global warming lies in buying carbon offsets, investing in renewable energy, buying green appliances, and recycling. If you are implementing any or all of those solutions in your business, it is working and you should keep at it. But there is one more thing that you should do: Cut out unnecessary air travel in order to reverse the negative environmental effects of aviation. Opting to hold multinational business meetings virtually, made possible by VRI, is a proactive way to minimize your company’s carbon footprint.
If not for anything else, VRI is indispensable for being social-distancing friendly. It is one of the tools that will help businesses survive the post-pandemic economy and probably stop new COVID-19 variants from taking us back to the era of lockdowns. That highlights the virtually limitless benefits of interpreting remotely.
Conference interpretation is very important when holding conferences that feature people who speak different languages. It is the only way to ensure that your message is heard if you are to make an impact and cement your credibility. However, planning for conference interpretation can be complex and a daunting challenge. Yet, planning every detail well is essential for successful interpretation. Consequently, successful interpretation adds up with other aspects such as invitations and promotions to make your conference a success. Failure to plan can only lead to problems on the big day and most likely an injured reputation afterwards.
So, how do you ensure that conference interpretation is a success during your event? Follow these 6 steps that outline your way to the best results in effective communication for all participants.
Step 1: Identify your interpretation needs
The very first step is to define what your conference interpretation needs are. You can start by identifying the languages that your intended attendees speak. This way, you can decide how many interpreters you will need as well as the language combinations needed.
In addition, you need to decide the type of interpretation that your conference requires. You can choose between simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation or both depending on the set up of your conference. For instance, if you plan to have a workshop in between speeches, you might need to employ both forms.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind here is whether your conference will be onsite or virtual. If it is an on-site conference, you will need interpretation equipment. Moreover, if you are planning to live stream the conference for your global audiences, you will need to employ video remote interpreting services as well. On the other hand, if you are planning for a virtual conference, video remote interpreting will be enough.
Step 2: Choose the right videoconferencing platform/ interpretation equipment
The videoconferencing platform that you choose matters a lot when it comes to holding a multilingual virtual conference. At the very least, you need a platform that can support video remote interpreting. There are two types of video conferencing platforms. One, there are those that don’t incorporate an interpretation system. Some examples include Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and GoToMeeting among others. With such platforms, one needs an additional tool to be able to provide video remote interpretation. The second types of platforms have remote interpretation capabilities incorporated. Platforms such as InterpretCloud and Zoom fall in this category. With such platforms, you can have remote interpreters join the conference remotely to provide interpretation services.
If your meeting is taking place in a physical location, you need to decide early on the type of equipment that you will need. Ideally, translation equipment comprises headsets, microphones, transmitters and receivers. However, interpretation booths come in different sizes. The size of your conference will influence the translation booths that you choose. Table-top booths are ideal where the size of the conference is small since they don’t provide complete sound insulation. They also take less time to set up. On the other hand, full booths are ideal for a bigger venue with many attendees. They are more complex to set up so they take a significant amount of time.
In addition, it is good to note that interpretation services have become a part of many businesses in the recent past. Unless you have your own interpretation equipment, it is good to book the equipment in advance to avoid last minute rushes.
Step 3: Select the right interpreters
When it comes to conference interpretation, you need interpreters who can do more than just speak another language. For starters, you need subject matter experts who are able to understand the scope of the topic in question. Additionally, the interpreters need to understand both the source and target languages well including details such as colloquial words, word forms, sentence structure, culture and the like. It is also important to consider the different dialects in a particular language, and narrow down the specific ones that your audiences speak.
For these reasons, you need to vet your interpreters very well so that you can land the best ones that will ensure successful interpretation. In addition, don’t assume that you will have the best interpreters waiting for you. Start this exercise well in advance so that you can secure them in good time.
Step 4: Prepare interpretation support materials
While you can land interpreters that are highly qualified, it is important to ensure that they are well prepared for the job ahead. In this case, you need to provide as many details as possible about the conference to your interpreters. Ensure that you prepare speeches for all the speakers and visual aids that will be used. The purpose of this is to help your interpreters, whether they will be interpreting remotely or on-site, to familiarize themselves with all the aspects of the content as well as other activities that their services will be needed.
