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Whether you’re new to language services or want to increase your team’s efficiency when working with remote interpreters, CyraCom’s tips and best practices can help you get the most from your interpretation sessions. Let’s review a few simple ways to improve communication and maximize value while working with an interpreter.

1. Set up for success

  • Whenever possible, choose a quiet, private space to conduct interpretation sessions. Eliminating background noise helps everyone hear clearly, improving the flow of communication.
  • Gather and test the equipment you’ll use for remote interpretation sessions. For example, you may need to charge a device, gather a headset or speaker, and test the strength of your internet connection.
  • Select the best remote interpretation method for the situation. Remote interpretation is often faster and more affordable than on-site interpretation.
    • Over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) has fewer equipment requirements, more language options, and faster connection times. However, this option may seem impersonal or could face some communication challenges if visual cues are relevant to the conversation.
    • Video remote interpretation (VRI) is best for connecting with LEP individuals who feel more comfortable viewing their interpreter, including people who are a part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHOH) community. There are typically fewer spoken languages offered—verify availability for the language you need in advance.

2. Speak thoughtfully

  • Speak in the first person. Interpreters usually speak as the client or patient when interpreting. Because of this, it’s essential to talk in the first person as yourself. Avoid saying things like, “Tell the patient to uncross his legs so I can take his blood pressure.” Instead, say, “Uncross your legs so I can take your blood pressure.” It will help the session go smoothly and convey your message more efficiently.                  
  • Use short, complete phrases. Many interpreters rely on note-taking and short-term memory to interpret between parties. The shorter the message, the less likely the interpreter will need to ask for repetition. Pause briefly before speaking after each interpretation, or you may cut off the interpreter before they are finished.
  • Enunciate your words and use a loud, clear voice. If you’re using over-the-phone or video remote interpretation, a headset microphone can make it easier for the interpreter to hear you.
  • Avoid using creative or complicated language such as jargon, slang, and metaphors. It can be difficult to convey humor, sarcasm, idioms, and other forms of creative wording across all languages, so it’s best to eliminate them from interpreted conversations. If cultural or linguistic issues arise, allow the interpreter to clarify these for the limited-English proficient person.

3. Choose the best language services provider for your team

CyraCom stands out from other language services providers (LSPs) by offering:

  • Quality of service: High-quality language services help ensure your customers, clients, or patients can effectively communicate with your staff. CyraCom’s trained, reliable employee interpreters receive ongoing coaching and quality monitoring to continuously improve their industry-specific vocabulary, subject-matter knowledge, and customer service skills.
  • Account support: From implementation to ongoing service, CyraCom offers dedicated support every step of the way. You’ll have a dedicated account manager and 24/7 client support services to answer questions, address concerns, and strategize new ways to fulfill your specific needs.
  • Data security: Linguists regularly handle sensitive information. You need detailed information about the LSP's security measures to protect your organization, patients, or customers from a data breach or HIPAA non-compliance. Verify each LSP’s ability to safeguard confidential information.

Are you looking for more remote interpreting best practices?

Contact our team at today to ask questions or set up a zero-risk consultation.

Lindsay Lawson

Lindsay Lawson

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in interpreting and translation services, how language works.