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Recently, technology has reached a new level. Today we have the technical tools to provide any client with an interpreter in the “here and now” mode. Suppose you have not yet heard about the growing popularity of video remote interpreting (VRI) services. In that case, you will learn how it can be applied in practice and what situations.
How does interpreting remotely work?
This is the term used to describe a bi- or multilingual video conference where interpreters are physically remote from the meeting room and thus do not have a direct view of speakers and delegates. Video remote interpretation is an opportunity to make a video call to a live interpreter from a tablet, phone, or computer at a time convenient for the consumer. And the second mode that can be used is the videoconferencing mode. At the same time, it is possible to schedule a video meeting in advance with the participation of a foreign partner by sending an invitation in the partner’s native language and then contacting him using the video remote interpretation platform. Thus, video remote interpretation provides an opportunity to receive professional interpretation here and now in one of two modes: it is either a video call mode, when you and your partner are in the same room, or a videoconference mode when you see your partner and a remote interpreter on the same screen. It is real-time and cost saving.
Where can video remote interpreting (VRI) come in handy?
There are many areas of application where video remote interpretation over the phone is already being used. Here is some of them:
- Medicine. Video remote interpretation is used to attract an interpreter to work with foreign or deaf patients. The video remote interpretation service works 24/7 days a week on a tablet, phone, computer, or laptop. To contact a live professional interpreter, you only need internet access, after which you can start a conversation. Everyone has the right to receive quality medical care, regardless of their native language, culture, or disability. It is unacceptable to cause irreparable harm to health due to a lack of knowledge of the language.
- Tourism. Many cities and countries host many foreign tourists, including business tourists, who come and face a language barrier and do not know how to solve it promptly. When people arrive, we hope that people at the airport speak at least English, if not our native language. But this does not always happen. And when we check into a hotel, we expect that everyone speaks at least English, but this also does not always happen. Some cities, especially regional cities, are not ready for a large influx of foreign tourists. So video interpreting can also be used in this area. Tourists on the street can use the mobile version of this application on their phones. How often have you come across a situation when a foreigner approaches you on the road and you do not understand what he is talking about? It is just a trivial situation when a foreigner comes to you or somewhere abroad.
- Government agencies. The public sector is constantly faced with situations where they need to communicate with foreign visitors who sometimes end up in medical centers, hospitals, police stations, etc. Some cases are started against them, or they are simply accused of something, and they simply cannot explain their position, communicate with the authorities. You can remember a million different situations when the state should provide them with an interpreter.
What benefits can all participants receive using VRI technology?
From the client‘s side, everything seems to be quite simple here. Cost savings: The service is available at any time here, and now, there is no need to waste time and money to bear the cost of transporting the interpreter. These are the same professional interpretation services but an entirely new way of delivering them. Internet shipping right now means savings through shorter sessions. The average session, according to US statistics, takes 11-12 minutes. It is the average session of a video remote or telephone interpretation service. For such sessions, as a rule, no one calls an interpreter who will travel through the whole city but try to get along with some other forces in other ways. Therefore, this market segment remains beyond the reach of standard technologies, standard services of an interpretation agency. That is, clients solve this problem in some other way.
For an interpreter, this is a new opportunity to provide services without leaving home. These are new jobs at home or in a call center. An interpreter can set convenient opening hours because the service is open 24/7 days a week. He may be located in one region and provide services for another. In a word, there are also many advantages for a translator, including automatic billing (this includes all possible options: from issuing a bank receipt to accepting payments from plastic cards, VISA, MasterCard, etc.) and acceptable conditions, such as fair and regular payments.
On the part of interpretation companies, this is an additional service. Previously, clients hired an interpreter in the state or paid for the interpreter’s business trip, but now they can contact an interpretation company. The system automates work by distributing interpreters, managing their time, and guaranteeing payment.
Like many innovations, VRI can, at first glance, cause distrust and apprehension, especially among experienced translators. However, a closer look reveals that this is an excellent example of how technology can be used for good. VRI expands the capabilities of translators and makes their services more accessible to customers. Currently, video remote translation is a noticeable niche, so that it will develop in the future.
Overseas travel, foreign business partners, equipment, and software from other countries. These realities of modern life are faced not only by residents of megalopolises but also by small towns. There is rapid economic growth, the development of entrepreneurship, the centers of which are scattered across all countries all over the world. Many people sooner or later face the need for professional services to interpret technical and personal documents, instructions, business correspondence, and other texts.
However, the search for a specialist interpreter, especially when it comes to narrow qualifications, for example, in medical, legal, or technical interpretations, turns into a big problem for a small town. The need to travel to a metropolis every time is an additional loss of energy, time, and money, which can be entirely avoided by resorting to remote interpretation.
How is remote interpretation carried out?
To perform remote interpretation, you need to use online audio and video conferencing applications—for example, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc. The scheme is simple: the customer creates an audio or video conference (makes a call through the application), all negotiators and an interpreter are connected to it. The interpreter and interlocutors can be located anywhere on the planet. Only a stable internet connection is required.
One of the advantages of remote interpretation work is modern technologies that help save you time and money. This applies to interpretation methods and the entire workflow, including the moments of calculation, receipt, and sending of documents. In this case, you can use:
- Postal items. A familiar and reliable way to exchange documents. All that is required of you is to explain the task to your manager and send the papers necessary for the interpretation.
- Courier service. It is not only reliable but also a fast and convenient alternative to regular mail. Indispensable for urgent interpretations.