Step 5: Take care of the logistics
Your conference logistics will depend on whether it is happening virtually or on-site. If you are holding the conference onsite, the logistics will include finding a space that can hold interpretation booths. You need to keep in mind that the booths need to be positioned in a way that they give interpreters a good view of the speakers without interfering with the attendees.
If the interpreters will be interpreting remotely, you will need to ensure that the speakers and interpreters have a good connection that is fast and reliable. This is keeping in mind that you are dealing with a huge traffic if the attendance is huge.
Step 6: Provide support
Just because you prepared well, don’t assume that the conference will be without any mishaps. It is good to have technical support on standby in case a problem arises. Have a way that the interpreters can signify when an issue arises. In case of video remote interpretation, have a communication method that the remote interpreters can use to notify you of any issue.
With proper planning, chances are that your conference interpretation will be a success. For this to happen, make sure that you follow the above steps. Start by identifying your interpretation needs and then choosing the right tools. Follow that with hiring the right interpreters and providing them with the conference material for ample preparation. Lastly, take care of the logistics and keep constant communication with the interpreters during the event.
Preparing for Event Interpretation: 5 Things to Consider
If you are targeting delegates who speak different languages for your event, it is paramount that each of them receives the message in a dialect that they understand very well. Keep in mind that event interpretation can make or break the success of your event. That is why event interpretation needs serious strategizing as well as partnering with experts who understand the task at hand. If you don’t compromise on this area, you can be sure to eliminate embarrassing gaffes that can taint your reputation and credibility. In addition, your message will be received in a manner that makes a meaningful impact on your attendees.
If you are focused on getting it right on event interpretation for your event, regardless of the scale, here are 5 things that you need to consider.
- Interpretation needs
Different events call for different event interpreting needs. Understanding the different methods of interpretation that are available can help you decide which one best suits your event.
Simultaneous interpretation is when the speaker and interpreters speak at the same time. The interpreter keeps up with the pace of the speaker to deliver an interpreted version to the audience instantly. Consecutive interpretation is when the speaker speaks and then poses to let the interpreter interpret the message to the audience.
If you are holding a workshop where clarity of the message is needed, consecutive interpretation is ideal for you. Otherwise, simultaneous interpretation will work well if you are not looking for clarity. However, if you plan to have a workshop portion in your event, you might need to use both simultaneous and consecutive interpretations.
- The equipment
If you are going for whisper equipment, you would know that it consists of headsets, microphones, and transmitters for interpreters and headsets with receivers for attendees. However, booths come in different sizes. There are table-top booths that sit on a table and only accommodate the interpreter’s upper body and the equipment. They are open at the back, so they don’t provide complete sound insulation. Then there are full booths that are standalone enclosures. The interpreters sit inside together with all the equipment.
The size of the venue and the setup time available will determine which booths you choose for your event. If the venue is relatively small, table-top booths are ideal. You might also need to consider them if the venue managers allow for a limited time to set up. Full booths are completely soundproof, but they can take a whole day to set up depending on their size.
- The languages that you will need
Your event will not make any sense if you have the wrong language combinations. It is very important that you get your homework right to understand which languages you will need. The best way to know is to request your attendees to indicate their most preferred language when registering for the event. Remember to do it in a way that will not be intimidating, but will compel them to freely share with you.
In addition, don’t make the mistake of generalizing people who speak a certain language. You need to keep in mind the different variations in all the languages. This will help you mirror in on the specific dialects, which is essential in enhancing attendees’ experience.
- Preparing early
Event interpretation is a high-demand service. It would be a great mistake to assume that interpreters and equipment will be there on demand. Identify the agency that you want to work with several months before your event. This will ensure that you get the right interpreters for your event. In addition, it gives them enough time to prepare for the job. Though they are subject matter experts, having enough preparation prior to the event only makes their interpretation job easier and excellent. Additionally, securing the equipment early enough gives you peace of mind knowing that it will be available on the day of the event.
On top of booking interpreters early, ensure that you provide them with event materials such as handouts, speech outlines, PowerPoint presentations, and any other material that they need to aid their preparations. This will help them familiarize themselves with the terminologies, industry jargon, and presentation style among other aspects necessary for successful event interpreting.
