Which interpretation service is right for me?

November 7, 2019 November 4th, 2021 No Comments

When you work with a language service company, you have options for interpretation services and translation support. Geneva Worldwide’s pool of talented language interpreters can work with your law firm in person, telephonically, and through web-accessed video called “video remote interpretation (VRI)”. Each option presents unique advantages and has applications for various types of legal settings.

Here’s a rundown of how different language interpretation services work and the settings for which they are most helpful.

Face-to-Face (In Person) Interpretation

When people think of linguists who provide interpretation services, they think of these interactions involving in-person exchanges. This common method of language support is ideal for courtroom settings and sometimes for taking depositions before settlements and trials. It’s also popular for mediation and negotiation in all areas of law—from business to real estate and beyond.There are some instances where site translation of documents might be required and that would be something to know in advance of scheduling any language interpreters to pair the right skillset.

Within in-person language support services there are different types of interpretation. Two common types of in-person language support include consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation.

Consecutive interpretation is ideal for small settings with few people. These language interpreters normally work with two spoken languages but sometimes more. This type of language support requires extremely fluent understandings of languages used and their subtle nuances derived from cultural, ethnic, and social mores for accurate interpretations.

Simultaneous interpretation involves multiple languages, which are interpreted in group settings. An example of simultaneous interpretation would be U.N. assemblies where a multitude of languages are translated for diplomatic purposes. As one could surmise, this form of language service is very complex and requires the utmost in talent and professionalism.  

Telephonic Interpretation Services

Not all language interpretation services need to be performed in-person. Many language support services for lawyers can be done over the phone. Telephonic interpretation, also called “over-the-phone interpretation” (OPI) can assist with recording dispositions, interpreting conversations, and mediation. Our company’s OPI services are private, secure, and effective. Since these interpretation services are remote, it gives lawyers throughout the United States (and beyond) access to a spectrum of languages and dialects that might not be available on a local level.

Other areas where OPI services are beneficial to lawyers include:

  • Conversations between legal professionals such as judges and paralegals
  • When an attorney needs interpretation services quickly, with little notice
  • During business meetings, contract signings, and negotiations
  • Witness preparation
  • Interviews such as those seen in immigration law
  • Pre-court proceedings like arraignments

Video Remote Interpretation (VRI)

In addition to in-person and OPI language support, attorneys can choose to interact with language interpreters in video format. Video remote interpretation (VRI) is useful for situations in and outside of the courtroom. It’s also advantageous for conversations where two or more source languages need to be translated into a target language. VRI is accessed through secure web-based programs that tap into a mobile device or computer’s video and microphone systems.

VRI is helpful for situations where multiple conversations and speakers could confuse a linguist over the phone. This is because a linguist can visually see what is happening among the people with whom he or she is translating. Not all languages are spoken, too—making video interpretation services a necessity for people who communicate through sign language.

Unlike in-person interpretation services, VRI is useful for situations where interpretations are needed on short notice. With VRI, attorneys have access to a pool of linguists at a moment’s notice.

Technological advancements and widespread access to the Internet have significantly improved language support services and reduced their costs. Our company, based in NYC, has over three decades of experience in the language support industry for law firms and solo practitioners throughout North America. We attract talented language interpreters and translators, and we embrace technology to deliver impeccable linguistic support. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team.