Video Remote Interpretation FAQs

7 min read
What is Video Remote Interpretation?  Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) is an on-demand interpreting service provided over the Internet, via video, through a computer or mobile device with a webcam.  What is the difference between interpretation and translation?  Although both practices share the common goal of taking information that is available in one language and converting it to another, they are two separate processes. Interpretation refers to listening to something spoken and interpreting it orally into the target language. Translation involves taking a written text and translating it in writing into the target language.  Are your ASL video interpreters certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf?  Yes, all LSA video remote ASL interpreters are RID certified.  What are the qualifications of your foreign language interpreters?  LSA’s foreign language interpreters undergo a rigorous three-step evaluation process which takes into account their experience, education, applicable certifications, subject matter expertise, and language and interpreting abilities.  What is the process to access an LSA video interpreter?  Once you are setup with an LSA account for VRI services, simply follow the steps outlined below:  On-Demand 
  • Sign in to the LSA App with your dedicated username and password. 
  • Select the language you need. 
  • Connect with an LSA video interpreter in seconds. 
  • Navigate to the Web Browser or Application version of the LSA Interpretation App (formerly IRIS)
  • Select the ‘Scheduled Calls’ button on the top of the page and enter the ‘Request number’
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have your ‘Request number’, once you are on the ‘Scheduled Calls’ page click the ‘Help’ button for assistance.
Is there any equipment I need to rent or purchase to utilize VRI?  No, LSA’s VRI services can be accessed via any desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone you may currently be using. All you need to connect to our video interpreting platform is Internet access and a computer or mobile device with a webcam. There is no expensive equipment to rent or purchase.   Does the service work on all Web browsers?  Our video interpreting system works on most popular Web browsers, including Google Chrome (preferred) and Mozilla Firefox.  Does the service work on mobile devices?  Yes, our video interpreting system works on iOS and Android devices.  Is special software required?  All you need to do is download the LSA App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and log in with your dedicated username and password.  Is there any difference in usability or performance between laptops and mobile devices?  No, as long as your device and network meet LSA’s video remote interpreting specifications, your experience should be the same no matter which device you choose to use.  Do you provide complete audio and video encryption?  Yes, all video interpreting conducted by LSA is 100% secure and inaccessible by outside parties.  What is the cost for using VRI?  All video interpreting calls are charged on a per-minute basis, which varies by language. A monthly minimum fee may also apply based on actual usage.  Is video interpreting in compliance with all applicable laws and standards of practice?  Yes, our video interpreting platform is compliant with standards of practice and applicable legislation, like ADA, HIPAA, HITECH, IDEA, CMS, Joint Commission, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  What are the benefits of using a video interpreter compared to using an over the phone or onsite interpreter?  There are many benefits to using a video interpreter: 
  • Access a qualified ASL or foreign language interpreter within seconds in an emergency or short notice setting 
  • Eliminate travel time, mileage, advanced scheduling and wait time associated with onsite interpreting 
  • Pay only for the interpretation minutes used 
Are real-time reports available for video interpreting calls?  Yes, all VRI clients can pull customized reports based on language, location, requester, time of day, and trend activity levels in seconds through our completely secure, easy-to-use Client Portal.  

The Cost of High-Quality Interpretation: A Low Rate Doesn’t Mean Savings

5 min readInvesting in a strategy to help your limited English proficient (LEP) patients or customers is an admirable goal, and being sure you’re getting the best deal is integral to offering high-quality services without emptying your pockets.  

When considering a partnership with a language service provider the first thing an organization weighs is price. The price of interpretation is a fair consideration to make. But when thinking about cost, it’s important to contemplate more than just the number laid out before you. While a low hourly or minute rate may seem appealing, it can cost you more than you bargained for if that interpreter is not carefully vetted, experienced, or qualified for your situation. 

A qualified interpreter may have a higher per-minute rate than someone without a specialized skillset, but there are several reasons for this. Interpreting is more than just converting words from one language to another – it’s understanding meaning, context, cultural nuisances, and having a background in a particular field, like healthcare for instance. Medical interpreters have a broad knowledge of medical terminology and treatments and are well-versed in healthcare regulations and ethical standards. With a qualified medical interpreter, clear communication between a doctor and LEP patient is assured, which reduces costly readmissions and lengths of stay. These calls/sessions also tend to be shorter because a qualified medical interpreter doesn’t need as much time for clarification as an interpreter without a medical background (extra minutes add up even while an interpreter has a lower rate). In the long run, a more qualified interpreter saves you time and money even if their rate appears to be higher on the surface – and this applies to all sectors from legal to finance. 

