When it comes to interpreting services, there are two types to choose from face-to-face interpreting and remote video translation (or VRI). When we think of translation, we tend to think of the former; Face-to-face interpreters for two people who speak two different languages. But thanks to the development of new VRI technologies, remote solutions can provide high-quality audiovisual translation services over the Internet. Let's look at the difference between these two models to help you choose the best solution for you.
Why is interpretation important?
Due to the increasingly global nature of our industries, interpreting services are of paramount importance to businesses and organizations today. Without the ability to transcend language barriers, we all lose. All sectors, from healthcare to commerce, benefit from professional and affordable translation solutions.
Without translators, companies would not be able to close deals with clients abroad and healthcare providers would not be able to meet the needs of a diverse base of patients. Interpretation is the glue that holds people together in every industry.
Fortunately, there are options when it comes to finding the best translation solution that works for you. While some situations may require face-to-face personal translation, others are suitable for a remote approach. Here, we separate these methods.
A face-to-face interpretation is probably what you think of when you think of a typical translation scenario. In this scenario, the linguist is physically present in the room with the participants to interpret a direct conversation between a native speaker and a non-native speaker. This method also works effectively for interpreting in a group setting where two or more languages can be spoken.
This method is suitable for situations that require instant communication between two parties - such as an interview or a particularly sensitive situation. For example, a doctor who provides a difficult diagnosis to a patient who speaks another language will likely choose to use a personal translator. This is in part because face-to-face translations are also better at picking up on non-verbal cues, body language, and small nuances that are sometimes necessary to achieve full and effective communication and understanding.
Despite its many advantages, there are some significant limitations to direct translation. First, it must be planned in advance. This means that personal practices are rarely appropriate for emergency scenarios where you won't know you need an interpreter until the last minute. Second, face-to-face translation can be expensive, especially if your preferred translator needs to travel to your appointment.
Remote video interpretation
Remote Video Interpretation (VRI) provides online audio and video interpretation services. This means that the interpreter and participants are not in the same room, but can see and hear each other through Internet communication programs using a webcam and headset.
Remote interpreting is an extremely flexible service, which means that an interpreter can be called for help in much less time than it would take to hire an interpreter. Often the VRI also works at a cheaper rate due to lack of travel.
Remote video translation has proven to be a huge success in all sectors and is widely used in healthcare, legal, educational, government, and social sectors.
This technique is particularly valuable in circumstances where:
- There is a unique case of sign language or sign language that needs to be translated
- Translator needed soon
- Lack of interpreters on site
- Many parties in different regions would like to participate in a call
Interpretation services are sometimes needed to ensure effective communication. Whether it's a head-to-head solution or a VRI solution that best suits your needs, the most important thing is to find a reputable company that is right for the job.
Ari Kinelli is a consultant for Bilingual Connections, a company that provides professional foreign language services, including video interpretation. With a mission to help people use the language to enhance their careers and improve their quality of life, the company offers comprehensive services in over 70 languages for a variety of industries to meet the challenges of today's global arena.
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