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Why is a landline telephone needed for telephone interpreting?
Thread poster: jyuan_us

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:46
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Dec 7, 2016

I noticed that virtual all telephone interpreting jobs require the interpreter to have a landline telephone. I was wondering why it is not OK to do interpretation jobs via a cell phone.

Do you have any idea why they all require a landline telephone?


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Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Quality issue Dec 8, 2016

Hi,

I am sure it is due to quality concerns (quality is higher in case of using a landline). But in our mobile world this is an "outdated" (though seemingly necessary) prerequisite.

Anyhow, I also work as a telephone interpreter and even if they state "landline highly preferred (+ headset)", they accept mobile connection (-headset), too. For sure it depends on the company you work for and also on the quality of one’s mobile connection/ability to use it and organise oneself.

Best regards,

Agnes


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Landline phone as proof Dec 8, 2016

Interesting discussion. We might think this requirement is outdated or obsolete in light of the abundance and efficiency of high-quality mobile phone communications.

However, some telephone interpreting is intended to handle confidential situations, whether for industrial, commercial or government institutions. In those cases, a landline phone may serve as proof of lawful or licit residence (nothing to do with immigration status, by the way) and all that residence entails: utility bills, a physical presence, etc.

Why, you ask? Well, using disposable cellphones is very common among criminals, terrorists and other undesirables. In case of doubt, always ask your potential customer about the landline phone requirement.


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liviu roth
United States
Local time: 17:46
Romanian to English
+ ...
Why landline? Dec 8, 2016

As you may know, there are "scheduled" and "unscheduled" telephonic assignments. The agencies try to avoid the situation where they call you on your cell and you are in a public, noisy place where you cannot provide an efficient interpretation. Whenever I get a request for a "scheduled" and I know that I won't be at home answering on my landline, I tell the agency to call me on my cell (with headset and mike) and I'll be waiting for the call in a quiet place where I can perform my job.

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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:46
Romanian to English
+ ...
Power? Dec 8, 2016

This is just an amateur's guess, but I suppose mobile phones, i.e. the devices themselves, are more prone to defects than landline phones. A landline doesn't depend on battery power.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Clarity Dec 8, 2016

jyuan_us wrote:

I noticed that virtual all telephone interpreting jobs require the interpreter to have a landline telephone. I was wondering why it is not OK to do interpretation jobs via a cell phone.

Do you have any idea why they all require a landline telephone?


Because a landline call is clearer and does not rely on a signal that might be interrupted. Also: the voice quality on many mobile phones is very poor. A landline is better technology because the whole connection is hard wired, which means there is no interference and the call cannot easily be monitored. All mobile calls are monitored, in case you didn't know; and with a mobile phone they know where you are, who else you have called in the past year, and a great deal more about you if you also use the same phone for Facebook, email, internet, banking, calling your doctor, talking to lawyers, etc. There is no confidentiality with a mobile phone. Oh, and if the phone is stolen or lost....need I go on?

[Edited at 2016-12-08 09:45 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:46
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On the other hand.. Dec 8, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Because a landline call is clearer and does not rely on a signal that might be interrupted. Also: the voice quality on many mobile phones is very poor. A landline is better technology because the whole connection is hard wired, which means there is no interference and the call cannot easily be monitored. All mobile calls are monitored, in case you didn't know; and with a mobile phone they know where you are, who else you have called in the past year, and a great deal more about you if you also use the same phone for Facebook, email, internet, banking, calling your doctor, talking to lawyers, etc. There is no confidentiality with a mobile phone. Oh, and if the phone is stolen or lost....need I go on?


... a landline phone is extremely easy to tap, though in many cases it is also easy to detect that it is being monitored.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not easy Dec 8, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

... a landline phone is extremely easy to tap.....


I know it can be done, but not easily. You need special equipment

And even if you do tap a landline there is no access to any other data, as there would be with a smartphone. I imagine that's the main reason why a landline is specifically required for telephone intepreting.

Even so, that is not completely secure either.

Here in the UK we are watched constantly. Councils, police and intelligence services are tapping and intercepting the phone calls, emails and letters of hundreds of thousands of people every year:

http://tinyurl.com/d2vmsh



[Edited at 2016-12-08 10:00 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 23:46
English to Croatian
+ ...
The way you asked the question. Dec 8, 2016

jyuan_us wrote:

I noticed that virtual all telephone interpreting jobs require the interpreter to have a landline telephone. I was wondering why it is not OK to do interpretation jobs via a cell phone.

Do you have any idea why they all require a landline telephone?


No consideration of you with the cell phone being in the middle of traffic, noise, city crowd etc - nobody will be able to hear what you are saying? And possibly losing signal or having your battery out? While your client is waiting urgently for you to interpret?

I mean I don't do telephone interpreting as it's paid $15 per hour in my language pair, just using some basic sense when answering your question.

One time my friends happily relied on their cell phone maps as touristic guide when their battery ran out when they needed it most. Now they always have paper maps with them.





[Edited at 2016-12-08 09:59 GMT]


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 00:46
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Reliability Dec 8, 2016

A landline telephone is much more reliable than a cell phone. You may easily lose connection with a cell phone. However, the probability of that happening with a landline is much lower. I think that difference in reliability alone is the prime reason why they prefer a landline telephone over a cell phone. There are other reasons, some of which are mentioned above. Voice quality is lower with a cell phone. A cell phone is much more prone to outside noise, e.g. vehicle traffic.

Also, events such as Hurricane Katrina proved that a cell phone infrastructure is much more fragile than people think. When cell phones were not operating only hours after Hurricane Katrina (and others), landline infrastructure was completely operational. Think "reliability" again!


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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
Interesting Dec 15, 2016

I don't interpret myself, but this is a very interesting discussion, seeing as here in Finland, practically no one uses landlines anymore... Even many firms are now using mobiles only. So this thing about mobiles not being seen as reliable (and even not as confidential) is intriguing...

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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Besides habits, Dec 17, 2016

I know several people who use a mobile only when needed --mostly with a headset-- and just for a minute or so, because they believe (not without a reason) that it might harm their heads.
Seemingly, using it for some 30 minutes may frighten them as hell.

Indeed, some still habitually prefer oldie wired (found at a certain place) phones, that's why I connected a mobile to the A/C, chose a classical ring theme, and lowered the brightness, so my grandparents think it's a cheap-tiny, but telephone)


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
a/c Dec 19, 2016

DZiW wrote:

I know several people who use a mobile only when needed --mostly with a headset-- and just for a minute or so, because they believe (not without a reason) that it might harm their heads.
Seemingly, using it for some 30 minutes may frighten them as hell.

Indeed, some still habitually prefer oldie wired (found at a certain place) phones, that's why I connected a mobile to the A/C, chose a classical ring theme, and lowered the brightness, so my grandparents think it's a cheap-tiny, but telephone)


You connected a mobile to the air conditioning?


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 23:46
French to English
+ ...
Another possibility Dec 19, 2016

I have VoIP (Internet phone) here in France and all of my calls to landlines (worldwide) are included in the single monthly Internet access fee. However, I have to pay extra for calls to cell phones. I don't know if this is true everywhere.

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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
disservice of auto-correction Dec 19, 2016

Hello Tom--it should read as "ac (outlet)"; even helpful software could do a bad turn, yet it still fits much better than "AC/DC" in that context, I guess)

Cheers


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