5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Telephone Interpreting Session

Telephone interpreting is a service that provides oral translation of conversations through the phone. It is the interpreter’s job to convert the spoken language to the target language, in (most likely) a consecutive method. This means that the speakers must pause after completing a sentence or two, for the interpreter to listen, comprehend, then deliver the speaker’s words into the target language. Over-the-phone interpreting is a great way for businesses, healthcare providers, and government organizations to communicate with their foreign patients, customers, and clients who are not fluent in your language. This gives both parties a confidence of knowing their message was well understood. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of this valuable service soon, keep these following tips in mind to ensure a smooth, quality session.



Always speak in first person

Introduce yourself to the interpreter as well as to your client, just as you would in first person. Keep it that way for the rest of the conversation to avoid confusion. For example, instead of saying “ask my client if they filled out the form we sent” you should simply ask “did you fill out the form we sent?”.


Speak clearly & listen attentively

Talk clearly and slowly so the interpreter understands what you’re saying in order to interpret your message correctly. Make sure only one person speaks at a time and pause after a thought

is complete to give the interpreter time to do his/her job. You can check with your interpreter to make sure you’re not speaking too fast or too slow. Remember to listen to responses before speaking again and be careful not to interrupt to avoid delaying the session.


Choose the Right Environment

Make sure to be in a quiet place when placing calls so you’re clear of distractions that may interfere with the clarity of your tone. This will help avoid delays within the session since loud background noises may cause all parties to constantly repeat their message. If you’re using Skype or an internet service, make sure that the internet service is stable.


Ensure Your Message Was Delivered

Ask the interpreter and your client the right questions to confirm they understand the message

you are trying to deliver. Remember that short sentences are easiest to interpret and help ensure nothing is lost in translation.


Plan for enough time

Due to the nature of this interpreting method, make sure to allocate enough time for your interpreting session. It will most likely take twice as long as what the original message would take to deliver in one language. If you have any questions about more precise times, give us a call. We would also be happy to give yo an estimate on the phone call ahead of time if you'd like.



Whether you need a professional interpreter for medical, travel, legal, or event meetings, Exact Communication has qualified interpreters available for over-the-phone and on-site interpreting

in over 60 languages. Contact us here to learn more.