At Language Services Associates (LSA) we hold our interpreters to a high standard, with a meticulous six-step assessment process, and only one in every 40 candidates making it through our qualification procedure. Our interpreters are carefully vetted, industry-specialized, and frequently monitored to ensure that we are providing the highest quality service possible.  

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  

About LSA 

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.  

Six Reasons You Need to Partner with a Language Service Provider

13 min readIn any industry, the ability to communicate with your clients, patients, or customers is critical to your success, and allowing language barriers to get in the way can be costly. The world continues to become more globalized every day. Employing the technological solutions and expertise of a language service provider will give you the necessary tools for offering clear communication with your limited English proficient (LEP) patients, clients, or customers, while also ensuring you’re in compliance with state and federal laws. Expanding your reach outside of one language group can be the difference between making it or getting left behind – not only for yourself, but for 67.8 million people that speak a language other than English at home. Providing language access via a language service provider is the best way to support equal access for limited English-proficient communities at your school, business, hospital, or practice. 

Here are Six Reasons to Partner with a Language Service Provider Today: 

 1. Access to Underserved Markets 

If your organization is looking to expand, it’s important to note that most consumers/patients prefer communicating in their language. Whether you’re looking to increase your reach globally, within the United States, or in your community, incorporating a language access plan into your services is a great way to avoid alienating a substantial portion of the population, while breaking into an often overlooked yet growing market. Language and cultural competency are fundamental to the inclusion of diverse people, and taking shortcuts when it comes to communication and outreach can have consequences.  

Businesses looking to target new markets with products or services geared towards a specific community or language group may benefit from expert cultural consultation. Even companies with the best intentions risk costly setbacks due to missteps in cultural competency – there have been several instances where large companies have had to pull or discontinue products due to cultural inaccuracies.  

At Language Service Associates (LSA) our interpreters and translation teams are language and cultural experts that can help you avoid errors and ensure that your efforts to reach a wider audience are successful.  

2.  Complying with State and Federal Laws 

Depending on your industry, you may be required by language access laws to provide interpreters for your limited English proficient (LEP) clients/patients. These laws include Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Executive Order 13166, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Primarily, businesses and organizations that receive federal funding typically need to abide by these laws – schools, healthcare facilities, government offices, etc. But states may have their own laws that can also apply to several other sectors. Partnering with a trusted language provider offers you consultative experts that complement your internal teams with expertise in language services. This assures you receive the appropriate solutions necessary for complying with mandatory state and federal laws, that fit seamlessly into your routine and budget. LSA offers guidance and support to ensure that you fully adhere to mandatory regulations, and have the tools necessary to support your LEP population. 

3.  Improving Customer or Patient Services 

Communication is key in business transactions or providing care for patients or customers that require native language support. The easier it is to communicate, the better the experience will be for everyone – this is especially true in the healthcare sector where jargon and complex terminology can be difficult to understand in any language. Miscommunication can lead to mistrust, loss of clients, misunderstood diagnosis or treatment, and numerous issues that can negatively impact your business or practice. A language provider offers interpreters trained and/or certified in different sectors that keenly understand industry terminology and standards. These interpreters help bridge a gap between staff/employees and their LEP clients/patients that often gets in the way of providing first-rate service or care. LSA’s interpreters are selected only after enduring a rigorous qualification process with only one in 40 meeting our standards. These interpreters are well-versed and highly experienced in their specialized sector and can be the difference you need. 

 4. Building Brand Trust 

In various cultures and languages, messages can be interpreted in many ways. While in English, your business may be sending a clear message to your customers, that same message may have an entirely different meaning in Arabic or Spanish. Partnering with a trusted language service provider will give you the tools to communicate clearly with LEP populations, breaking down language and cultural barriers. This will protect your brand’s reputation and build trust among consumers who seek out organizations that make an effort to communicate with them. Building consumer trust begins with clear communication in a variety of languages. Language Services Associates has a team of highly experienced translators and interpreters with expertise in the business sector to facilitate clear, culturally appropriate communication between your company and diverse clientele.  

