Telephone interpreting - any hints?
Thread poster: William [Bill] Gray

William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 00:36
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
Nov 26, 2007

Hi to you all!

I am currently thinking over whether to respond positively to a request to interpreting over the telephone (three-way conversation, I presume) and wondered if anyone would be willing to share experience, ideas or suggestions/warnings.

How should one charge?
Are there any special things to look out for?

I currently interpret for our local town council, but that's face to face, or with groups of refugees. This would be something quite new.

Any contributions welcomed.

Bill


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
That's what I do! Among other things... Nov 27, 2007

Hi Bill, I'm a full time interpreter (and part time translator), and most of the time, I interpret over the phone for an appeals tribunal. We do unemployment hearings over the phone. It's a conference call, and we have had anywhere between four to ten people on the phone at the same time.
If you look in the forum, I'm sure there's lots of information about telephone interpretation, the subject has come up many times before.
I cannot help you with rates, because we live in different continents, I have no idea what the going rate is where you live. Perhaps another colleague can help you with that.
As far as suggestions, the first thing that comes to mind has to do with the protocol. Whoever is in charge needs to instruct the participants about how to hold an interpreted conversation over the phone. In my case, it's the judge who gives everyone the instructions. Things like "please speak slowly and clearly, pause every couple of sentences, if you forget to pause, the interpreter may interrupt you to interpret what you have said, you can continue speaking after the interpreter is finished with his interpretation, please wait until each question is interpreted fully before you answer, only one person can speak at a time". Ideally, there should be some sort of outline or agenda, so people know what to expect, when it's their turn to speak and so forth. The worst is when they forget to pause so you can interpret, or when people talk over each other, or argue.
One of the drawbacks of interpreting over the phone, is not being able to see the speaker. You have to make sure the sound quality is good so you can hear clearly. If people use the speaker on their phone, sometimes it's hard to hear well, and repetitions may be needed.

If you have any specific questions, you can send me an email, and I'll be glad to help anyway I can.
Good luck to you.

[Edited at 2007-11-27 01:37]


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 00:36
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you and apologies.... Nov 27, 2007

First of all, thanks to Teju for the reply!

And then my apologies to readers of the forum for my breach of etiquette in not searching the forum before posting a new topic. I see now that this topic has been addressed from several different angles recently.

Bill





[Edited at 2007-11-27 06:10]


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Telephone interpreting - any hints?

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