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.