Professional Services for Translation, Interpretation and Transcription

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between Interpreting, Translation and Transcription?


Interpreting is the oral communication between speakers, or speaker and listener of different languages, that enables understanding across linguistic barriers. Interpreting is a person-to-person experience, whether those people are live and in-person, or connected remotely by telephone or video connections.

There are many types of interpreting, depending on the setting and needs of the situation. For example, consecutive interpreting is a type that allows for natural pauses and breaks so one speaker speaks, the interpreter delivers the message in the other language and then replies back to the speaker. It takes the form more of a conversation, where there is an interaction between or among the speakers. Another type is simultaneous interpreting, where the interpreter speaks while the speaker is talking and relays the message in nearly real time. Think of a newscast or large presentation, where there is an interpreter on stage and the speaker is delivering a speech or some update. There is usually very little interaction between the speaker and the audience hearing the interpreted message. Whisper interpreting is when the interpreter at an event has a small group of audience members close by, so the interpreter can, in a low voice and tone, interpreter what the speaker is saying, without disrupting the speaker. Your solution will depend on your situation.

In any instance, interpreters must be excellent listeners and be able to communicate not only what is exactly being spoken, but also the specific understanding of the meaning of what is being said, so that the correct thoughts or ideas are being communicated. In addition, interpreters must be aware of particular cultural sensitivities. Further, professional interpreters are not merely bilingual people, but adhere to a specific code of conduct that their profession demands. Geneva takes the time to understand what the best solution is for your need and provides the right resource.


Translation is converting of text, or document, from one language (the source language) into another one (the target language). This exercise requires a deep understanding of the source language and an even deeper understanding of the target language. Layered on top of the proficiency with the written languages, the translator must have experience in the subject matter as well. Geneva screens translators for their skill level in both the language and subject matter. Of course, Geneva will provide certified translators when necessary for the client.

Common types of documents requiring translation include certificates (birth, marriage, divorce, etc.) or other official forms in a foreign language, legal documents, such as contracts or deeds, medical records, training and instruction materials, official government notices, websites and advertising. When translating certain advertising or media material, the translator may ‘trans-create’ the meaning intended without using the same exact words in the source language. For example, if an advertisement has vague verbal descriptions that are more akin to poetry than a legal document, then the translator would need to find the right phrase that conveys the same meaning in the target language, perhaps often using a different phrase or words that would not make sense if literally translated. Languages all have their own unique idioms and phrasing that makes proper translating a professional task to be done correctly.


Transcription is the rendering of an audio file into a written document. This can be solely in the same language (English to English) or have some component of translation, if one or more of the speakers is speaking a non-English language. Although Geneva regularly transcribes recordings of court procedures, hearings and other official meetings, Geneva has other experience with all other types of transcription. This includes many industries, subject matters and use cases, such as recorded corporate meetings, training and e-learning sessions, local and state governmental meetings, medical notes and appointments, conferences, public relations events and more.

What languages do you provide services in?

From Afrikaans to Zulu, we offer our services to and from any language pair in the world. Geneva covers over 180 languages and dialects, including American Sign Language.

Click here to view list of supported languages

How much does the service cost?

Depending on the service you’re looking for, the cost will be varied.

Click here to get your free quote!

How quickly will my translation / transcription project be delivered?

Project delivery is based on the size and scope of the project. We offer expedited, priority, and standard turnaround times.

Can I have a certified linguist?

Yes, you can! In our linguist pool, we have certified interpreters in the following fields: Medical, Legal, Sign Language and more!

When will I need more than one linguist on an assignment?

Typically, you’ll need more than one American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter on-site due to the time length. If a request is more than an hour of continuous interpreting, then it is recommended to have two ASL interpreters in order to continue providing accurate and effective communication and avoid interpreter fatigue.

Another scenario, when it comes to conference interpreting for a large setting and in various languages is when you’ll need a group of linguists to provide the interpreting services.

When would a live, in person interpreter be best, or when would a video or telephonic option be more suitable?

On-site/In-person Interpreting:

On-site/in-person interpreting: Our in-person interpreting is designed for those circumstances where nothing can replace the individualized, personal attention, provided by in-person interpretation.

Telephonic Interpreting:

Our over-the-phone interpreting service is ideal when a professional in-person interpreter is unavailable, or where getting a live interpreter may not be feasible due to location or timing. Depending on the circumstance, cultural norms, or religious background, an individual may prefer to not have another person present in the room. Health conditions or legal issues can make one feel self-conscious, embarrassed or exposed. In these situations, the patient or client’s preference to be anonymous is taken into consideration.

VRI – Video Remote Interpreting:

Our VRI service is ideal for those who do not have the time or budget to schedule an on-site interpreter. Utilizing this service will enable communication with patients, clients, employees with Limited English Proficiency or who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing when an interpreter is not physically present.

What kind of equipment will I need for my interpreting event?

It depends and we always recommend discussing your event in detail with us.  Sometimes an event will require equipment, but that depends on the logistics of the location or venue, how many people will need interpretation services and for what languages.

For large interpreting events, we offer the following equipment:

  • Interpreter Booth
  • Interpreter Unit (Control Center)
  • Receivers (Headsets)
  • Transmitters
  • Technician


  • Sound Board
  • Speakers
  • Stable Microphone
  • Wireless Microphone

What kind of equipment do I need for Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services?

Any electronic device with a camera (Laptop/Desktop/Mobile/Tablet) will work. But most importantly, you must have a reliable internet connection.

To get a more detailed list of our VRI minimum requirements, please contact us at

With consumer/internet tools like Google Translate, individuals (also some commercial clients) wonder why the turnaround time isn’t faster - can you do it faster? Or why does it take so long?

Here at Geneva Worldwide, we utilize state-of-the-art software equipment, our linguists are prepared to translate any type of document from a simple birth certificate to a technical training manual. Our skilled project managers oversee the process of translation, editing and proofreading in its entirety to ensure our clients are satisfied with every project. For those reasons, we take the time to give it all the attention it needs to ensure your needs are met.

Providing translation and transcription services for over 180 languages...

Click here to view list of supported languages
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