Should You Consider Phone Interpreting? What You Need To Know

Should You Consider Phone Interpreting? What You Need To Know

Does your business or organization struggle with last-minute language barriers? Do you run into situations that don’t warrant a typical on-site interpreter? You’re not alone. Many organizations struggle to connect with Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals for those brief or unanticipated settings. Fortunately, on-demand phone interpreting is a cost-efficient service that meets the needs of your LEP consumers and bridges the language gap within a few seconds of dialing.

What is phone interpreting?

Phone interpreting is a service that phones an interpreter into your multilingual conversation. Use this service for in-person settings or use the dial-out feature, which allows you to make a three-way call between yourself, the interpreter, and the person you’re hoping to reach. LUNA offers phone interpreting services in more than 200 languages, 24/7, 365 days a year.

How phone interpreting works

Once you’ve registered an account for phone interpreting services, you will receive a unique customer code for billing purposes. Setting up an account is completely free and requires no contracts or minimum commitments.

The concept is simple: you call the LUNA phone interpreting line and let our operator know your customer code and which language you need. They will ask you a few basic questions about the call and then quickly connect you to the interpreter. Billing only starts once the interpreter is connected, at a flat, per-minute cost.

When does it make sense to use a phone interpreter vs. an on-site interpreter?

To determine whether a phone interpreter or an on-site interpreter best suits your needs, we offer a few guidelines to help you in your decision-making process.

When to use phone interpreting:

  • Scheduling future appointments/meetings
  • Appointments/meetings with one person
  • Simple instructional environment
  • Routine situations
  • Brief conversations
  • Emergency settings

When to use on-site interpreting:

  • Highly sensitive communications
  • Multiple participants
  • Situations involving a secondary barrier to communication (i.e., disability)
  • Vision/hearing screenings
  • Longer conversations

How COVID-19 affects the interpreter industry today

COVID-19 has presented unique challenges for on-site interpreters across the world. Like many other companies and organizations, LUNA is not immune from periodic workforce shortages and limited availability due to sudden illness. We continue to offer the vital service of on-site interpreting and coordinate hundreds of on-site appointments daily.

However, with the sudden rise of new COVID variants and infection numbers, phone interpreting has become an essential service due to its flexibility and remote quality. During this global pandemic, phone interpreting has proven to be an effective alternative to on-site interpreting for certain situations.

Final thoughts

On-demand phone interpreting services can be an extremely valuable tool for your organization or business, while still prioritizing your Limited English Proficient (LEP) patient, consumer, or employee experience. Whether you deal with hundreds of multilingual conversations a month or interact with LEP individuals every once in a while, you can use this scalable service on an as-needed basis. It’s a cost-efficient solution that’s user-friendly and the quickest way to access an interpreter.

Want to try out our phone interpreting services and see how it works for your organization? Call 317.341.4137 or email us at to set up your account for free.