Another area that you need to prepare in advance is booking a venue for your event. Some conference venues come with built-in interpretation booths while others don’t. You also need to keep in mind other factors such as the location and proximity to amenities such as the airport or hotels. The number of your attendees and interpreters also matters. You need a venue that can accommodate everyone involved. The earlier you start looking, the higher the chances of finding a venue that meets your standards.
- The small details
It is very important that everything runs well on the day of the event. You need to work closely with your interpretation agency to ensure that equipment is set up on time and is working well. Your vendor should also provide technical support on standby in case of any mishap.
If you have several speakers, it is important to remind them of the best practices when delivering their speeches that need interpretation. They should enunciate clearly, avoid slang and speak loudly but not shouting. This gives the interpreters an easy time when interpreting.
Though you have previously given your interpreters copies of the event materials, it is beneficial to bring extra copies on the day of the event. In case they forgot to carry their copies, you can be sure they have all they need to aid them when interpreting.
Another detail that can be easily forgotten is last-minute changes. What happens if an additional speaker is added at the last minute? It could very well mean additional event interpreting needs. As an event organizer, it is important to anticipate such scenarios so that you can be armed on the best way to approach them.
How well you plan for event interpretation will determine the outcome of your event. There are many things to keep in mind as you prepare for the event. However, the most important include determining your interpretation needs, deciding on the best equipment, and getting the languages needed right. Moreover, start preparing early in advance and not forgetting the small details can go a long way in making your event a success. Most importantly, vet your vendors well to ensure that you work with experts only.
Virtual town hall meetings provide a good communication tool for organizations that have employees scattered in different geographical locations. It allows the CEO or other senior executives to leverage the internet to bring all employees together when they need to deliver important company news and updates. The good thing is that they are easy to plan and they provide a cheaper way to hold meetings without costs such as traveling.
However, driving engagement when participants are not in the same room can be a daunting task. It can be hard to capture the attention of everyone when you can’t clearly tell what they are doing from their end. In addition, fatigue and other stresses can easily make employees disconnect from the meeting. Nevertheless, with well-thought strategies, maintaining engagement can be done. It becomes a different story altogether, however, when the workforce comprises people who speak different languages. So, how can you ensure everyone stays connected to the meeting where you have to use remote interpreting. Here are some tips.
- Hire the right interpreters
One of the reasons that attendees can disengage from a virtual town hall meeting is if they are having a hard time following the procedure. When they don’t understand the message, they are more likely to wander off and disconnect from the rest.
Hiring online meeting interpreting services is the first step to ensuring that your employees’ language needs are taken care of. However, you need to note that employees expect more than just hearing the speech in their own language. They expect remote interpreters who understand their culture in depth so that they can deliver the message without upsetting nuances. They also expect industry and subject matter experts who are able to relay the message without hiccups and using the right terminologies.
To ensure that your employees follow the meeting to the last minute, pay attention to the interpreters that you hire for simultaneous interpreting. They should be able to do the interpreting in a way that it is easy for everyone to follow what is happening.
- Rethink the videoconferencing platform
There are many video conferencing platforms out there. When choosing a platform to use, it is important that you think of features that can help you drive engagement throughout your multilingual town hall meeting.
One of the things that make people stay engaged is having interactive sessions during the meeting. You can have the meeting segmented into several segments such as questions and answers, conducting polls, and the like. Using live chats is also another great way to have everyone participating in the proceedings. In addition, screen sharing and sharing files are other features that keep participants alert and active.
When choosing a platform to use, incline more on one that is able to provide such features. However, everyone needs to enjoy these features in a language that they can understand. In this case, the most important feature to have is the online interpretation integration feature. The platform that you choose should be able to allow remote interpreting, particularly simultaneous interpreting for the sake of those people who speak a different language.
- Make attendees feel valued
When people feel valued, it becomes easy for them to be interested in what the meeting has to deliver. One of the best ways to make your employees feel valued is having them tell you what they want about the meeting. For instance, you can conduct surveys prior to the meeting to ask for feedback on things such as the sessions that your employees prefer to see during the meeting.
When it comes to employees who speak a different language, make sure that you ask them what their preferred language choice is. This can help you in planning the number of remote interpreters that you will need for the virtual town hall meeting. Additionally, you will be able to provide specific language needs, which is the key to keeping multilingual employees engaged. Most importantly, your employees will feel valued that you would think of their specific needs and will be more compelled to stay engaged.
