OPI-Over The Phone Interpreting

Over the Phone Interpreting, the Most Convenient Language Solution?

June 30, 2016
Paths in the woods

Two paths in the woods

When convenience and cost are the top considerations for interpretation, nothing beats the telephone.

Do you agree?

When you work with an interpreter over the phone, you essentially have a 3-way conference call (the interpreter, you and the party you’re calling).

Using the phone is usually the quickest and most convenient way to overcome a language barrier.

And you can have a professional interpreter on the phone with you in just about any language (150+) in less than 30 seconds.

Interested? Read on…

Market Researchers, Business Managers And Others Rely On Over the PhoneInterpreters

Over the phone (or telephonic) interpreting works well in a variety of situations.

Market researchers use it to conduct surveys in foreign markets.

Business managers brokering deals with potential international clients use telephone interpreting.

People buying property overseas often use it.

There are many critical situations that over the phone interpreting can help solve:

  • A French-speaking traveler in a non-French speaking country needs immediate medical attention

  • Police in Great Britain have a desperate man crying for help but he’s pleading his case in Arabic

  • In Asia, the car a tourist from Brazil is driving breaks down and she cannot communicate the problem and get help

  • At the last minute a German/Russian business marketing deal is threatened because a new executive enters the video discussion and she only speaks English


Over the Phone Interpreting Benefits

In one over the phone interpreting blog post last year we pointed out that the greatest advantage of over the phone interpreting is speed.

You save travel time and the cost of travel when the interpreter doesn’t have to be on site. And many times an interpreter’s time is less expensive over the telephone. Other benefits of over the phone interpreting include:

  • For sensitive or confidential discussions, some people prefer that the third person (the interpreter) not be physically present

  • It can help keeps conversations more private

  • It also eliminates any possible negative reaction to the interpreter’s appearance, culture or race


Drawbacks of Over the Phone Interpreting

Perhaps the biggest drawback of this particular mode of interpretation relates to how we communicate.

Experts often say 55% or more of our communication is through body language. That aspect of communication is lost on the phone.

Facial expressions are often part of interpreting and they too are lost over the phone. And it can be harder to hear an interpretation that’s delivered over the telephone. If either party has a hearing issue, face to face interpretation is a much better choice.


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