What is Video Remote Interpreting?

Video remote interpreting (VRI) allows people who do not speak the same language to communicate with each other in real time through video conferencing technology. It is often used in situations where in-person interpreting is not possible or practical, such as when an interpreter is needed in a remote location or when there is a need for immediate interpretation services.

At Geneva Worldwide, we offer efficient and accurate VRI services for more than 200 spoken languages and American Sign Language. The Geneva Live platform connects clients to qualified language interpreters via video to facilitate communication and convey both the literal and figurative meanings being expressed between two or more parties. This is an ideal solution for those who do not have the time or budget to arrange for an on-site language interpreter

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Advantages of Geneva Worldwide’s VRI Services

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is a growing and innovative way for any business to connect with global audiences. Its popularity is due in part to its flexibility offered, accessibility, and its ability to offer a greater comfort level over traditional forms of interpretation such as in-person or over-the phone (OPI) interpreting sessions which can often be intimidating when trying to make positive and accurate impressions.

Video remote interpreting has become increasingly popular and demand for this service has risen, especially as a result of the past pandemic. This interpreting method is best suited for one-on-one or smaller groups because of the stop-and-go flow of conversation, and businesses can expect the following benefits from this communication tool as a result of its increasing use including:

  1. Available on Demand on Compatible Devices
  2. Guaranteed Secured HD Video Connections
  3. Immediate Troubleshooting of Any Tech Issues
  4. Hosted on Compliant Cloud-Based Platforms
  5. Telephonic Linguists Are Readily Available 24/7
  6. More Affordable Than Onsite Interpretation Services
  7. More Accurate Since Participants Are Seen and Heard
  8. Highly Flexible and Easy to Set up Before Any Meeting
  9. Available in Urgent or Unanticipated Scenarios
  10. Fast and Accessible to Virtually Everyone
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How Does VRI Work?

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) uses audio and video technology to allow interpreters to assist individuals who are communicating in different languages remotely. This type of interpreting is often used when it is not possible or practical to have an interpreter present in person. In simplest terms, VRI is a form of video conferencing with interpreters present to assist in real time.

With VRI, participants can engage with one another remotely through a secure HD video connection. They can connect on their smartphones, tablets, computers, or other compatible devices. The interpretation occurs consecutively. In other words, when the interpreter listens to what is said before converting to the target language. This interpreting method is best suited for one-on-one or smaller groups because of the stop-and-go flow of conversation.

To guarantee a smooth VRI session, Geneva Worldwide provides an onsite VRI studio in our New York headquarters where we provide troubleshooting for any equipment malfunctions and project managers to oversee each session. We have the capability to set you up with 24-hour service with an experienced linguist that meets your specifications.

Our VRI technology is HIPAA-compliant and cloud-based and comes with a user-friendly interface so office staff can quickly set-up the remote appointment(s). This ease of availability is especially important under unexpected or emergency circumstances.

Today’s Video Remote Interpretation

Advancements in technology have made video remote interpretation accessible and affordable to people around the world. It’s never been easier for those who speak different languages to communicate with one another thanks to VRI. Moreover, advancements in cybersecurity have made it possible to use VRI to hold conversations that involve sensitive data, including those discussing medical, legal, or financial matters. As long as each of the participants has a secure internet connection and the group turns to a reputable interpretation company, everyone will have peace of mind knowing the exchange is compliant with any relevant regulations.

To learn more about our video remote interpretation services and discuss your needs:

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A Man and A Woman Working on the Laptop
“I wanted to thank you again for your wonderful help to get this meeting with our employee accomplished today. [The interpreter] was a pleasure – as you have been throughout this, our first exposure to requiring an interpreter for an employee. I thank you again and please know that if we should ever have need of an interpreter – we will come back to you and Geneva.”

Sarah J.

A Man Over-the-Phone Interpreting Image
“Thank you again to your team for their work on Tuesday. It was wonderful! We really appreciate that the folks translating are so adaptable to our content and artists and it is just such a pleasure working with you all.”

James C.