- Foster internal social conversations prior to the meeting
Building up excitement about the meeting in the days leading to the meeting is a good way to get everyone to anticipate what the meeting has to offer. You can do this by starting conversations on internal social platforms. People can discuss topics not related to the meeting or even discuss topics of interest that they hope to hear during the meeting.
However, when doing this, it is important to remember inclusivity where you have multilingual audiences. On top of hiring online meeting interpretation services, consider hiring translation services to ensure that everyone is able to converse in a language that they understand. You can also have small video discussions with your employees prior to the big day. Ensure that you engage the services of remote interpreters to provide online interpretation for these videos.
- Use a multilingual promotion campaign
When you are telling your employees about an upcoming town hall meeting, it is good to tailor-make the message to the language that your employees speak. For instance, you can segment the contacts by language. This can help you deliver meeting details in different languages. Your employees are highly likely to appreciate receiving details of the meeting in their own language. A good way to convey the message in an engaging way is using videos. The fact that most people prefer video to written content is likely to get them excited about the meeting. Remember to work with remote interpreting services to have the videos interpreted to different languages.
- Combine voice with visual presentations
Using audio simulation only can easily get boring and cause people to disconnect from the meeting. To keep your employees engaged throughout the meeting, it is good to use visual representations in the message delivery. Using illustrations here and there not only captures the attention of the participants but also helps them retain the message better. So, be sure to prepare visual content for your town hall meeting.
It is very important that your interpreters are able to follow and understand these visual representations so that they can do a good job interpreting them. Ensure that you provide the materials to them prior to the meeting so that they can prepare well in advance.
Firing up engagement where remote interpretation is involved can be a hard nut to crack. But, that is not to say that it can’t be done. Start by hiring the right interpreters and choosing the right video conferencing platform. In addition, use multilingual material when inviting your employees and start conversations that get them excited. Using visuals and making the employees feel valued also goes a long way in driving engagement.
As the world continually becomes interconnected, interpretation continues to become a necessity for businesses. Breaking language barriers is paramount in strengthening your globalization strategy if you are to communicate effectively with your audiences who speak a different language. Moreover, when not all the participants are located in the same room, video remote interpretation (VRI) becomes a viable option. This is where you connect with an interpreter through a video link or an online video remote interpretation platform. The upside: you get quality interpretation services in real-time and on-demand.
Most business leaders view video remote interpreting services as too expensive to even consider it. However, with technology advancements coupled with an increase in the service providers, the service has become competitively priced. Nevertheless, with the recent need for social distancing, VRI is helping businesses fulfill the interpretation needs to stay afloat in these most challenging times. Besides these benefits, video remote interpretation can save you money in a number of ways. Here is how.
It eliminates travel and accommodation costs
Let’s say you are a motivational speaker who travels the world delivering speeches to different audiences. You would need to book your flight and pay for accommodation wherever you go, which doesn’t come cheap in most cases. If you travel with your own interpreters, the costs add up since you have to cater for their travel and accommodation as well.
If you are in a business that needs interpretation services such as a hospital that caters to international patients, on-site interpreters will have to, maybe, travel across town to come to you. You can bet that they will add the gas cost and drive time to your invoice.
Interpreting remotely eliminates the need to travel around to deliver your messages. You can hold your webinar right from your living room, office, or any remote location successfully. If you are a business, VRI gives you access to an interpreter in real-time without them having to travel to you. The good thing with video interpretation is that you can still get the benefits that come with in-person interpretations. All participants can see the body language and facial impressions as the interpreter is interpreting that is necessary for effective communication, all without incurring the hefty costs of travel.
1. No need to rent a venue
Like in the above example of a motivational speaker traveling the world, you need to rent a venue that you can use to hold your talks. This doesn’t come easy since there are considerations that you need to keep in mind. For instance, when targeting international participants, you need to hire a venue that is strategic to the airport for easier access. It also has to be near accommodation facilities for your audience and interpreters who might need to spend a night, especially where the conference takes several days. The venue also needs to have ample parking for your guests. Most importantly, it needs to be big enough to house all your attendees, interpreters, and the translation equipment required. If you want a good venue that has all these factors, then you have to pay the cost.
