“You won’t just be the first company I contact for business interpreter services – you’ll be the ONLY one.” – Norfrost
Good business interpreter services are far more than just talking translation. We offer several types, and what works best for you depends on several factors.
We’ve excellent experience, delivering over 6,000 business interpreter services to date. And our in-house (not outsourced) business interpreter services management keeps our smart well-qualified professional interpreters on-time and well-briefed.
Thorough preparation not only ensures accurate language interpretation, but also ensures your visitors obtain the best impression of your company. We carefully select our business interpreters for knowledge of your sector.
A professional business interpreter helps in several ways.
Firstly, providing smart, professional business interpreter services for your visitors will be taken as a compliment – you’re showing that you take seriously what they have to say. You’re also demonstrating respect for their language and culture, and signalling that you don’t see language as a barrier.
A good business interpreter also really helps with introductions, facilitating small talk and building empathy with your visitors before you get down to business. They’ll also accompany factory tours or join evening meals if needed.
But most importantly, they will be a professional, well-qualified, highly-experienced linguist. So you and your visitors can rely on the interpreting to be accurate and smooth, allowing you to focus on business.
In an established relationship where trust has been built, that’s not uncommon and isn’t unreasonable.
However, do remember that having your own independent business interpreter ensures accurate impartial communication – that may not be the case where one party is interpreting for both.
Remember too that your own business interpreter can offer insight into in-language discussion between visitors – surely worth having!
With us, so is finding one.
Medical interpreting is a particular skillset requiring interpreters to be specially-qualified and experienced. You can find more detail on our Medical Interpreting page. We’ve delivered over 5,000 face-to-face interpreting assignments to NHS and private hospitals, clinical trials and GP and dental surgeries.
Court & legal interpreting is both difficult and stressful and demands great emotional maturity. On top of that a legal interpreter must be highly professional and fully trustworthy. They also need to be completely independent, and ours are trained to recuse themselves if they feel that this independence may in any way be compromised.
We know all of our court and legal interpreters well, and use ONLY experienced and DPSI-qualified (or better) interpreters. This means that you can trust ours completely. You can find more information on our legal services page.
In the same way as medical and court interpreting, language interpreting for insurance brings its own challenges. We’re leading providers to the sector, and you can find more details on our Insurance page. We’ve delivered well over 3,000 insurance assignments, and every week you’ll find our interpreters working closely with investigators all over the UK.
It’s a little-known fact that BSL interpreting (British Sign Language) is the most requested form of interpreting in the UK. We’ve been providing BSL interpreters since 1990 to social services, medical appointments, courts and more.
We also offer picture-in-picture BSL interpreting as part of our video services.
BSL is a true language in its own right with its own grammar, and quite challenging to learn. For this reason many people who learn signing later in life, perhaps following an accident, find SSE (Sign Supported English) easier. SSE uses the gesture communication of BSL but with grammar conventions closer to spoken English, making it easier to learn and use.
We provide interpreting in both SSE and BSL across the UK and have an excellent BSL interpreter base.
Face-to-face interpreting was until COVID the most usual format for interpreting, and what most think of as “interpreting”. In face-to-face the interpreter, and those interpreted for, are (ideally) in one place, although COVID means that tools such as Skype are increasingly used to deliver remote interpreting. “F2F” or “liaison” are other names for face-to-face interpreting.
Because the format is highly flexible and supports all involved, face-to-face is generally the best solution for business interpreting. Our experienced face-to-face interpreters ensures easy and relaxed communication, and cost much less than you expect. All our mother-tongue face-to-face interpreters are professionally-qualified, selected for experience in your sector, and thoroughly-briefed before every assignment.
Delivering excellent relationship building, credibility, and insight, good face-to-face interpreting really is the best choice for all but the most mundane discussion.
Our Europe-wide interpreter network also means that local provision keeps your costs to a minimum.
Simultaneous interpreting addresses the main downside of both face-to-face and consecutive interpreting – time. The speaker’s words are relayed AFTER the speaker in both face-to-face and consecutive business interpreting, so of course everything takes longer.
Simultaneous interpreting overcomes that. In this format the interpreter is usually away from the ambient noise in a soundproof booth with the speaker’s voice(s) fed to them via a mic, which they interpret to delegates through wireless headsets. Several languages can be transmitted at the same time by using multiple channels, as seen for example at the UN.
It’s the ideal business interpreting format for business conferences or large multi-national meetings, and is highly cost-effective, promoting excellent delegate involvement.
Because simultaneous interpreting equipment is quite complex it’s generally supported by an on-site engineer. A lower-cost alternative where very few people – 2 or 3 – need interpreting is “whispering interpreting” (also called “chuchotage”, the French for whispering). In chuchotage the interpreter speaks quietly directly to listeners, needing no equipment.
A second option for up to twenty or so is a “tour guide” system. In this the interpreter controls a portable microphone and radio system which transmits their words directly to the users’ wireless headsets. The system is designed to let the interpreter accompany accompany groups on factory visits or site tours (hence the name!), but the low cost and flexibility make it an effective option for smaller events where a full simultaneous solution isn’t justified.
You’ll find more information on our Conference Interpreting page.
Consecutive interpreting is almost the opposite of simultaneous interpreting. In simultaneous interpreting – as the name suggests – the listener hears the interpreted content almost as the speaker says it.
In consecutive interpreting however the interpreter waits, taking notes while the speaker talks, perhaps for several minutes. The interpreter will only then relay the content, using their notes so nothing is missed.
Consecutive interpreting allows for more complete and thoughtful rendering of the speech. The interpreter can listen better, and has time to consider the best words to use. Consecutive interpreting is preferred where precise tone and accuracy are more important than speed. Legal or diplomatic situations are typical.
With the arrival of COVID, remote and telephone interpreting have really come to the fore.
Telephone interpreting is low cost but far more limited than other formats, because it’s so isolated. That deprives the interpreter of all the normal visual cues, such as expression or gesture, so fluent interpreting becomes more difficult. Many interpreters refuse to offer telephone interpreting for that reason.
The isolation also means the interpreter is unable to help with documentation or offer other assistance. Finally, in business interpreting contexts remember that telephone interpreting deprives you of any insight into your visitors’ own in-language discussions. Despite its lower costs, we wouldn’t recommend telephone interpreting for most business applications.
Remote interpreting however is much more capable, and both this and telephone interpreting are discussed fully here.
We interpret over 100, including many of the less common African and Asian ones, as well as BSL and SSE (British Sign language and Sign Supported English).
Our business interpreting services are most in demand in the main European languages, primarily Spanish, French, and German. However, Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin) and Arabic, along with Russian, are unsurprisingly catching up fast and may well overtake these soon.
We’ll always try to source the best interpreter for you in terms of location, gender and personality (and of course experience). If you’d particularly like to use an interpreter that you’ve worked with before, please tell us and we’ll do our best to get hold of them for you. As interpreters are in high demand however we’re unable to guarantee this.