5. Saving Money 

In most industries, encountering people who speak another language is fairly common. How an organization addresses their diverse clientele can be the difference between not only offering the right products or care, but also how much money is lost or spent. A bilingual employee may help with a customer or two, but remember that a bilingual employee doesn’t have the same range of knowledge and experience that a qualified interpreter brings to the table. Asking a bilingual employee to serve as an interpreter also puts pressure on them while taking time away from their actual job. A professional interpreter’s experience goes beyond just understanding language – they know cultural nuances, body language, and can convey meaning faster than your average person (especially when a word doesn’t have an equivalent in another language). Legally, using an employee in place of an interpreter can have consequences. In medical settings, if an untrained bilingual employee was to misinterpret a word or meaning, this could result in errors of diagnoses, treatment, and aftercare. This might lead to patients being readmitted, or a lawsuit if serious consequences were to transpire for the patient. 

You can hire a freelance interpreter, which may seem like a cost-effective solution in the short-term, but they tend to set their own schedules and charge a high price – and since they set their own itinerary, the wait to bring them into your facility can be costing you money in the interim. Language providers carefully vet their interpreters and offer industry-specialized agents that have undergone rigorous training and monitoring.  A language provider offers access to over-the-phone interpreters (OPIs) on demand in hundreds of languages ready to take your call. Or, if it’s more appropriate, video and in-person solutions are available as well. LSA improves the client experience and agent metrics when a client interaction requires an interpreter.  

6. Access to Hundreds of Languages with Sector-Specific Expertise  

Through various customizable solutions, language service providers offer a direct line to hundreds of languages and dialects. Interpreters specialize in individual fields (medical, finance & banking, contact centers, legal, etc.) with a clear understanding of the terminology used, and access to tools and study guides to keep their skills sharp and up to date. From American Sign Language to Spanish to rare dialects, language providers have the tools to prevent communication oversights that can harm your business. LSA’s interpreters have access to reference material and study guides for continuous training. They’re monitored and tested to maintain the highest quality standards. 

Learn more about LSA’s customizable solutions today! 

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds. 

Language Services Associates Named Top Provider


Media Contact:
Marketing Specialist

800.305.9673 X55139

Horsham, PA May 7, 2020  Language Services Associates (LSA) is proud to announce that it was named as a top 30 language services provider in the Nimdzi 2020 report. Nimdzi is one of the most prestigious international research and consultancy firms focused on the language industry. Being listed in the top tier of providers in a crowded market is a distinguishing accomplishment for Language Services Associates.

“The language industry is constantly evolving. LSA has been a dynamic participant in this area for more than 25 years and we are proud to be a part of this report.  We were thrilled that Nimdzi recognized our contributions,” says Scott F. Cooper, LSA’s Managing Director and General Counsel.

LSA provides business-to-business real-time interpretation services through phone, video and in-person delivery.  It also translates documents and website content.  LSA is a national leader in language for healthcare providers, financial services, insurance, Medicare call centers, conferences, and a variety of other industries.  LSA utilizes a distributed interpreter network, which further prevents against service interruptions from natural and health causes.

LSA solutions offer industry-leading integration of interpretation services in over 240 languages through a wide array of complex platforms including telehealth encounters, health system EHRs and multi-party interactions.  Quality interpretation in the healthcare space reduces patient readmission rates, helps with patient outcomes, and contributes to greater clinician efficiency.

Mr. Cooper indicates, “The service lines we have been developing for years are now on full display during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Our processes reduce the risk of infection by allowing streamlined interactions between patients, physicians, and interpreters from remote locations.  As important, we can scale solutions for health systems and other users of all sizes.  Getting reliable healthcare to all patients – regardless of their language proficiency – is a key strategy in flattening the coronavirus curve.”

“With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing businesses needing access to interpreters in new ways because how they do business in this unprecedented event is changing. We have the options and technology to deliver,” says Mr. Cooper.

LSA also has significant experience in disaster recovery efforts and was able to adjust to a significant increase in volume of interpreter requests during hurricane Maria. “We were very prepared and had a plan in place. Despite this outbreak, we are fully operational and ready to serve our clients and those that need language services. And, our listing in Nimdzi reinforces our capability,” explains Mr. Cooper.

