Telephone interpreting has several advantages over on-site interpreting. One of the main advantages is cost savings, though it is not always cheaper than on-site interpreting. Telephone interpreting also offers around-the-clock availability, which is particularly useful for medical emergencies and crimes that do not always occur during business hours. Interpreters can be connected to the interlocutors quickly, preventing long waits for patients in emergency rooms or weekend jail stays for arrestees.
Another advantage of telephone interpreting is the wider range of languages available. Many telephone interpreting services can provide interpreting in dozens of languages at the press of a button, and for some languages of limited diffusion, it may be difficult to find a qualified interpreter within hundreds of miles. Additionally, telephone interpreting provides an opportunity for interpreters, especially those in languages of limited diffusion, to devote themselves full-time to this profession.
Flexibility of working hours and location is also a benefit of telephone interpreting. Interpreters can choose to work part-time if they desire, and can live in a location that may be desirable for climate, cost of living, or proximity to family members but is not necessarily a place where a lot of on-site interpreting assignments are available. Confidentiality and impartiality are also important advantages of telephone interpreting, particularly in situations that might be embarrassing to the parties, such as a medical examination or a police interrogation. A remote interpreter can provide the communication link without being seen as an intruder.
Professional distance is another benefit of telephone interpreting. When the interpreter is not in the same room as the speakers, it may be easier to concentrate on the interpreting task and not become emotionally involved in what may be a traumatic and even physically shocking situation, as in the case of a medical emergency. Additionally, the interpreter may be better able to focus on the parties’ speech exclusively, without being distracted by visual input.
Universal Language Service, Inc