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On-Site Vs Off-Site Interpreting

Eager to meet the needs of each and every client, Translators USA offers both on-site and off-site interpreting services. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to interpreting and therefore, we are very proud to provide our clients with the ability to choose between different interpreting services.

Which is Better, On-Site or Off-Site Interpreting?


There is no single answer to the question which is better, on-site or off-site interpreting. Generally, it is better if the language specialist is on-site because interpreting isn't just about converting one language into another. Communicating also involves the use of nonverbal cues which obviously, cannot be interpreted if the interpreter can't see the speaker. On the other hand, sometimes there's just not enough time to recruit interpreters, for example when receiving an unexpected visit or phone call by a business partner/client. In these cases, off-site interpreting such as phone interpreting can be a "life-saver". Which is better, on-site or off-site interpreting therefore depends on each particular situation.

On-Site Interpreting Doesn't Automatically Translate into Higher Quality

Let's put aside that the highest quality interpreting requires a highly trained and experienced professional who has in-depth knowledge of the subject. Even if interpreting service is provided on-site by the most skilled, knowledgeable and experienced interpreter, the latter may have difficulties rendering an accurate and meaningful translation if not having a clear, unobstructed sight of the speaker because in this case, they can't see the speaker's body language. And this is not that uncommon, especially when the interpreter is sitting in the interpretation booth as the sight of the speaker can be unintentionally blocked by other participants of the conference or meeting. If so, the interpreter can miss an important nonverbal cue which in turn can result in misinterpretation.

Over-the-Phone Interpreting isn't Appropriate for All Situations

Off-site interpreting, typically over-the-phone, has become increasingly sought after because it provides an instant access to an interpreter, making it an ideal solution when the need for interpretation occurs unexpectedly. But we have also noticed that the demand for phone interpreting is growing because it is sometimes seen as a cost-effective alternative to on-site interpreting. However, we would like to emphasize that off-site interpreting isn't appropriate for all situations, most notably events that foresee a large audience or/and require interpretation into multiple languages. Phone interpreting has been developed as a solution for emergency situations and one-to-one or small meetings involving only one language pair.  

On-Site, Off-Site, Translators USA Interpreters Can Effectively Handle Any Kind of Event and Situation

No matter if you need on-site or off-site interpreting, you can always rely on Translators USA. We have a nationwide database of over 1,000 highly trained and experienced interpreters who are available for both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting and for both small and large venues. We also offer 24-hour phone interpreting service TUSA-LINK, enabling our clients an instant access to our professional interpreters 24/7. For additional information, you can reach us on the number 888-790-8872 or through our website, 7 days a week.

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Friday, 19 January 2018
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