With video remote interpreting, you don’t have to worry about renting a conference room. You don’t have to converge a gathering. With just the event link, your participants can follow your talks and your interpreters can do the interpreting from remote locations.
2. No special equipment is required
On-site interpretation for a huge gathering requires special equipment with components such as interpreter consoles, microphones, and receivers. If you don’t find a venue with in-built booths, you have to incur the cost of renting or buying the same. You also have to incur the cost of transporting the equipment and hire technicians to set up and remove the equipment when you are done.
Video remote interpretation doesn’t require any special equipment. In addition, days are gone when users needed to have specific software to use VRI. Video remote interpretation technology has since advanced tremendously. All you need is a good internet connection and a web camera to access the service. Fact that most devices now come with an in-built camera and the internet is readily available and affordable, the cost of interpreting remotely has been greatly reduced.
3. On-site interpreters cost more
As said earlier, on-site interpreters factor in the cost of traveling in the cost that they charge you. They also have minimums that they base their costs on. If you need an interpreter for a short period of time, chances are that you end up paying for time not used. For instance, if your language providers charge a two-hours minimum and you only use the services for 30 minutes, you still pay for two hours regardless of the time that you have spent with the interpreters.
When it comes to video remote interpreting services, you only pay for the time that you are connected to a remote interpreter. This coupled with the eliminated mileage charges puts the cost of video remote interpreting services way lower as compared to on-site interpreters.
4. VRI is available on demand
You may find yourself in situations that require interpretation services at a short notice. If such cases happen often for you, hiring in-house interpreters would be a good option. However, this comes with increased salary costs for your business. If you can afford to hire in-house interpreters, your other choice would be to wait for an interpreter to drive from wherever they are. This can cause delays and cost you time that could have been channeled to other areas.
Video remote interpretation is an on-demand service. You can gain access to a remote interpreter within seconds. Some providers of remote interpretation services have apps that you can download to your devices to make scheduling and emergency requests easier. This saves you time and profits. In cases where you are dealing with impatient customers, VRI ensures that you serve them in time, to save your image and enhance customer retention.
As technology continues to advance, video remote interpretation is no longer a service that was regarded as nice to have. It has become readily available and affordable for businesses to leverage. The on-demand aspect makes it possible to have interpreters at your disposal as and when you need them. With the ability to hold your events from wherever you are, travel, accommodation, venue, and equipment rental costs are eliminated. In addition, you save a lot more when you only pay for the time that you have actually used.
Remote and flexible working could be the future of work according to Upwork’s Future Workforce Pulse Report. The report that was conducted towards the end of 2020 showed that remote workers contributed to about 41.8 percent of the American workforce, with the figure rising to 56.8 percent when part-time remote workers were included. The study also predicted that long after the pandemic, Americans working remotely will be in excess of 36 million in 2025. These statistics point to the fact that flexible working might not be a luxury anymore in the business world. Companies have to invest in infrastructure and policies that facilitate seamless collaboration between remote teams.
If you manage a multi-lingual team, you most probably have on-site working systems that make communication easy and effective at the workplace. But as you have now realized, the systems were rendered obsolete when the team was geographically dispersed. What you need now is to invest in remote interpretation services.
Remote Interpretation Services: Definition
Let’s first make this clear: interpretation and translation are two completely different things. The main difference between the two is that translation services deal with written text whereas interpretation services deal with spoken language. The main similarity between the two is that they both convert a source language to a second language in order to make communication possible between two audiences/speakers who don’t share the same native tongue.
Traditionally, interpretation service providers erect booths in the conference room or meeting room where their services are needed. The interpreters have a direct view of the audiences and the speakers. Remote interpretation, on the other hand, is a form of interpretation that has been adapted to remote large-scale multilingual events. Interpreters leverage communications technologies such as phone calls, web streaming, videoconferencing, and webcasting to provide interpretation services to geographically dispersed audiences.
Remote interpretation can be categorized into two: Consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation. For the former, a few sentences are spoken in the source language, the interpreter silently notes down the key points, and then the speaker pauses to allow the interpreter to paraphrase the sentences in the second language. That enables both parties in the conversation to have a free-ranging conversation. For the latter, interpretations happen almost in real-time. Interpreters listen to the speaker and in a matter of seconds relay the message to the audience via headsets. You can deploy either style depending on your needs; they both are very effective.