Communication Access Realtime Translation
“Thank you so much for your help interpreting French today. I very much appreciate it. You made the appointment go much more smoothly. I know I will be reaching out to Geneva Worldwide again for French translation services because the participant will need one or more follow-up appointments.”

Patrick D.

VRI versus Video Relay Service

Video Relay Service (VRS) is a type of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that allows individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities to communicate with hearing individuals over the phone.

The service uses sign language interpreters who can interpret back and forth between the caller and the person with whom they are communicating. It’s often used by individuals who rely on American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary mode of communication.

The interpreter will verbally communicate with the hearing party while translating all verbal speech to sign language. This service can also be configured so that when a deaf person receives a phone call, it’s automatically routed through the service.
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is similar to VRS because both require interpreters. However, VRI relies on video conferencing technology where all parties involved are on camera.

VRS is typically used in healthcare settings, legal proceedings, and other situations where in-person interpretation is not possible or practical. The services are usually charged per minute, with the businesses that employ the services responsible for covering the cost.

One major advantage of VRI over mere VRS is the ability to convey body language and facial expressions through sign language. This is particularly important in healthcare settings, where even a small misunderstanding or misinterpretation can have serious consequences.

VRI - Confidentiality and Compliance

Confidentiality is an important aspect of VRI, as it is with any interpretation. Both the interpreter and the individuals using the service are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the conversation. At Geneva Worldwide, we guarantee secure video conferencing platforms. We also provide confidentiality agreements.

In terms of compliance, our VRI service providers comply with all relevant laws and regulations. These include things like HIPAA in the healthcare industry and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States.


Want to learn more about VRI and its many applications? Check out the resources we’ve compiled below to learn how it works, what you can expect when using it, and why it’s so advantageous in all kinds of settings.

Video Remote Interpretation (VRI); Best Practices

VRI; More Best Practices

VRI; An Overview

VRI; Minimum Technical Requirements

VRI; Requesting Services

How Much Does Video Remote Interpretation Cost?

The cost of video remote interpretation (VRI) varies widely as it depends on several factors. Examples include the language being interpreted, the session’s length, and the time of day the event is taking place. It’s also worth noting that VRI requires specialized equipment and technology, which can raise the price.

At Geneva Worldwide, our charges vary depending on the project. If you want an accurate quote, simply provide us with some basic information about your project, and a member of our team will contact you regarding your request.

Request a Quote for VRI Services

Why Organizations Are Switching to Video Remote Interpreting

In recent years, telecommunication technologies like video conferencing and online translation tools have made it easier for organizations to connect with people worldwide in real time, regardless of language barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of remote work and online communication, leading to an increased reliance on remote services for even everyday operations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does video remote interpreting work?

During video remote interpreting, an interpreter facilitates communication between two or more parties. The interpreter is typically located at a call center and joins the conversation with both video and audio. The parties involved in the conversation may or may not be in the same location.

For what languages can you use VRI services?

At Geneva Worldwide, we can provide VRI services for more than 200 languages. We can also provide American Sign Language interpreters to assist those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Who can use VRI services?

Anyone who needs to facilitate communication between two or more parties who don’t speak the same language can find VRI services accurate, effective, and convenient. VRI is most commonly used in medical facilities, legal offices, educational institutions, government sessions, and business interactions. It can also be during recreational activities like cultural events and sports games. 

How long does VRI take?

Using any kind of interpreter during a conversation inevitably extends its duration because everything must essentially be said twice. This applies to VRI services, as well. Since they’re provided in real time, though, everyone should have all the information they need as soon as the conversation ends.

What equipment do you need for VRI to work?

Our VRI services are provided via a secured HD video connection. You can connect on a number of compatible devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. The device should have a web camera, and it’s wise to wear a headset, as well, to filter out background noise. 

What kind of interpretation happens during VRI?

During VRI, the communication is interpreted consecutively. That means the interpreter listens to what one party says and then converts it to the target language before listening to the other party and converting what they say. This method is ideal for one-on-one conversations and smaller group sessions.

Glossary and Industry Terms

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