On-site Interpretation: Enhancing Communication Beyond Escort Interpreting

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On-site interpretation is a common form of interpretation. The role of interpreters is crucial for smooth and efficient communication. However, this form of interpretation comes with various challenges and requirements for interpreters.

So, what is on-site interpretation? What are the difficulties it involves? What is the pricing for this type of interpretation? Let’s explore these questions in this article with Thao & Co.

On-site interpretation definition

On-site interpretation involves interpreters participating directly in events that require their linguistic expertise. They interpret the information and content exchanged throughout the event.

On-site interpretation enhances the convenience and efficiency of dialogues in the presence of language barriers. During on-site interpretation, interpreters can easily grasp the unfolding events, allowing them to adapt and handle arising situations appropriately.

On-site Interpretation Services - Thao & Co.

When is an on-site interpreter required?

On-site interpretation is a generally common form of language interpretation used in many different situations and events. Here are some cases that require on-site interpretation services:

  1. ● In court proceedings: In certain court hearings, participants may communicate in two or more different languages. In such cases, the presence of an on-site interpreter becomes essential, as they actively engage to facilitate the exchange of information. Most cases require interpreters with language-related qualifications, and in some instances, affiliation with a professional translation association such as ATA or NAJIT is a prerequisite.
  2. ● In medical settings: In some cases, patients may be foreigners, so an interpreter is needed to interpret the information exchanged between doctors and patients. Additionally, some medical consultations or meetings involving international experts also require professional interpretation to ensure accurate communication of medical content.
  3. ● At business exhibitions: Nowadays, trade fairs and exhibitions are considered significant opportunities to promote a company’s products. To facilitate communication with investors, partners, or prospects, it’s best to have professional interpreters at your booth. They will help make information exchange and product introductions easier and more accurate.

On-site vs. escort interpretation: What’s the difference?

On-site interpretation and escort interpretation share several common features, which can make it difficult to select the right service for your needs. Here are some differences between them:

On-site Interpretation: For on-site interpretation, interpreters are typically stationed at the location of the event and interpret for all participants. Skilled interpreters can handle the entire conversations or speeches during the event.

Escort interpretation: In escort interpretation, interpreters will stay by the client’s side, helping them communicate effectively with other parties. Escort interpreters often accompany clients on specific itineraries, such as international site visits, business trips, or meetings with foreign partners. During these trips, escort interpreters assist their clients in dealing with cultural issues, communication matters, and business exchanges.

Challenges of on-site interpretation

For face-to-face conversations, unforeseen situations may arise despite thorough preparation. Therefore, on-site interpretation is a challenging task. Skilled and experienced on-site interpreters must possess:

  1. ● Adaptability: When faced with unexpected situations, interpreters must be ready to adapt and handle all kinds of issues effectively.
  2. ● Expertise: To understand and convey the content accurately, interpreters need to not only be proficient in languages but also have extensive expertise in relevant fields. A lack of domain knowledge can lead to misinterpretation, affecting the quality of communication.
  3. ● Accurate and comprehensive language conversion: On-site interpretation sessions offer minimal time for preparation, requiring interpreters to be meticulous in their retention and delivery of information. Inaccurate or incomplete interpretation can lead to unintended consequences.
  4. ● Excellent communication skills: In addition to language skills and expertise, interpreters also need to have excellent communication skills. These skills can help conversations proceed smoothly and easily. The choice of language and tone employed by interpreters significantly impacts the quality of communication.
  5. ● Appearance: Since they need to be present at events with a large number of participants or formal meetings, interpreters need to maintain a professional appearance. This not only reflects their own professionalism but also demonstrates respect for their clients.

A real-life example of on-site interpretation

Legal Translation Case Study Result - Thao & Co.

On-site interpretation demands exceptional composure under any circumstance. Our involvement in Project Charm exemplifies the practical application of this skill.

In particular, Thao & Co. was tasked by Kirkland & Ellis, an international law firm, to provide on-site interpretation services for a series of multi-day employee interviews between English and Vietnamese speakers. The challenges extended beyond a lack of preparation materials; we also faced the pressure and extended duration of each investigation meeting.

Leveraging our extensive experience, we proactively implemented effective solutions. We recruited senior consecutive interpreters with years of legal interpretation experience and deployed two interpreters per meeting to combat fatigue and maintain consistent interpretation quality. By employing these measures, we concluded the project with remarkable success and exceptional efficiency.

On-site interpreting rates

The rate of hiring an on-site interpreter is influenced by a range of factors, similar to other forms of interpretation and translation.

  1. ● Duration of interpretation: The duration of the interpretation assignment plays a significant role in determining the cost of on-site interpretation. The cost of on-site interpretation can be determined based on the number of working sessions or hours required from the interpreter. In other words, the longer the hours or sessions, the higher the fee, and vice versa.
  2. ● Complexity: The complexity of the content being interpreted is one of the factors affecting the rate. On-site interpretation for highly specialized topics requiring expertise in specific terminology typically commands higher fees.
  3. ● Language combination: A common factor affecting the price of interpretation is the language pairs needed for interpretation. If the source and target languages are less common and more challenging, the rates will be higher.
  4. ● Other requirements: Additional fees may apply if clients have specific requirements that interpreters must fulfill.

Professional on-site interpretation services

On-site interpretation is a demanding task that requires a specialized skillset and extensive experience from interpreters. Beyond language proficiency, interpreters must have specialized knowledge in relevant fields.

Even the slightest inaccuracies in information conveyance in court or medical settings can have far-reaching consequences that directly impact people’s lives. Moreover, in collaborative dialogues, ineffective communication can hinder the achievement of agreements and long-term cooperation.

Language Interpretation Services - Thao & Co.

To guarantee the effectiveness and superior quality of on-site interpretation services, the process of selecting interpreters or interpretation agencies must be meticulous and comprehensive. At Thao & Co., we are committed to providing you with reliable interpretation services. Our team of seasoned interpreters possesses extensive experience in both language proficiency and subject matter expertise across diverse fields.

In addition, we offer comprehensive Interpretation Guidelines specifically tailored for large-scale events involving multiple interpreters. With this service, we will thoroughly research and compile a comprehensive keyword glossary and develop Interpretation Guidelines for our interpreter team, guaranteeing consistency and accuracy throughout the interpretation process.

The interpreter team is guided by a Lead Interpreter, an experienced professional who oversees the team’s operations, provides support, addresses unforeseen circumstances, and ensures the event’s seamless and professional execution.

At Thao & Co. Translation Company, our native interpreters are committed to bridging communication gaps with expert translation services. For more information about our services, please visit our website Thaonco.com, or request a prompt consultation on our Get a Quote page.

Source: Thao & Company
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