COVID is not affecting our service provision. Learn more.
“You won’t just be the first company I contact for language interpreter services
– you’ll be the ONLY one.” – Norfrost
Language interpreting is spoken translation. Of over 40,000 language projects we have delivered to date, over 30% are language interpreting services. Most have been in the UK but we’ve also been busy in China, France, Italy, Africa, Spain, Korea… Here’s some case studies
Massive court interpreting problems show how careful you need to be when choosing your language interping partner! However, you can rest assured that every one of our interpreters is professional, experienced and highly-qualified, holding DPSI or better.
Our exceptional language interpreter base allows to offer the full range of language interpreter services below to a consistently high quality, reaching from our Preston home right across Europe.
Whatever language interpreting format you choose, our Really Helpful Friendly Guide to language interpreting (pdf, 900kb) will help you get the most from your interpreting.
Click any of the links below to learn more!
With us, so is getting one.
Using your own independent business interpreter is an essential investment in negotiation with non-English speaking visitors, ensuring accurate and unbiased communication as well as useful intelligence about visitors’ in-language discussion. It adds tremendous value in other applications too – for example in training delivery where allowing delegates to learn in their own language really improves outcomes (apparent from our work with leading Health & Safety training organisations)
Professional interpreting can really help you “seal the deal” too – visitors will take your provision of smart, professional interpreting as a compliment.
This is a specialism which requires interpreters to be specially-qualified and experienced. We’ve delivered over 5,000 face to face interpreting assignments to NHS and private hospitals, as well as to clinical trials and GP surgeries. You’ll find more on our Medical Interpreting page.
Court & legal interpreting has been much in the media, with poor interpreters causing serious difficulties in trials and in other legal matters. We’d stress that none of those problems relate to our court interpreting provision. In the more than 5,000 language interpreter solutions we’ve provided to solicitors and courts, we’ve received only compliments.
Court & legal interpreting is both difficult and stressful. In addition to the emotional stability that is needed, a legal interpreter has to be thoroughly professional and completely trustworthy. They must also be 100% independent, so ours are trained to recuse themselves if they feel this independence may in any way be compromised.
We know all of our court and legal interpreters well, and we use ONLY experienced and DPSI-qualified interpreters. This means that – unlike a lot of court interpreting – you really can trust ours completely. There’s more on our legal services page.
Like medical and court interpreting, language interpreting services for the Insurance sector have their own requirements. We’re leading providers to this demanding sector, and you’ll find more details on our Insurance page. We’ve delivered over 3,000 insurance assignments to date, all over the UK.
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 that has its own grammar and as a consequence is quite challenging to learn, so many people who have to learn signing later in life prefer to learn SSE (Sign Supported English) instead. SSE employs the gesture communication of BSL but has grammar 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. There’s more on our BSL SSE & Braille page
Face-to-face language interpreting was the commonest format pre-COVID, where a physically-present linguist interprets directly between the attendees. Face-to-face interpreting is also know as “F2F” or “liaison”. While COVID precautions dictate much more interpreting is now remote – which we also offer – F2F language interpreting remains in high demand.
Because F2F is both highly flexible and very supportive for all participants, face-to-face interpreting works well in most situations. Good face-to-face interpreting provides a really cost-effective solution to foreign language communication. Our face-to-face interpreters are well-briefed and professionally-qualified, and carefully selected for their experience in your application.
Whether for business meetings, medical interpreting, court or legal interpreting, insurance work or anywhere else that communication is key, a good face-to-face language interpreter makes a tremendous difference. Our UK-wide 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 – 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. Simultaneous interpreting delivers the interpreted content to the service user at almost the same moment as the speaker speaks. In consecutive interpreting however the interpreter waits, taking notes while the speaker talks, which they may do for several minutes. The consecutive interpreter will only then relay the spoken content, referring back to their notes as they do so to ensure nothing is missed.
Consecutive interpreting allows for more complete and thoughtful rendering of the speech. The interpreter can focus more on listening, and also has more time in which to formulate their words. Consecutive interpreting is typically preferred where precision of rendering is more important than speed. Legal or diplomatic situations are typical.
With the arrival of COVID, remote and telephone language 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 the normal visual cues, 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 languages, including many of the less common African and Asian languages. We also provide sign interpreting in both BSL and SSE (British Sign language and Sign Supported English).
Our language interpreting is in most demand in the main European languages – Spanish, French, and German , as well as Dutch and Portuguese. Increasingly requested are Chinese (mainly Mandarin) and Arabic.
We’ll always try to source the optimal interpreter for you, taking into account experience, location, gender and personality. If you’ve a preference for a particular interpreter you’ve worked with before please tell us and we’ll try to obtain them for you. Interpreters are a limited resource however, which means that we can’t guarantee to meet particular requests.
It’s the Diploma in Public Services Interpreting – and should be the minimum qualification you look for in an interpreter. We’re bombarded by folk who think they can interpret because they speak a language, but unless they can prove possession of DPSI or better we’re simply not interested.
The quality of our language interpreting services provision is paramount, and we will only work with professionally-qualified interpreters. However, not every provider has the same standards so do be careful.