Video interpreting is a growing field, and there are now more opportunities than ever for interpreters to work remotely. Industry trends have shown the effectiveness of remote interpreting during times of social distancing. Convenience and lower costs compared to on-site interpreting have made remote interpreting the norm in legal, business, healthcare, and educational settings, whether it is spoken-language or sign-language interpreting. However, there are also some challenges that come with video interpreting, such as dealing with technical difficulties and ensuring that the communication is clear and accurate.
Here are 5 easy and impactful tips for remote interpreters:
1. Do your research and be familiar with the technology.
- Before you start your interpreting session, make sure that you have a good understanding of the topic and the participants. This includes knowing the terminology that will be used, the cultural context, and the purpose of the interpreting session.
- Make sure that you are familiar with the technology that you will be using. This includes knowing how to use the video conferencing software, the microphone, and the speakers.
- In case of technical difficulties, have a backup plan in place. This could include having a second interpreter on standby or using a different video conferencing software.
2. Check your equipment and test your internet connection.
- Make sure that your computer, microphone, and speakers are all working properly. This includes testing the sound and video quality.
- Ensure that your internet connection is stable and that you have enough bandwidth to support the video conferencing software.
3. Dress professionally and practice your pace and intonation
- Dress in a way that is professional and respectful of the participants.
- Speak at a natural pace and volume so that the participants can understand you.
- Avoid using jargon or technical terms that the participants may not understand. If you must use jargon or technical terms, be sure to explain them in plain language.
4. Be patient and flexible.
- Video interpreting can be unpredictable, so be prepared to adapt to changes. There may be times when the technology fails or the participants are difficult to understand. Be patient and try to work through any problems that arise.
- If the technology fails, try to find a workaround. For example, you could switch to a different video conferencing software or use a phone call.
- If the participants are difficult to understand, try to clarify what they are saying. You could ask them to repeat themselves or rephrase their question.
5. Be on time
- There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than feeling that you’re late for an important meeting. Try logging in to the call a few minutes prior to the scheduled time of the call. This will help you gain confidence as you focus on the call ahead.
Following these tips can help you to be a successful video interpreter. By being prepared, professional, patient, and flexible, you can ensure that the communication is clear and accurate.
We are all still getting adjusted to the new developments in the interpreting industry, and it is a perfect time to switch to remote interpreting if you haven’t done so already.