What Can I Expect from In-Person Interpreting? Learn About the Industry’s Best Practices Here

May 3, 2022 May 29th, 2024 No Comments

All the most reputable agencies that provide interpretation services have found a way to harness the power of technology. From over-the-phone interpreting to video remote interpreting, modern solutions have made the world seem incredibly small. Oftentimes, finding a native speaker is just a click away.

Of course, there are still scenarios in which in-person interpreting is best. No matter how advanced the interpretation services might be, nothing can replace the individualized attention or engaging back-and-forth that comes with using an in-person interpreter.

When Requesting an In-Person Interpreter

Most agencies accept email requests for their on-site services. However, if you need an in-person interpreter for an emergency, it’s typically advisable to call. As long as the agency offers after-hours services, this will ensure you connect with a real person right away. Just check their website first to see if they have a different phone number for patching through urgent requests.

Agencies across the industry all require the same information to fulfill a request. The details you’ll likely need to provide include:

  • The date, time, and location of the event
  • The nature of the event
  • The language to be interpreted
  • Whether you need simultaneous or consecutive interpretation

When Working with an In-Person Interpreter

Assuming your request is approved, the next step is preparing for the event. If you’ll be using consecutive interpretation, the interpreter can simply sit or stand near the speaker. Whenever the speaker pauses, the interpreter will deliver what they said. They may also deliver responses back to the speaker, switching the source language and target language in the process. Depending on the nature of the event, the only accommodation the interpreter may need is a microphone.

If you’ll be using simultaneous interpretation, on the other hand, the interpreter will likely need to sit in a soundproof booth with specialized equipment. In this style of interpretation, there are no long pauses interrupting the flow of speech. Instead, the interpreter essentially delivers the speaker’s message in the target language directly to the listeners’ headphones. Depending on the agency you turn to, all of this equipment—including the booth—may be provided.

After introducing themselves, the interpreter may make some recommendations regarding the room’s configuration to ensure optimal communication. Once everyone is situated where they should be, the session can begin.

Regardless of which approach you use, you can expect the interpretations to be accurate, complete, and free of biases and personal opinions. You can also expect the interpreter to abide by a code of confidentiality. These are the industry-wide standards that all the most reputable agencies honor.

To learn more about the best practices for in-person interpreting, check out this infographic.

Need Reliable In-Person Interpreting? Turn to Geneva Worldwide

If you need in-person interpreting for a one-off engagement or ongoing project, you can count on Geneva Worldwide. Interacting at the global level is easy with our talented team, which includes more than 8,000 linguists who can interpret more than 180 languages. To discuss your needs and request a quote for interpretation services, reach out on our website

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