We’ve delivered over 6,000 business interpreter services to date.
“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 which is the best for you will depend on several factors. Our free Really Helpful Friendly Guide to language interpreting (pdf, 900kb) will help you choose, and make the most of, the best business interpreter service for you.
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 eases negotiation 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 with your visitors and building empathy before you get down to business.
In an established relationship where trust has been built, that’s not uncommon and isn’t unreasonable. However, in business negotiations having your own independent business interpreter ensures accurate impartial communication which may not always be the case where one party is also interpreting for the other. And just as importantly – or more – your own business interpreter can offer insight into in-language discussion between visitors – an edge that can give you a lot of leverage.
With us, so is finding one.
Medical interpreting is a particular skillset which requires 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 2,500 insurance assignments, and you’ll find our interpreters working closely with investigators every week all over the UK.
It’s a little-know 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 have to learn signing later in life, such as after 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 is the most usual type of interpreting, and is what most of us picture when we hear “interpreting”. In face-to-face the interpreter, and those being interpreted for, are (usually) in one place, although tools such as Skype are gradually becoming used as well to allow remote interpreting to save cost, albeit at the price of effectiveness. “F2F” or “liaison” are other names for face-to-face interpreting.
Because the format is highly flexible and offers good language support to all involved, face-to-face is generally the best solution for business interpreting. A skilled face-to-face interpreter ensures easy and relaxed communication, at surprisingly low cost. Our mother-tongue face-to-face interpreters are well-briefed and professionally-qualified, and selected for experience in your sector.
Delivering excellent relationship building, credibility, and insight, good face-to-face interpreting really is the best choice for all but the most mundane discussion.
Whether for business meetings, medical interpreting, court or legal interpreting, insurance work or anywhere else that spoken communication is key, a good face-to-face interpreter makes a tremendous difference. Our very wide interpreter network also means that local provision can usually keep costs to a minimum.
Simultaneous interpreting addresses the main downside of both face-to-face and consecutive interpreting – and that is time. The speaker’s words are relayed AFTER the speaker in both face-to-face and consecutive business interpreting, so of course everything takes much 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 st the same time by using multiple channels, as is seen for example at the UN.
Because simultaneous interpreting equipment is quite complex it’s generally supported by an on-site engineer, making it quite a costly solution. A lower-cost alternative where only very few people need interpreting is “whispering interpreting” (also called “chuchotage”, the French for whispering). In chuchotage the interpreter speaks quietly directly to up to 3 listeners, needing no equipment.
A second lower-cost option for up to twenty or so users is a “tour guide” system. In this the interpreter controls a small portable microphone and radio system which transmits their words directly to the users’ wireless headsets. The system’s mobility allows the interpreter to accompany groups on site tours or factory visits. However, the low cost and flexibility can make it an effective option for smaller events where a full simultaneous solution is not merited.
You can find more on our Simultaneous Interpreting services on our Conference Interpreting page.
Consecutive interpreting is almost the opposite of simultaneous interpreting. In simultaneous interpreting the listener hears the interpreted content almost as the speaker says it. In consecutive interpreting the interpreter waits, taking notes while the speaker talks, which they may do 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 more time to consider the best words to use. Consecutive interpreting is often preferred where precise tone and accuracy are more important than speed. Legal or diplomatic situations are typical.
Telephone interpreting is low cost but far more limited than other formats. Our FREE Interpreting Guide discusses the main factors in deciding whether or not to use telephone interpreting.
The main problem with telephone interpreting is that it is remote. That means the interpreter lacks the normal visual communication cues, such as expression or gesture, which makes good interpreting much more difficult. It also means that the interpreter cannot help with documentation or much other assistance. Finally, in business interpreting contexts telephone interpreting deprives you of any access to in-language asides among your visitors, and so of that intelligence. Despite its lower costs, we wouldn’t recommend telephone interpreting for negotiation.
Telephone interpreting really only works well in a few situations. If in doubt, face-to-face interpreting is far more likely to achieve the desired outcome, particularly in business.
We interpret over 150, 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 is most in demand in the main European languages including Spanish, French, German or Italian. However, Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin) and Arabic, along with Russian, are unsurprisingly catching up fast and are likely to 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 particular 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.