Language Interpreting Services

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Language interpretation from professional & experienced UK language interpreter services

Professionally-qualified (DPSI or better) language interpretation services: face-to-face (F2F) interpreting – simultaneous interpreting – consecutive interpreting – telephone language interpreting services – BSL & SSE

Public sector, NGO, and business interpreting services
Language interpreter services in 150 languages since 1990

Over 12,500 language interpreter services delivered – follow them on Twitter

“You won’t just be the first company I contact for language interpreter services
– you’ll be the ONLY one.” –
Norfrost

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Language interpreting (or language interpretation) 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

Language interpreting services aren’t all the same.

Recent issues in court interpreting for example indicate that great caution in supplier selection is needed! You can be fully confident that all our interpreters are well-experienced and highly-qualified, holding DPSI or better. Our exceptional language interpreter base means that we’re able to offer the comprehensive range of language interpreter services below to a consistently high quality. 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. We offer:

Language interpretation also comes in several flavours:

Frequently asked language interpreter questions include:

Working with a good language interpreter is easy.

With us, so is finding one.

If you’d like to learn more about how our business interpreter services can help you, just drop us a few details above (in total confidence of course) and we’ll get straight back to you. Or our helpful team on UK Freefone 0800 783 4678 (Intnl 0044 1772 558858) would love to assist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business interpreter services

Obtaining business interpreting through your own independent business interpreter is an essential investment in negotiation with non-English mother-tongue visitors, ensuring accurate and unbiased communication as well as providing key intelligence on in-language conversation between visitors. Business interpreting adds tremendous value in other applications too – for example in training delivery where attendees’ uptake of content is dramatically enhanced by learning in their own language (clearly demonstrated by our work with leading Health & Safety training organisations)

Professional business interpreting can really help you “seal the deal” too – overseas visitors perceive your provision of smart, professional business interpreting services as a COMPLIMENT to how seriously you take them.

There’s much more about our Business Interpreting services here, complemented by our Business Translation services.

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Medical interpreting

Medical interpreting is a specialism 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, as well as to clinical trials and GP surgeries.

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Legal & Court interpreter services

Court & legal interpreting has been much in the media, with poor interpreters causing serious difficulties in trials and in other legal matters. We’d like to stress that NOT ONE of those problems were as a result of our court interpreting provision. In the more than 5,000 language interpreter solutions that we have delivered 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 trusted. They must also be 100% 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 we use ONLY experienced and DPSI-qualified interpreters. This means that – unlike a lot of current court interpreter provision – you really can trust ours completely. You can find more information on our legal services page.

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Insurance interpretation services

In the same way as medical and court interpreting, language interpretation for the Insurance sector has its own particular requirements. We’re leading providers to this demanding sector, and you can find more details on our dedicated Insurance page. We’ve delivered well over 2,000 insurance assignments to date, and every week our interpreters can be found assisting investigations all over the UK.

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BSL & SSE (“sign language”) services

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. Many people who have to learn signing later prefer to learn SSE (Sign Supported English) instead because of this. SSE employs the gestural communication of BSL but structured in a way that’s more similar 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 this, and on our Braille transcription, on our BSL SSE & Braille page

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Face to face (“F2F”) language interpreting

Face-to-face interpreting is the commonest type of interpreting. In this format a physically present linguist interprets directly between the attendees. “F2F” or “liaison” are other names for face-to-face interpreting.

Because the format is both highly flexible and very supportive for all of the participants, face-to-face interpreting works very well in most interpreting situations. A good face-to-face interpreter really does maximise communication, and does so for very little cost. Our face-to-face interpreters are always well-briefed and professionally-qualified, and we select them for 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 interpreter makes a tremendous difference. Our UK-wide interpreter network also means that local provision is usually able to keep costs to a minimum.

 

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Simultaneous (“Conference”) language interpreting

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 language interpreting, so of course everything takes twice as long.

Simultaneous interpreting overcomes this. In this the interpreter is usually isolated from the surroundings in a soundproof booth. He or she receives the speaker’s voice(s) via a headset and relays this to delegates via their headsets, either through radio or via IR transmission. Multiple channels allows for simultaneous interpreting of several languages at the same time – you can see this in action at the UN for example.

Simultaneous interpreting equipment is quite complex and on the whole needs on-site technical support. Simultaneous interpreting can as a result be quite a costly solution. “Whispering interpreting” is one cheaper simultaneous interpreting option where only a few need interpreting (also called “chuchotage”, the French for whispering). In chuchotage the interpreter speaks quietly directly to up to 3 service users.

A second less costly simultaneous interpreting option, which is suitable for as many as a dozen users, is to use a “tour guide” system. In this the interpreter controls a small microphone and radio system which transmits their words directly to the users’ headsets. The key benefit of a tour guide system is mobility, which for example allows the interpreter to accompany factory tours – hence the name.

You can find more detail on our Simultaneous Interpreting services on our Conference Interpreting page.

 

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Consecutive interpreting

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.

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Telephone interpreting

Telephone interpreting is a low cost interpreter solution, but also has very significant limitations. Our FREE Interpreting Guide discusses the main factors to consider in deciding whether or not to use telephone interpreting.

The main problem with telephone language interpreting is that it is remote. The interpreter does not have the normal visual cues in communication, such as expression or gesture, which makes effective interpreting more difficult. The service user can also feel very unsupported and alone, which can make this a very poor solution in emotionally-charged situations. The interpreter’s remoteness also means that he or she is unable to help with any documentation, or provide any other assistance such as notes.

Telephone interpreting really only works well in a very limited range of situations. With 26 years of experience in delivery of interpreting solutions we can advise on when telephone interpreting may, or may not, be appropriate. If in doubt, face-to-face interpreting is far more likely to achieve the desired outcome.

 

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“Can I get an interpreter in any language?”

We interpret over 150 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 such as Spanish, French, German or Italian, as well as Dutch and Portuguese. Increasingly requested are Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin) and Arabic.

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“Can choose my interpreter?”

We’ll always try to source the optimal interpreter for you, taking into account experience, closeness, 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.

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