How Would Language Services Benefit Your Remote Teams?
Many people who were forced by the pandemic to work from home have been struggling with reduced motivation, morale, and productivity. Such workers were not psychologically prepared for remote working, and they had to follow work structures that weren’t originally designed for remote arrangements. What such workers need is strong leadership and unwavering support from senior executives. They need help setting up their home offices and even more importantly, they need guidance on how to collaborate with their remote colleagues. A professional translator or interpreter helps in that regard by ensuring that instructions and guidelines from the head office are relayed accurately and effectively in each member’s native tongue.
Note that your company doesn’t have to span the globe to need language services. All your remote employees could have the same nationality but have different first languages. Take the US, for example. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, at least one in five people in the country’s labor market spoke English as a second or third language in 2018. This number is most probably higher now. In states like Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Texas, and California, about one in three households speak languages other than English. Although most of these people understand English well, some of them understand just enough to make basic conversation in the workplace. Some depend on bilingual colleagues or written communications to get by at work. Now that they are stuck at home without support from colleagues, they might struggle to digest some important communications. They will feel more supported and motivated when instructions are interpreted and presented to them in their most preferred language.
The Role of Professional Interpretation Services in the Management of Remote Teams
Professional interpretation services act as the intermediary between employers and their multilingual remote teams by enhancing both vertical and horizontal communications. That alone, from a practical perspective, can help employers to better exploit the full potential of each employee. Each staff member clearly understands the company’s position, mission, vision, and short-term goals. Everyone understands their role in the bigger picture, even when they work miles from each other.
The good thing with remote/online translation and interpretation services is that they have a longstanding history of success. The excellence of their structures has been tested over time and the wealth of language services providers has been proven to be beyond reproach. With the necessary due diligence, you can bet on finding a reputable interpreter for your specific needs.
Delivering Successful Remote Working through Interpretation Services: What Are the Benefits?
Allowing your multilingual teams to work remotely and then communicating with them through remote interpretation services is a great way of enhancing employee productivity. That’s according to a 2015 academic study. The study that was conducted among remote workers for a Chinese call center showed that their productivity was 13% higher than in-office workers. When working from home, these employees take fewer breaks, they are happier, and they love their job more than their in-office colleagues. This is a benefit you’ll leverage best by integrating language services into your remote working core operational processes.
Perhaps the greatest communication disadvantage that businesses face when communicating with remote teams over the phone is that they lose their ability to communicate through nonverbal gestures. Body language is also grossly limited when communication is done via video calls because, in most cases, only the face shows on the screen. Note that communication between people who don’t share a native language can be facilitated by nonverbal gestures by over 90%. Business executives need to make up for this disadvantage lest their message gets lost in translation. Interpreters who are adequately skilled and trained in linguists can help businesses make up for this disadvantage. Their command of both the primary and secondary language, as well as their understanding of your line of work, works to your advantage.
The silver lining of the pandemic has been the rise in creativity and flexibility in employee-employer relationships. Businesses have even changed how they deliver services to different audiences. For managers of multilingual teams, creativity and flexibility have to be supported by remote interpretation services if both the employer and employees are to realize optimal benefits of remote working.
In honor of #givesomethingawayday InterpretCloud sat down with Aubrey Allison, the campaign manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Utah Chapter. She talked with us about LLS’s mission and their largest community campaign Light the Night.
LLS helps fund research on blood cancers as well as provides financial assistance and emotional support through their call center to those who have been affected by a blood cancer. They also help advocate on a local and federal level on behalf of patients so they have access to the treatments getting approved through the FDA.
The Light the Night campaign is a fundraiser that started in 1998 and is a community event. Everyone who attends gets a lantern in one of the following colors: white (survivor of a blood cancer), gold (those remembering a loved one they lost to cancer), and red (supporters). During the opening ceremony, the survivors come to the middle of the crowd to light their lanterns, celebrate their survivorship and courageous fight against cancer and bond with others going through similar situations. Then, the rest of the community with red and gold lanterns light and raise their lantern to show the community support and dedication to ending cancer. The ceremony ends with a beam of white light piercing the night sky. This represents bringing light to the darkness of cancer, after which the community takes their illuminated lanterns to walk a mile in solidarity.
