Video interpretation services didn’t just spring into being when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, but they certainly enjoyed a swift surge in demand as the pandemic spread. Companies around the globe have experienced major disruption as a result of lockdowns and social distancing measures. Video interpretation and translation services are the keys to revive your business.
The role of interpreters in global business
Interpreters do a great deal to facilitate the operation of international businesses. They allow companies to trade across international borders with ease, removing language as a barrier from the process.
What are the different types of interpretation? There are two main kinds that companies use: simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation.
Simultaneous interpretation is the kind that is used during large events such as presentations and conferences. It allows the speaker to use their native language, while interpreters deliver their words in real-time in the languages of those listening. Thus the speaker can proceed at their usual pace, with those listening keeping up with ease.
Consecutive interpretation tends to be for smaller settings; it’s ideal for conversations between small groups of people. The interpreter waits for one party to speak, then translates their message. When another of those present replies, the interpreter translates their words. And so on and so forth.
How does video remote interpreting work?
Video remote interpreting provides the same kind of interpretation services, but without the interpreter being physically present. Instead, they provide the interpretation service via video software. This is why remote interpreting has boomed so massively since the COVID-19 outbreak: it supports businesses to continue operating across international borders while also respecting the need for social distancing.
From a practical perspective, implementing video remote interpreting services is simplicity itself. All you need is a decent internet connection and a phone, tablet, or laptop at either end of the call. The video interpretation professional acts as a conduit between the two parties who wish to converse, enabling them to overcome language barriers in order to progress their professional conversations.
Finding the right business interpreter
Successful business interpretation is all about finding the right language professional to work with. A business interpreter needs to do more than simply be fluent in two tongues. They need to be able to support a free-flowing conversation in a format that can easily become stilted due to the need to pause repeatedly while the subtitle translations take place.
As such, it’s important to find a business interpreter who is naturally empathetic, so that they can tune in to the unspoken parts of the conversation as well as the spoken elements. If you feel that you ‘click’ with your business interpreter, that’s usually a good sign.
Translation and interpretation agencies come in all shapes and sizes, so shop around until you find an agency that you feel comfortable with. It’s important that your interpreter doesn’t just speak the languages that you need but also has relevant experience in your business sector. This will position them well in terms of handling any industry jargon and generally understanding the content that you need them to translate.
Of course, price is also a factor when it comes to finding the right interpreter. How much does video remote interpreting cost? It’s impossible to put a precise number on it, as the cost will vary based on factors such as the language pairing involved, the volume of interpretation to be undertaken, whether or not the job requires the interpreter to work anti-social hours and even how in-demand the interpreter is.
Business interpretation under quarantine
If you’re planning to use video interpretation to revive your international business during the coronavirus crisis, it’s essential to establish a strong working relationship with your chosen interpreter(s).
Be sure to provide plenty of information on your company, your aims, your customers, and the purpose of the interpretation. The more knowledgeable your interpreter is about your company, the better placed they will be to serve it. Take a partnership approach to interpretation and the process will flow more smoothly, ensuring that you can get the very best out of it.
Video conferencing as the new normal
While remote video interpretation may have seen an enforced surge in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the provision of the service will drop back to its previous levels once lockdown restrictions have eased.
At the time of writing, the pandemic has caused more than half of humanity to go into some kind of lockdown. That has meant major changes to the way that we live and work, with many companies turning to remote versions of services that they would otherwise have used in person. While forced to do so out of necessity, the businesses have nonetheless been given a taste of what is possible with the right technology in place.
Remote workers around the world have long extolled the virtues of how they operate, citing the efficiency, convenience, and environmental friendliness of remote working. Yet many companies remained dubious about the efficacy of remote arrangements, whether that meant their own employees or services such as interpretation.
Now that they have had a chance to uncover the practical advantages of these remote working arrangements for activities such as interpretation, many companies will surely continue to rely on remote services in the future, even once the immediate need to do so has passed. This bodes well for translation and interpretation service providers looking to the longer-term future, once the pandemic has passed.
As the medical community races to find and produce a vaccine for COVID-19 (with 40 countries pledging €7.4 billion to do so on 5 May), people around the world are adjusting to a new version of normal – one that looks set to be a reality for quite some time. Those who provide translation and interpretation services for a living are having to adapt to this new reality, just as their clients are. Indeed, it is pulling together to create an effective ‘new normal’ that will see businesses survive the pandemic and come out on the other side.