Relay Interpreting: Connecting languages

Table of Contents

The world’s increasing globalization level has led to a surge in demands for relay interpretation service, a solution flexibly employed to connect individuals of different languages. Let’s go through this article with Thao & Co. to learn more about relay interpretation, its significance in today’s multilingual society, and the pros and cons.

What is Relay Interpretation?


Interpretation involves converting speech from the source language to the listener’s language. Individuals who undertake this task are referred to as interpreters. Throughout the process, interpreters are expected to actively listen and provide a precise and comprehensible interpretation of the source language within a very short time frame.

Relay Interpretation

Relay interpretation is a form of indirect interpretation. With this method, information will be interpreted twice. The speaker’s speech is first interpreted in a mediating language such as English. The same process is then repeated to produce a result comprehensible to the listener.

This type of interpretation is typically used for multinational meetings like conferences or seminars that have the participation of people speaking various languages. Simultaneous interpretation (also known as cabin interpretation) refers to a form of interpretation in which the interpretation process occurs concurrently with the speaker’s speech, often with a delay of 3-4 seconds to allow interpreters time to process and render information. This is also the case for relay interpretation.

When is Relay Interpretation required?

Relay Interpreting - Thao & Co.

Relay interpreters are needed when there is a shortage of proficient interpreters for certain language pairs. This is especially common in multinational contexts such as international meetings, conferences, or specialized fields such as healthcare and law.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Relay Interpretation

We have gone through the definitions so now let’s move on to the advantages and disadvantages of this form of interpretation with Thao & Co.!


Relay interpretation comes in handy in multilingual settings by reducing the time searching for interpreters for each language pair. Finding interpretation services for common language pairs may significantly lower the expenses as opposed to rare ones due to the availability of interpreters. Indirect interpretation enables communications to be efficiently interpreted into sundry languages, reaching a broader audience.


  1. Rooms for misinterpretation: Too many conversion stages may result in misinterpreting messages, especially if one of the interpreters fails to capture the right message.
  2. Inefficiency: Aside from the possibility of misunderstanding, the lengthy procedure of relay interpreting consumes additional time which can result in inefficient communication.

Requirements for Professional Interpretation Services

Relay Interpreting Solution - Thao & Co.

What to look for in an established professional interpreting service:

  1. Credibility: Take into account the feedback and reviews of previous clients to assess the quality and competency of the services.
  2. Mediating language: To mitigate the risk of misinterpretations, make sure that the mediating language chosen is popular enough in the interpretation community.
  3. High expertise and professionalism: Choose an interpreter with a wealth of experience in the pertinent field to ensure in-depth and accurate understanding during the interpreting process.
  4. Excel interpersonal communication: Interpreters also need to exhibit strong interpersonal skills to effectively relay messages.
  5. Stringent confidentiality policies: Verify that services and interpreters abide by confidentiality regulations, especially when working with sensitive information such as those commonly found in the medical or legal field.

At Thao & Co. Translation Company, we provide our clients with professional interpretation services, from on-site interpretation to remote interpretation via video or phone and specialized liaison interpreting for meetings. Your project is guaranteed to be handled by linguistic experts with profound experience in interpreting speeches, critical meetings, large-scale events, etc.

You may also opt for our Interpretation Guidelines for occasions that require a large number of interpreters. With this service, we will create an accurate list of specialized terminology for each language pair and interpreting standards, hence optimizing work performance and accuracy.

Additionally, when using services at Thao & Co., clients can proactively track the interpreters’ profiles, project progression, and payment status through a proprietary platform. This platform is designed to cater to your particular requirements discreetly and deftly.

Key takeaways

Ultimately, it can be said that relay interpretation is not merely an interpretation method but a bridge between people around the globe. Through this article, we hope to have brought you a better understanding of relay interpretation, and its significant contributions to this ever-more global society. Please do not hesitate to contact Thao & Co. on our Get a Quote page for more information about our translation and interpreting services. We are continually improving ourselves to give our clients an exceptional experience.

Source: Thao & Company
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