The current pandemic of covid19 has created a difficult time for cancer patients. Cancer patients have a weakened immune system making them more susceptible to other illnesses including this new coronavirus. There is also the additional challenge that if a cancer patient has lost their job or they have a family member who has lost their job, they have potentially lost access to their insurance, making it hard to get the treatment they need.
Currently, LLS is working virtually, and will continue to support patients and their family members through resources and continued campaigns as there is still plenty of volunteer work to do even during this uncertain time. They will not let coronavirus or anything else stand in their way of finding a cure to beat cancer. As Aubrey Allison told us, “Beating cancer is in our blood.”
We are proud to say that our company CEO, David Utrilla, is the 2020 Chair of the LLS Light the Night Campaign.
If you are interested in supporting LLS, Light the Night, or any other campaign please visit the websites below for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Interpretation is a vital aspect of translation services, utilized worldwide for the sake of business, medical practice and legal advice. In the current global climate, face-to-face meetings aren’t always possible, and typically aren’t advised as nations battle the pandemic of COVID-19. In this blog post, we’re going to look at the next best thing: video remote interpreting.
What is video remote interpreting?
In brief, video remote interpreting is the combination of face-to-face and over-the-phone interpreting. It can be done from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
How is it done?
Video remote interpreting utilizes video conferencing software, the same sort that has been used in business for years to enable conference calls between people in different countries. As the practice is becoming more common as a result of social distancing protocols, more people are familiar with the use of video for communication in business. Video remote interpretation works in the same way as a typical meeting – without being restricted to corporate use – and enables meetings between people from different nations who speak different languages.
Why should you use it?
In a normal situation, video remote interpreting allows for remote interpretation where the physical presence of the interpreter isn’t possible. This can be for many reasons, including:
- An unforeseen requirement for an interpreter at short notice
- The need for an interpreter in a remote location
- The budget limitations that make transport costs difficult to justify
With COVID-19 currently placing restrictions on social gatherings of any sort, video remote interpreting enables business to continue as normal in an ambiguous environment, and maintain international relationships without the need for flights and face-to-face meetings.
When is it most often used?
There are several industries that make use of video remote interpreting more than others, historically. Typical uses of video remote interpretation include:
- Medical settings, enabling patients and medical staff to communicate more easily
- Government agencies, enabling international communication; this is vital when communication between different nations can help save lives during a pandemic
- First responders and service workers, enabling them to interact quickly and easily with a stranger who requires assistance
There are no specific industry restrictions. Its advantages can be felt by anyone in need of an interpreter, whether it is urgent or not.
The benefits of video remote interpreting
A professional interpreter will always bring the same basic benefits to a company or an individual, whether they are assisting in-person or interpreting. These focus on a reduction in error in translation, rather than relying on someone who is bilingual but not trained as an interpreter. The benefits vary between industries, but include:
- A reduction in risk to the health or life of patients by correctly communicating symptoms and medical information between patients and medical professionals
- Protection against reputational damage from a misinterpretation
- Protection against misunderstandings in legal discussions, which can have implications including fines and/or imprisonment
Video remote interpreting offers additional benefits, worth noting in a time when it may be the only option available. These include:
- Cost reduction, by removing the requirement for the interpreter or any individuals involved in the process to travel
- Immediacy, by allowing for quicker and easier access to an interpreter without the need for specific travel arrangements
- Anywhere access, through the use of conferencing software
As a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, business is typically slowing down for many people around the world. Where interpretation is required to keep negotiations moving smoothly, video remote interpreting is a cost-effective solution that adheres to the restrictions in place in different countries around the world – including travel restrictions from and into countries affected by COVID-19.
Is video remote interpreting limited to use during the pandemic?
The short answer is no. While the benefits are more greatly felt during the pandemic, the practices and use of video remote interpreting are available year-round. While people adjust to new working conditions, this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to decision-makers the practicality and use of video remote interpretation as a means to save time and money in multi-language meetings going forward.
What if you don’t like video conferencing?
During social distancing periods, there aren’t other options available that offer a personal touch in the same way. For those who wish to use an interpreter in a face-to-face scenario, this can be arranged once travel restrictions have been removed, and when businesses can operate as normal.