Certified Spanish Translator and Interpreter  

The Interpretator

Do I need a Video or Telephonic Interpreter?

Posted by rpospina on October 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Both have a lot in common:


  • Flexibility to provide an interpreter in short-notice.
  • Broad availability to get interpreters for rare, uncommon or very high-demand languages.
  • Usually offered in a per-minute basis, eliminating additional costs of minimum time required for in-person interpreters.


However, when it comes down to the actual interpretation things are a little bit different. As an interpreter whose workload is mainly over the phone and related to the medical field, I'd like to list some situations in which conducting a session through a video platform can be much more accurate and effective:


  • Situations where there are several individuals in the same room. Because that way the interpreter can take note of who said what and make sure that everything that is being said is interpreted accurately.
  • Situations in which there will be many changes (like different people coming in and out of the room)
  • Interpreting for older adults: Because body language and visual queues are specially important for this age group.
  • When long periods of silence will be expected (due to a procedure being done or an emotionally-charged visit) because a phone interpreter would be wondering if the person is still there or if the line was disconnected.
  • Physical therapy (PT) sessions: During these sessions the therapist is giving a set of instructions to the patient to perform exercises and activities for which having a visual of what's going on could be very helpful for the interpreter.
  • Diabetic teachings: Because even though for diabetic teachings a good portion of what it taught is theory about diet, when it comes to teach patients about preparing the syringe or pen to inject insulin, or how to use the glucometer there are so many “turn this up to here”, “move this part down there” and being able to see what is being done is crucial for the interpreter.
  • Occupational therapy sessions: When patients are getting instructions to learn how to get in and out of bed, sit down, stand up or dress themselves.


The list goes on and it can be applied to many different fields but this can give you an idea of what kind of scenarios could be best handled by a video interpreter instead of a telephonic one.

Interested? I can offer video-remote interpretation services through the brand-new Capiche platform which is now part of the renowned STRATUS video interpreting. This platform allows you to reach a video-remote interpreter by simply downloading an app on your smart phone. Also, it gives you the possibility of building a network of your preferred interpreters and establish on-going relationships with them – something highly unlikely with other platforms.

Categories: Interpreting, Over-the-Phone Interpreting, Tips

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