A Beginner’s Guide To Video Remote Interpretation

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Multilingual interpretation services are judiciously used across various industries to maintain smooth communication with international clients in businesses, LEP patients in healthcare, victims in court hearings, customers in customer support, travellers, global team members, and hence goes the list.  

However, with the COVID pandemic shunning physical interactions, the availability of interpreters declined, and the demand for remote interpretation surged with a recorded growth of about 33% to even 100%, according to Nimdzi Insights.

That is how VRI – Video Remote Interpretation became the new and the most feasible way of providing expert multilingual accessibility virtually.

Nimdzi Insights
Overview of the effect of COVID-19 on different types of interpreting

What is Video Remote Interpretation?

VRI or Video remote interpreting is a video telecommunication service that does not need any unique communication tool – just a computer or any technological device with a webcam and microphone or, in some cases, a videoconferencing app. Along with the described hardware, all you need is a reliable and stable internet connection.

Video Remote Interpreting is a very user-friendly service and does not require technical expertise. However, the primary advantage of this service is its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and the fact that it is so convenient. A person can contact an interpreter within minutes, regardless of the location.

Video remote interpreting is ideal for the interpreter as he can see the client, read the customer’s facial expressions, their body language and progress accordingly.

With many convenient video solutions out there, anybody can continue to hold meetings, appointments, conferences and events complete with the linguists they rely on. Whether it’s Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Telehealth, WhatsApp or any other video call service, VRI service is easily accessible on all popular platforms for three-way meetings, multiple party conferences, one-on-one appointments, etc.

Benefits of Video Remote Interpretation

Overall, it is an essential tool in modern healthcare, as it provides immediate access to language services and improves patient satisfaction, thus leading to better patient adherence.

How Different Industries Are Utilising VRI:

Although hospitals and police stations have been and continue using remote interpreting services for urgent needs, several sectors have now increasingly started using the service as an affordable alternative when they need an interpreter.

 

1. Legal

In court hearings and trials, the non-availability of a court interpreter can sometimes cause delays and postponement of crucial hearings. Here, remote video interpretation can prove to be of the utmost importance.

In the United States, the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been using VRI since 1996 to conduct immigration hearings for non-English and hard of hearing individuals. According to The National Center for State Courts (NSCS), the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) also passed a resolution authorising the Language Access Advisory Committee (LAAC) and the Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC) to establish best practices for the use of VRI and create a national database of qualified interpreters.

U.S. law also requires the presence of an interpreter when a non-English speaker signs an official document in a foreign language. Since it is costlier to have an in-person interpreter present for an occasion that only takes a few minutes, a VRI service is the most preferred alternative for legal interpretation. 

  1. Trials
  2. Depositions
  3. Attorney-client meetings. 
  4. Witness accounts
  5. Immigration hearings
  6. Official documents’ signing
Play Video

Tom Clarke from National Center For State Courts talks about their Virtual Remote Interpretation Project.   

2. Medical

The use of VRI in the healthcare industry is in high demand. Often, individuals with limited knowledge of the native tongue visit the hospital in need of medical care. Doctors try to treat everyone who comes through their doors to the best of their ability, but relying on nonverbal cues and ineffective communication can be extremely dangerous, especially if the patient is at high risk for something. Doctors need to assess their symptoms, and a patient needs to know the doctor’s instructions, whether it’s about a medication or a procedure.

Additionally, those coping with long-term health issues need to be aware of the doctor’s plan of action. In this case, a VRI interpreter can be a literal lifesaver. Doctors can access VRI service by virtually connecting the patient with a bilingual interpreter and following a smooth treatment plan.

Researchers at the University of California found several studies indicating that using a qualified medical interpretation service raises the level of LEP patient adherence to follow-up plans after discharge.

Hence, it is important to ensure that patients understand their follow-up care plan. With VRI, LEP patients can also have immediate, meaningful access to their discharge instructions, resulting in a higher likelihood of patient adherence.

  1. Medical conferences
  2. Board meetings
  3. Doctor-patient appointments
  4. Telehealth counselling sessions

3. Business

Companies engaging in global business can communicate in real-time with the help of a remote video interpreter. This enables a better understanding between both parties and keeps the flow of the conversation smooth. A skilled linguist, thus, becomes a cultural liaison to facilitate business meetings and conferences and close deals.

VRI service eliminates the need to travel, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic when social distancing prevents physical contact. It is also available for many popular virtual meeting apps like Zoom, which have become the go-to meeting apps for many worldwide businesses.

  1. International conferences
  2. Webinars
  3. Virtual events
  4. Panel discussions
  5. Seminars
  6. Board meetings

4. eLearning

As schools worldwide shifted to remote learning due to the pandemic, VRI in educational settings played a valuable role for both the educators and the students.

With video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype, Webex, or any other virtual learning platform, Video remote interpretation (VRI) offers the ability to see the facial expressions of students/families. It ensures a more personal interaction that provides a high level of accuracy. Video Remote Interpretation gives educators on-demand access to professional interpreters. It ensures visual contact with the interpreter in distance learning sessions or parent/teacher conferences without adding any special equipment.

  1. PTA meetings
  2. School board meetings 
  3. University panel discussions
  4. Classes and other communications with international students 

5. Technology

With the rapid expansion of technology, new things are being invented and implemented faster than we can imagine. Technological devices are often a product of rigorous teamwork, and it becomes difficult with team members spread across the globe.

While technical translations can help with written content, like emails and valuable documents, spoken communication is paramount for brainstorming and problem assessments. With VRI, one can readily facilitate virtual meetings, which also involve visual cues and smooth multilingual discussions to ensure that all complexities can get resolved and the result is above and beyond excellent.

  1. Team discussions
  2. Product reviews
  3. Marketing and advertising of product

6. Customer Care

For large-scale companies widespread over many regions across the globe, it is undoubtedly essential to have customer support established in said areas. However, installing these centres in smaller regions like rural localities is not always possible. In such cases, a client can face difficulties discussing their issue with an executive who doesn’t understand their language.

Using VRI, the company doesn’t have to lose the client over such a minor issue. An experienced bilingual interpreter can bridge the language gap and keep the client satisfied. While Over-the-Phone Interpretation could also prove beneficial here, VRI makes it possible for the client and customer care executive to see each other and develops a sense of trust and guarantee.

  1. Assessing issues for international customers
  2. Product or service training

  3. Onboarding multilingual customers

Conclusion

The easy accessibility and immediacy of VRI make the provision of language services possible in all instances, especially in times of urgency. It is safe to say that the use of VRI will increase along with improvements in its technical infrastructure and the quality and demand for certified and experienced interpreters.

Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji is a Content Writer at Translate By Humans. A former student of Mass Media and Corporate Communication, she conducts intensive research for her blogs and articles and keeps tab on all developments in the language industry to curate interesting & trending content for all our social media platforms. Learning about new languages, cultures and cuisines excites her and when she isn't engrossed in the newest fictional hardback, she can be found fantasizing about her next solo trip.
Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji is a Content Writer at Translate By Humans. A former student of Mass Media and Corporate Communication, she conducts intensive research for her blogs and articles and keeps tab on all developments in the language industry to curate interesting & trending content for all our social media platforms. Learning about new languages, cultures and cuisines excites her and when she isn't engrossed in the newest fictional hardback, she can be found fantasizing about her next solo trip.
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