Do I Need On-site, Telephonic or Video Remote Interpreting Services?

How to Use On-site, Telephonic or Video Remote Interpreting Services

Offering quality language interpretation is a critical service in order to remove language barriers for your Limited-English Proficient (LEP) clients and patients. The LEP population in the United States is over 25.1 million. That’s 8% of the total population!  For businesses and organizations to succeed in improving communication and outcomes for the populations they serve, they must be ready to communicate with every client, regardless of what language they speak. While being ready to offer language services is easier than ever before, do you know which method of interpretation is best suited for your situation? Do you need an in-person interpreter or would you benefit from remote interpreting services?

In order to better understand what you need from your language services plan, we’ll be speaking about the three types of interpretation, benefits of each, and common situations for using a particular method.

Situations for On-Site Interpreting

On-Site Interpretation is the process of having a face-to-face meeting, where the interpreter is present at your facility and allows for the highest level of accuracy. While many providers prefer this method of interpreting, especially in healthcare settings, it is best used in Telelanguage Language Access Checklist for Marketplace Implementationsituations where extra contact with the interpreter is needed, meetings are planned in advance and may have multiple speakers, or where the LEP client or patient is more comfortable with a face-to-face interpretation.

Here are some common situations to help you know when to use on-site interpreters:

  • Complex, time-consuming issues
  • Lengthy appointments or interviews planned in advance
  • Multiple patient appointments scheduled close to each other
  • Where the Limited English Speaker prefers to have the Interpreter on-site
  • Where the Limited English Speaker feels uncomfortable using the telephone
  • Where hand and body gestures are essential to get a message across

A few things to keep in mind about on-site interpretations: Scheduling appointments in advance will allow for the best possible outcomes, as it may take time to get an interpreter to your facility. There may be minimum hours charged, and changes in your schedule changes may present difficulties.

In short, when the situation or meeting is high-demand or high-touch and planned in advance, using an on-site interpreter is of the highest value.

Situations for Telephonic Interpreting

The need for telephone interpretation starts when you need to communicate with a limited-English proficient individual but are not able to due to a language barrier. In this instance, connecting to a certified interpreter in order to communicate quickly and effectively becomes necessary. Over-the-Phone Interpretation is an on-demand, remote interpreting services that offers a fast response when urgent or unexpected language barriers comes up.

Available at a low per-minute rate, Telephonic Interpreting allows you to connect to an interpreter in seconds, regardless of the language needed. Telelanguage’s proprietary technology ensures that there are no outages during national emergencies and allows you to connect to

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certified interpreters best qualified for your situation, in over 300 languages.

Here are a few ways Telephonic Interpretation helps your business or organization:

  • Enhance customer/patient satisfaction
  • Reduces miscommunication errors
  • Most cost-effective interpretation solution
  • Improves efficiency
  • Increases productivity and staff adoption

Phone interpreting offers the most cost-effective interpreting solution and is perfect for most spoken language interpreting situations that do not require non-verbal cues, or visual contact with the interpreter.

Want a better understanding of the telephonic interpretation process? Download the Free White Paper.

Situations for Video Remote Interpreting

Video Remote Interpreting, or VRI, is a video telecommunication service that uses devices such as web cameras or videophones to provide sign language or spoken language interpreting services. VRI can be an excellent remote interpreting method because, like telephonic interpreting, it is an on-demand service that can be accessed quickly. Video Interpreting also allows for the highest level of accuracy (second to only to on-site interpretation) due to the extra visual support of the interpreter and being able to pick up non-verbal communication.

While telephonic interpreting is an appropriate means for many spoken language meetings, VRI allows you a remote method of


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communication with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing clients and patients.

Video Remote Interpreting Services makes it possible to:

  • Add visual support with enhanced accuracy
  • See facial expressions of the interpreter and know they understood what was said
  • Confirm the meaning of non-verbal communication
  • Help the conversation for you, your interpreter and your non-English speaking client

Telelanguage’s VRI services may be an excellent way to improve language services while reducing interpretation budget because there are no hourly minimums (on-site interpreting typically requires minimum charges and possibly mileage/travel) or extra expenses.

Conventional on-site interpreting typically requires minimum charges and possibly mileage and travel charges.

Learn More about the benefits of Video Remote Interpreting services here.


While each situation is different and may call for a different method of interpretation, providing certified interpreters will increase satisfaction with your organization, from the healthcare industry to business meetings. As a leading provider of language services for over 26 years, Telelanguage helps our clients to meet the needs of any situation, offering On-site, Telephonic and Video Remote interpreting services. We work with our clients to maximize efficiency and reduce interpretation costs while improving the quality of your language services.


Telelanguage offers 4,000+ interpreters in over 300 languages. If you need help deciding what services are right for your clients, Contact us for more information. We’re here to help you provide the highest quality language services for your clients, customers and patients!

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Quality and expert interpretations are available telephonically, Onsite, or video remote!