- Email. This method is suitable when interpretation legalization is not required, for example, when translating correspondence, various instructions, literary texts.
Scope of remote interpretation
- For negotiations with foreign partners. You can hold meetings and negotiations with foreign partners remotely by phone and video. It is convenient and professional.
- Purchase of goods and equipment from foreign suppliers remotely without coming to the country where the supplier is located.
- Online conferences and seminars in a foreign language. Today, many meetings are moving to online mode. A remote interpreter will help you fully participate in the event.
- In healthcare. When visiting a clinic abroad, you do not need to bring an interpreter with you. A remote interpreter can join you during the conversation with the doctor.
Benefits of remote interpretation
- Using the remote interpretation service allows you to maintain working relationships with foreign partners when personal meetings are impossible.
- Remote interpretation can significantly reduce transport and travel costs for both the customer and the interpreter.
- You can record online conversations and use them later if you need to remember any details.
Technical guidelines for organizing remote interpretation
- Both interpreters and speakers should use a headset (a set of headphones and a microphone). It will provide better sound quality and information perception.
- Both interpreters and speakers should use fixed internet access points rather than mobile internet. If the internet connection is not good enough, there may be latency and poor sound quality.
- Whenever possible, use video communication rather than audio communication. It is essential for negotiations to feel the atmosphere and mood of the speakers. Visual perception helps this.
Features of remote interpretation
- Be prepared for the negotiations to take place outside of business hours: there may be a significant time zone difference between the interlocutors.
- The interpreter needs to master the equipment in advance for no problems with the use of technology to arise during work. The technical aspect is critical in interpreting remotely, so pay maximum attention to the preparation of the equipment. Unfortunately, technology sometimes plays a cruel joke: noise and distortion appear in the stream, poor communication, and time delays in replicas. Moreover, even with a reasonable transmission rate and good equipment, the telephone communication channel will inevitably distort speech.
- There are other problems associated with technology. For example, your interlocutors may be at different distances from the microphone. Accordingly, the volume of the speakers’ voices is different, which causes inconvenience in the perception of speech.
- In a telephone interpretation, a particular difficulty lies in the lack of visual contact. In personal communication, a significant part of the information is transmitted using facial expressions and gestures. Not seeing the interlocutor, the interpreter is forced to rely only on his voice, which means that he is as sensitive as possible to intonation, tone of voice.
- The interlocutor may not speak clearly. When interference and lack of visual contact are also imposed, it is more challenging to recognize speech than in a face-to-face meeting.
- Remote negotiations are convenient for customers because they can be quickly organized. But this is where the difficulty lies for the interpreter. Often, negotiations are organized rapidly. The interpreters do not have enough time to thoroughly prepare for the meeting, work through the materials, immerse themselves in the thematic terminology and the company’s specifics.
Often the interpreter is involved in one of the parties to the negotiations: he is present at the company’s office. He translates on the spot Communication is built using a speakerphone or videoconference. To avoid controversy and ensure a comfortable interaction, make sure all participants are aware of the presence of an interpreter. But another situation is also possible when all negotiators are in different rooms. In this case, the interpreter must be provided with suitable equipment for negotiations so that technical interference does not interfere with his work.
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 email@example.com
InterpretCloud announces the launch of its InterpretCloud video remote interpreting solution, the most reliable and high quality cloud-based solution for on-site and online events and meetings. InterpretCloud helps companies and individuals to communicate with their local and global audiences during live events and online meetings, anywhere, anytime, and in any language.
With InterpretCloud, interpreters anywhere in the world can provide HD quality interpreting, which thanks to its cloud-based technology, is equivalent to the sound and video quality and reliability of having an interpreter physically present.
InterpretCloud’s team thinks globally, with customers, interpreters and meeting participants in mind. In fact its technology is fully compatible with any online meeting platform (e.g., ZOOM, Webex, Google Meet, or Skype) so that accessibility is never an issue. Meeting participants and interpreters can log in from anywhere in the world. All they need is a computer or smartphone. And if Internet service isn’t available, they can dial-in by phone to hear the interpretation.
In addition to its easy-to-use and reliable HD interpreting solution, companies and organizations using InterpretCloud will also have access to InterpretCloud’s network of thousands of experienced interpreters around the world.
Event and meeting organizers can use InterpretCloud to create a high-quality experience for participants—whether they are onsite or thousands of miles away. And, except for giving organizers the peace of mind they need while managing their on-site or online event, InterpretCloud also decreased the expenses associated with interpreting at live events. Ultimately, both on-site and online meetings and events finally have a home for high quality, scalable, secure, reliable and cost-effective cloud interpreting solution. That home is called InterpretCloud.
“At InterpretCloud, our people set us apart. Through our dedicated team members, we connect people across the world through language to create extraordinary experience for our customers. We believe in the power of language—it brings us together, warms our hearts and unites our many global communities as one.” said Joseph Fournier, President of InterpretCloud, as part of the launching ceremony of InterpretCloud.
InterpretCloud is a cloud-based remote simultaneous interpreting solution for any size multilingual live or online meeting. Put simply, InterpretCloud connects people around the world anytime, any place and in any language. Considering the increasing demand for remote simultaneous interpretation, InterpretCloud truly is a global connector of people through language.
InterpretCloud is built by a team of linguistics, tech pros, event managers and business experts that is just as global and diverse as the platform itself. We are passionate about connecting people around the world through language, and we built this platform to help us do that.