Remote Interpreting Becomes Viable Solution Amidst Pandemic
The pandemic has changed our
lives in many ways. In the world of
language access, it made us all
more reliant on technology in order
to continue providing services for
the limited-English proficient
population. As someone who has
been involved in this industry for
more than 20 years, I have seen
firsthand the evolution of phone and video interpreting. Thankfully, connecting has become more streamlined, and the price has come down dramatically.
In late 2019 (seems like eons ago now!), Access Language Solutions made the decision to add phone interpreting to our repertoire of customer offerings. By April of 2020, this service was in full force as customers pivoted from onsite to phone interpreting. We were all quite relieved that service providers were able to still connect with their clients and essential programs were not interrupted.
Fast forward now to 2022 and the pandemic still drags on. Our lives are slowly returning to what will most certainly be a new normal. There will always be a need for onsite interpreting, but customers have found a healthy balance between that and the simplicity of picking up a phone and accessing an interpreter who can then connect with their client. From making an appointment reminder call to providing an interpreter at the last minute, phone and video interpreting have made language access easier and more affordable.
I’ve joked that I have a bit of PTSD when it comes to the world of Video Remote Interpreting, or VRI. Many attempts at implementation were made during my years of supervising Language Services in the hospital setting. They mostly involved costly hardware and poor connections. I am amazed at how simple it is to connect to a Boostlingo interpreter. With just a computer or tablet, a customer logs into their Boostlingo account, clicks on the phone icon, chooses a language, chooses a specialty (for example, medical, legal, or social services), clicks on the video icon, and is connected within a matter of seconds. No expensive equipment to buy. No poor connectivity. My PTSD brain relaxes as I realize the VRI struggle is in the past for both myself and our customers.
For some, phone interpreting will suffice. But if you want to add another dimension to your services, give VRI a try. I guarantee that you will be amazed at its easy access.
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What does your donation help support?
1. Language proficiency exams for interpreters range from $37 to $145.
2.Entry-level medical interpreter training that costs $500 per student