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.