You may be familiar with interpreting, or the act of facilitating communication between two or more people who do not speak the same language. Did you know it is possible to have interpreting services without an interpreter being physically present?

Video Remote Interpreting, or VRI, refers to an interpreting session conducted over a video call. It involves an accredited language interpreter being present via secure video conference call instead of in person. Remote interpreting offers many of the benefits of an on-site interpreter but with increased convenience and potentially lower costs. Furthermore, it provides an option for when it might be dangerous for the interpreter to be there in person or otherwise cannot attend. Police stations and emergency rooms have used VRI services for years. VRI is available at a last minute’s notice, making it a acceptable choice for medical and healthcare purposes when the interpreter cannot be physically present or make it to the location at moments’ notice.

VRI services are also becoming increasingly widespread in business due to the growth in remote and multilingual work teams based in different locations. Also, technology is getting better and more companies and employees are becoming comfortable and familiar with the idea of telecommuting or using video conference tools. Because VRI services do not require the interpreter to be there in person, companies can cut costs on paying travel and parking reimbursements with VRI.

Video remote interpreting has many advantages that make it an attractive choice for many potential clients. It is quick, readily available and cost-effective. On top of that, VRI services are easy to use.

How does VRI work?

Anyone with a phone, tablet, or computer with data or Wi-Fi connection that has a video camera and audio function can access VRI services. It is similar to Over-the-Phone interpreting, but with the added feature of all parties being able to see one another over video. It is the perfect link between Over-the-Phone Interpreting and face-to-face interpreting. This language service eliminates the need to make an appointment with an interpreter; and wait for them to arrive in person. Instead, a professional video remote interpretation service connects you to an accredited interpreter in a matter of seconds. After requesting access to a VRI provider, you can connect almost instantly. The interpreter observes and listens to the proceedings and translates over the video call just as they would if they were in the room.

Do not confuse VRI services with automated translation tools. Several devices and phone apps have made news by supposedly providing audio translation in real time. Although artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly sophisticated, interpreting relies on understanding the nuances of meaning and cultural significance. These are things only a human can provide. And without discussion, a trained professional is the best option when it comes to interpreting. With VRI services, you are always connected with a real person on the other end of the video call.

Who uses Video Remote Interpreting?

There are many cases where it’s important for an interpreter to be present. For example, if a speaker is giving a presentation and some of the audience needs it interpreted into another language. Nevertheless, VRI is ideal for emergency or last minute situations, business meetings, and more.

Video Remote Interpreting

VRI for business

As business continues to become more global, Skype and other online conferencing tools have become more commonplace. Though Skype offers some foreign language support tools, they can’t fully solve the problem of language and cultural barriers. VRI services help companies communicate in real time with international clients and partners without risking embarrassing – or possibly damaging – mistakes. Having a skilled linguistic and cultural liaison present through VRI can make the difference to close a deal across language barriers or lose it.

In this global landscape, organizations also increasingly require multilingual teams throughout the globe. Video remote interpreting allows diverse and widely dispersed teams to fluently discuss critical issues. It also allows organizations to access international talent and expertise without incurring into expensive relocation costs.

VRI for legal services

During lengthy court hearings and trials, delays caused by a lack of accredited interpreters can see costs skyrocket. While complicated or technical hearings may benefit from having an in person interpreter; there are many cases when VRI services provide a more efficient alternative.

Video remote interpreting services might seem like a relatively new technological development. In the United States, the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been using VRI for immigration hearings since as early as 1996. Officials cite cost effectiveness and efficiency as major benefits. Police stations are following suit, adopting the technology to overcome language barriers or when working with hearing-impaired people. In South Pasadena, police have even installed VRI in all patrol cars to ensure they can communicate with residents who use sign language. The use of VRI services can make all the difference in emergency situations when police need to communicate across the language gap.

When it comes to signing official documents in another language, it is normally required by law to have an interpreter present. When appointments can take as little time as a few minutes, hiring a face to face interpreter can prove to be a costly expense. VRI allows for effective, instant language interpretation, drastically reducing the time and cost of legal appointments.

Video Remote Interpreting for healthcare

Healthcare interpreting is a highly specialized field. With the number of limited English proficient speakers in the US increasing every year, the need for healthcare interpreting services is very high. In emergency situations when someone needs urgent medical attention, any delay could cause critical issues. Emergency rooms increasingly use VRI services to identify symptoms, explain treatments and obtain consent. In routine medical appointments, the VRI service is also used to ensure that patients fully understand and follow through on their treatment plans. Healthcare providers report that patients are more likely to follow care plans effectively; and reduce the need for readmission when they use interpreting services during appointments.

VRI services for education

Children are sponges when it comes to learning because their brains are still developing; especially the part of the brain that deals with language. When families move to new countries, the youngest members often pick up on the local language quicker than their parents. VRI helps parents feel totally connected to their children’s education despite the language barriers. It allows them to have detailed conversations with teachers and understand curriculum requirements. The service keeps parents updated with all aspects of their children’s education. Furthermore, interpreters play a critical role in aiding children with developmental disabilities or delays. If the child or their families need language support, having an interpreter can make a difference in the quality of aid they receive.

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Is VRI for you?

When it comes to interpreting needs, many options are available. Whether you prefer face-to-face interpreting, Over the Phone Interpreting, or Video Remote Interpreting may depend on the circumstances. For example, certain languages and cultures rely on nonverbal communication and indicators much more than others do. Sign Language interpreting is also entirely reliant on all parties being able to see one another. When dealing with certain circumstances, it would be better to use video remote interpreting services. It all comes down to weighing your needs, costs, time and finding the solution that works best.

In an increasingly globalized world, crossing language barriers and communicating can be a daily requirement in many contexts. There are times when you may need an expert to interpret complicated or highly technical words, even when you understand more than one language. Professional, accredited interpreters do just that. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to hire a specialist to interpret business, legal, medical or family matters in person. VRI can be the answer if you need to be sure that you are not missing out on anything. If you have interest in VRI services or any of the alternative interpreting services mentioned in this article, please contact Global Arena for more information. We are proud to offer Video Remote Interpreting services in addition to our in-person and telephonic interpreting services.

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