Skilled, knowledgeable and experienced interpreters form the core of Translators USA interpreting services. The success of multilingual events involving our interpreters, however, also depends greatly on our clients making well-informed decisions. We always respect our clients' choices and always do our best to meet their expectations. But we strongly believe that our clients should understand their options and both advantages and disadvantages of particular solutions. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at relay interpreting which is relatively uncommon but is sometimes the only way to provide everyone in the audience with translation of the source language.

What is Relay Interpreting?


Also known as indirect interpreting, relay interpreting is basically an interpretation of interpretation. For example, an interpreter mastering the speaker's language listens to the speaker and interprets let's say Armenian to English for other interpreters in order for them to be able to provide a translation for non-English speaking participants of the event. Relay interpreting can be done consecutively but it is most often performed simultaneously.

When is Relay Interpreting Used?

Relay interpreting is used when interpreters for the target language pair(s) are unavailable either due to objective reasons or rare language combinations. In most cases, relay interpreting is used on events involving both multilingual speakers and audience. However, it is avoided whenever possible because it poses an increased risk of inaccuracies since the source language is interpreted twice before reaching the listeners.

Why is Relay Interpreting Used/Helpful?

Normally, interpreters master only two languages – their native and one foreign language. US-based interpreters can thus provide interpretation only if one of the languages is English. There are interpreters for other language pairs as well as interpreters who can handle multiple languages but it is impossible to cover all possible combinations. Relay interpreting thus provides a bridge between the source and target language(s) when direct interpretation is not possible.

Proven Experience and Nationwide Database of 1,000+ Interpreters

Translators USA has almost two decades of experience in providing interpreting services and a nationwide database of over 1,000 interpreters who have linguistic expertise, in-depth knowledge across a variety of subjects and industries, and know-how to successfully handle most types of multilingual events. Our language specialists are available for both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting for both small and large venues. Also available are whisper interpreting and phone interpreting services as well as ASL interpreting, all 7/7.

We have recently also launched a professional interpreting equipment store with a wide range of solutions which we are confident can accommodate most needs and preferences. Our interpreting services thus cover everything – from interpreters to equipment and of course, advice on the selection of interpreting solutions and event planning.