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Video Conference Interpreting: What Is It & How Does It Work?

As a result of globalisation, more businesses than ever before are able to communicate across borders, and trade on an international scale. But while this is excellent for increasing your customer base and, therefore, your profit margins, it also brings up logistical issues, including working around time zones and overcoming language barriers. Video conferencing can improve availability between users, making it possible to hold meetings remotely, regardless of where in the world each person is. What’s more, professional interpreters can easily join the call if needed, providing much-needed clarification with their linguistic skills.

What are video remote interpreting services?

Interpretation is the act of translating the spoken word, most frequently via mediating conversations between two or more languages. Traditionally, the interpreter would need to be physically present with their clients in order to give an accurate interpretation, allowing a conversation to flow even if the meeting attendees don’t speak the same language. However, thanks to video conferencing technology, it’s no longer necessary for the interpreter to attend meetings in person.

As a business owner, remote interpretation offers a range of benefits, including reduced costs and organisation stresses, as well as increased availability. To have an interpreter attend meetings in person, you generally need to pay for travel and even accommodation, on top of the interpretation fee. But if they can work remotely via video chat, you won’t have to worry about these additional costs. This also reduces the carbon footprint associated with your business, which is a growing concern amongst entrepreneurs around the world. And because the interpreter can work remotely, they’re able to save time on commuting and may even be able to take on more jobs in a day as a result, making it a more lucrative way to do business for themselves.

How does video interpretation work?

Video interpretation is fairly simple to understand, and works similarly to real-life, consecutive interpretation. The only difference is that the interpreter will need to watch the interaction on-screen, but this also means they can pick up on non-verbal communication cues, such as facial expressions and body language, which accounts for up to 93% of all communication.

It’s important to note that the meeting should continue on as normal, even with an interpreter involved. So whoever is leading the meeting should begin by introducing themselves and everyone else, and start the meeting off. Whenever it’s your turn to speak, remember to try and be as clear as possible, making it easier for everyone to understand what you’re saying.

There are different types of interpretation, including consecutive and simultaneous. In consecutive interpretation, the speaker and interpreter take it in turns to talk, giving each the time and space to say their piece. While this offers clear communication, it can be a lengthy process, and take twice as long to hold the meeting. Simultaneous interpreting is much quicker, but requires much more skill, requiring the interpreter to listen while whispering the interpretation to the client.

How should businesses use video conference interpreting services?

During a time when remote working is rising in popularity, it makes sense that video conferencing is also becoming more commonplace. And it can be used in place of most face-to-face meetings that are typically associated with businesses, including:

  • Business meetings and updates
  • Associations’ meetings
  • Press conferences
  • Product launches

For international meetings, you simply need to add the appropriate interpreter to the conference call.

Ideal video conference interpreting conditions

High-quality and updated technology

Having up-to-date technology is crucial for video chats on a business level as, in these instances, communication is key. It also means that audio and video must be synchronised. It’s important for you and the interpreter to gauge subtle non-verbal cues. as well as clearly hearing and understanding what is being said. Crackly microphones or low-resolution cameras, for example, hinder communication, which could be disastrous for your business.

Interpreters must be able to see the same picture as participants

This makes it easier for the interpreters to understand what is happening in the meeting, and also means their interpretation will make sense for the participants. All parties involved should have a clear understanding of what’s happening in the meeting, which is crucial in the business world.

Close-up images of the speaker must be available

This is beneficial for interpreters, as it allows them to see non-verbal communication cues, as previously mentioned. This provides a better understanding of what’s being said, letting them accurately convey the meaning to their audience.

Interpreters must be given a copy of any documents read in the meeting

If there are any documents that will be referenced in the meeting, they should be sent to the interpreter ahead of time. This allows them to translate the text and get a better understanding of what will be happening in the meeting, which can affect the overall quality and content of their interpretation.

For more information about our video interpretation services and how they can help your business, get in touch with our expert team at London Translations today.

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