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July 10, 2020 |

Everything You Need to Know About Over-the-Phone Interpreting 

The pandemic and social distancing have made over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) more popular than ever. Businesses can get immediate access to multiple languages during conference calls and provide customer support in native languages without face-to-face interactions with interpreters. 

Over-the-phone interpreting isn’t as always as effective as in-person interpreting. But, it has its distinct advantages when dealing with strict quarantine measures. You can overcome language barriers and handle business communication from thousands of miles away with something as simple as a phone call. 

If you need an interpreter, but don’t feel comfortable with being in the same room with a stranger, over-the-phone interpreting is for you. Here’s everything you need to know when hiring an OPI interpreter. 

OPI Interpreters Are Suitable for All Industries

Any company that has multilingual employees or international customers can benefit from OPI interpreting services. For example, conference call interpretation can help entrepreneurs and business owners to manage remote international teams. Or, it can help you streamline communication in business meetings or during a live webinar. 

At the same time, companies can continue to deliver customer service in local languages at affordable costs by relying on interpreters who are just one call away. It’s an alternative to in-person interpreting that aims to maintain “business as usual” in a COVID-19-affected work environment. 

OPI interpreters can also be Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and be certified for specific niches to meet any requirements. You just need to hire the right people for the job to avoid misunderstandings. Given the high demand due to the pandemic, be sure to contact the language service provider before the meeting and book the service ahead to make sure you get suitable assistance when you need it. 

Healthcare Providers Often Rely on OPI Interpreters

Over-the-phone interpreters often collaborate with the medical sector. Certified medical interpreters deliver phone interpretation services for healthcare providers and patients. It’s a service that streamlines doctor-patient communication and reduces the pressure on the healthcare system. 

It’s fast, cost-effective, and can save lives. The primary advantage is the fact that interpreters are available anywhere in the globe. This way, doctors don’t have to wait before a language specialist shows up, and the patient gets instant support. 

OPI interpreters have been supporting healthcare providers for years. During a pandemic, OPI interpreting has become even more popular than before because it reduces the risk of contamination, as interpreters don’t share the same space with doctors and patients. 

You Can Hire Certified Interpreters for Good Prices

Over-the-phone interpreting costs less than in-person interpreting. That’s because linguists no longer need to commute and can handle more projects in a day.

 Usually, OPI interpreting services command a per-minute fee and don’t have a minimum fee policy. These details make the service affordable for companies of all sizes, including startups looking to expand internationally with a limited budget for language services. 

Over-the-Phone Interpreting Is Available 24/7

Most language service providers who offer OPI interpreting services are available 24/7, as they work with interpreters from different time zones. This is advantageous when you also work with remote teams from different parts of the world and need assistance at all hours. 

Moreover, people who work from home have more flexibility in organizing their working hours, as they aren’t forced to align their schedules with the interpreter. They can call the language expert whenever they need it and get the same high-quality service, whether it’s 10 am or past midnight. 

This characteristic makes the service ideal for companies that wish to provide customer service in multiple languages. Your clients get access to the information they need when they need it as an interpreter is always available and ready to help. Last but not least, a subscription to such as service guarantees assistance in hundreds of languages, so you can expand your business to as many countries or regions as you like. 

You Can Opt for A Service That Covers the Technical Set Up

As a general guideline, you can access OPI interpreters from any phone. However, when you’re planning online business conferences or live webinars, you need the right infrastructure to make sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish. 

Luckily, most language service providers who offer OPI interpreting can help you get the best equipment to facilitate services. The right equipment will save you time and energy, but it can also improve the quality of your connection. Plus, having everything set up reduces stress among the people who organize the meeting which increases overall productivity.

Depending on the language service provider, you can even get training sessions to teach your staff how to make the most out of every interaction with the interpreters. 

Over-the-Phone Communication Lacks Direct Human Contact

The downside of over-the-phone interpretation is that the language expert doesn’t have any visual clues about the parties involved in the conversation. OPI interpreting lacks direct human contact, which means that some details might get lost in translation. 

When communicating remotely, interpreters can’t use body language or use facial expressions that can facilitate understanding. Sometimes, they need additional context and background information to deliver 100 percent accurate translations. 

Note that OPI interpreters are trained to overcome such challenges, and, in most cases, they manage to communicate the right messages even in unusual situations. 

Overcome Language Barriers without Risking Your Health

Over-the-phone interpreting is the ideal solution to streamline communication during video calls and online conferences with multilingual participants. It doesn’t require a language expert’s presence in the room, but it provides the same quality in translation. 

It helps you protect your employees and grow your business at the same time. Opting for over-the-phone services shows that you’re a responsible employer who cares about the health of staff and customers.  

Moreover, the service costs less than in-person interpreting and is easier to access in times of crisis.