Phone Interpreting Tips: How to Have a Successful Phone Interpreting Session

Phone Interpreting Tips: How to Have a Successful Phone Interpreting Session

Many businesses and organizations use phone interpreting for quick and easy interactions with limited English proficient (LEP) employees, clients, or patients when an on-site or virtual interpreter isn’t available or warranted. From law offices, HR departments, to medical facilities, phone interpreting provides a fast and cost-efficient solution. LUNA’s services offer on-demand or pre-scheduled calls for rarer languages and are available 24/7 in over 200 languages worldwide. With no set-up fees or minimum commitments, it’s available any time you need it – for a simple per minute charge.

Our experienced phone interpreters hold advanced interpreter certifications and are bound by strict confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.  To help make your first calls effortless, we recommend the following tips to ensure the best results from your interpreting sessions.

1. Brief the interpreter before the conversation if you want to share any vital information.

Speak to the interpreter first if there is any information you want to share about your conversation that will help the session be more meaningful.

2. The interpreter will only translate what is being said – verbatim.

An interpreter is a neutral person in the conversation – the communication bridge between you and the person lacking English proficiency (LEP). The interpreter will not be involved in the conversation. The interpreter will use the pronoun “I” for the LEP when interpreting – so don’t be confused – the interpreter is not speaking about him or herself!

3. Speak clearly and in a normal voice.

As you would in a first-time conversation, be intentional and aware of your pace of speaking.

4. Allow for extra time for interpreted communication sessions.

The session will take longer since the conversation is repeated “twice”. Don’t be in a rush.

5. Best practice in a session is to not use acronyms, slang words, or idioms.

Use simple and concise wording that will easily translate.

6. Remember to pause between your sentences or complete thoughts.

Be polite, as in a conversation, and don’t interrupt the interpreter or the LEP. Listen to what is being interpreted. The interpreter will also pause to let you know he or she is finished.

7. Speak directly to the non-English speaker (LEP), not the interpreter.

This is the most important tip: Develop the connection with the LEP and not the interpreter.

8. Be sure there is only one person speaking at a time.

If the LEP is talking over the interpreter, stop the session, and ask the interpreter to inquire if the LEP has something to say or to add.

Let the interpreter know if this is your first-time using phone interpreting services!

To learn more about this service, read our Phone Interpreting information or contact us through our Get a Quote page.

Click to download a PDF version of LUNA’s Phone Interpreting Tips.