Generally speaking, technology has had a modest impact in recent years on the world of interpreting in comparison with its effect on other industries.
However, the innovation of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) has transformed interpreting and made a huge impact on accessibility to relevant services. We are routinely offering the option in many languages including Sign Languages, and it is not uncommon for us to set up links between VRI interpreters to clients in yet another country.
Improvements in internet speed and reliability have given this service the foundation on which it has built its success. As companies continue to seek ways to reduce costs and save time, particularly in legal and medical interpreting, we are seeing requests for VRI gather momentum across all industries.
No doubt the last two years have played a part in widening the sphere of VRI; pre 2020 our clients preferred the more traditional methods that involved face to face rather than remote meetings. Pre-pandemic this meant that our interpreters spent a huge amount of time travelling and using valuable resources in the shape of time and money.
The Covid crisis forced industries across the world to adapt quickly if they were to stand a chance of surviving. This critical shift saw technology taking centre stage in how businesses were going to be able to run and interpreting companies turned to VRI as the most safe and efficient way of continuing to do business – this shift has now become the norm with providers appreciating the benefits of working in this way. Here is a link to the best practice guidelines.
Businesses are also recognizing the benefits of this method of interpreting in terms of better client experience. Read more in this blog post.
What Makes Using a VRI Interpreter the Stand Out Option?
When we look at some of the traditional methods of interpreting and compare them to this new way of working, the limitations of the past become apparent. Despite working with the traditional methods for decades, it is only since the advent of VRI interpreters that we recognise how inefficient and expensive face to face interpreting actually is.
Many may argue that in-person meetings have great benefits because they are more personal and people feel more connected. But in today’s world that relies more and more on Zoom and Teams meetings, that connection is being found despite being felt virtually. After all, even over video, facial expressions can be seen as well as visual cues, and body language can always be read. Nothing is really missed and so this way of communicating is as close to face to face as you can get.
Orchestrating in-person meetings can also be costly with frequent travel and overnight stays involved. Using video saves providers both precious time and money. Over the Phone interpreting also negates the need for expensive travel but interpreting over the phone brings with it challenges. Without the visual cues and non-verbal elements of communication, holding a conversation through a telephone interpreter between two people who don’t know each other, in what may be a stressful situation, can be difficult.
Benefits of Using a VRI Interpreter
In my mind there is no doubt that communication accuracy over video is just as good as the in-person alternative. Thanks to the fact that we can rely on nothing being missed when using video interpreting, businesses are more inclined to adopt it to develop relationships across both language and cultural barriers. The feeling of connection is still maintained and this is particularly important when traversing languages.
There is no doubt that this method of service saves money. No expensive equipment is required (sound proof booths, headsets, audio/visual links for access to the main speaker, for example) and instead all you need is for your client to download the app on their phone: it is that simple. Apart from the fee for the interpreting service, there are no travel or appointment expenses that the interpreter will need to pass to a business, so it is a win-win where costs are concerned.
All you need is a laptop or tablet with a camera and microphone and you are good to go. Set up time is less with video and the stress of organising in-person meetings is completely taken away.
Using one of our VRI interpreters is flexible too as a meeting can be done in an hour as opposed to a whole day (that includes travelling, booking a venue etc). There is no need to worry about logistics/travel issues or time.
Here, at Bilingual Solutions, we pride ourselves on giving our clients the very best, connecting people regardless of language or location. Our services are designed to be accessible and easy to use and our VRI interpreters are highly experienced, so if you feel that we could be of use to you and your business, get in touch. Making connections globally can be key for many businesses and we recognise the importance of making this as simple and accessible as possible. Our team is on hand to offer a professional and reliable service so that you and your clients achieve the desired outcome for both parties.
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