About LSA

Language Services Associates is a full-service national leader delivering interpretation and translation solutions. Thousands of clients worldwide rely on LSA’s unique combination of state-of-the-art technology, a global roster of highly qualified interpreters providing more than 240 languages, and over 25 years of industry expertise. For more information visit:

How to Address the Limited English Speaking and Deaf Community During the COVID-19 Crisis

7 min readThe COVID-19 outbreak is causing hospitals and physicians across the country to increasingly utilize telehealth and video encounters.  At the same time, government regulations are rapidly changing to allow for more telehealth to address the crisis. At the center of these developments is a dire need to reduce the amount of direct human contact in clinical settings.  The risk of exposure to the virus in this outbreak is high. Health experts indicate outbreaks may become more common.   In addition to the many known challenges COVID-19 is creating, limited English speaking and Deaf patients face additional challenges.  Amid this crisis, heart-breaking reports of some hospitals having difficulties accessing interpreters are beginning to surface.  Healthcare providers can solve these problems IF the right solutions are in place.

New Ways of Delivering Interpreters to Extend Care Beyond Walls

The growing importance of mobile healthcare underscores the critical need for interpreters-on-demand.

At every turn, healthcare providers and government officials are urging the reduction of human contact during clinical settings to alleviate the spread of the disease.  Communicating with the limited English proficient population (LEP) and the hard of hearing only gets more difficult with these new guidelines and procedures.  An added problem is that most health systems utilize their own communications and privacy protection platforms.

Industry experts have responded by developing a range of solutions to keep communications safe and reliable.  Language Service Associates (LSA) has solutions and options available now for all levels of patient care.

A Range of Options

No one solution will work perfectly for all healthcare providers.  The solution must match existing needs, ability to deploy, training time, clinical settings and budgets.  Each option will bring with it “pluses and minuses” that each provider must evaluate.

  • Top-Line Option – Full Integration with Telehealth Platform

The best option remains a fully integrated telehealth solution that integrates with the patient’s Electronic Health Records (EHR).  The new ViTel Net and Language Services Associates (LSA) platform integration enables clinicians to immediately add an interpreter within the existing telehealth workflow with just three clicks. This streaming solution works across multiple devices, regardless of a physician or patient location, and without additional equipment for the healthcare organization. By embedding the interpreter solution directly into a telehealth encounter, your organization vastly improves clinician workflows, reduces the chance for medical errors and readmissions for limited English proficient (LEP) and hearing-impaired patients. It’s a cost-saving, affordable, HIPAA secure, and sustainable option.

  • LSA’s IRIS Solution

Where full telehealth integration is not possible, another option is the use of LSA’s IRIS (Instant Remote Interpretation Solution) platform application. to enable a patient and doctor to seamlessly interact directly with an interpreter on an app. It is an application that is easily downloadable on mobile, computer or tablet. It’s also encrypted, secure and meets NAD standards.

  • LSA’s Interpreter to Your PlatformConnect

Many healthcare providers are already using some form of video telehealth platform (eCW, Teledoc, MDLive, etc.) or other conferencing solutions (Zoom, Teams, etc.).  Changes in regulations now allow for the introduction of an interpreter into your existing platform.  LSA’s Interpreter to Your Platform Connect option is a solution aimed at immediately fitting into an existing platform.  It is a cost-effective solution, without significant IT development, for healthcare providers that must get up and running quickly.  The challenge here is that patient privacy is still dependent on a third-party provider outside the control of the healthcare provider.

There are also several other solutions including video conference third party calls and virtual face-to-face, each with pros, cons and important security considerations. As our healthcare delivery model rapidly changes, healthcare organizations need flexible options for accessing interpreters. Language Services Associates has the solutions for your organization.

To learn more, click here to schedule a demonstration and consultation today.

Language Services Associates’ Alert On Coronavirus

6 min read

Ensuring Language Services During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The recent outbreak of coronavirus has health experts and many businesses on high alert. Due to the rapidly evolving situation and novelty of “COVID-19,” the potential and methods for transmission remain unclear.

The health, safety, and welfare of our friends like you and the customers you serve is of utmost concern to us. Public health concerns like this touches all industries. However, it, of course will affect healthcare most of all. Out of precaution, Language Services Associates is also monitoring the progress of the virus and collaborating with many of our clients and partners to address this major health challenge. We will continue to be an active partner with you in your preparation efforts and in the event of a pandemic.

The Time is Now for Business Continuity Planning

Many customers are also asking about contingency planning should they need to move to a heightened quarantine model or if government authorities order less access to facilities. To be prepared, we are recommending all clients to plan now for enhanced migration to a video platform in the event personnel access to your facilities becomes more restrictive.

To help you mitigate further risk, and plan, we are encouraging all organizations who need language services to adopt our video remote interpretation services in lieu of in-person engagements. If you haven’t already done so, we can help you put a plan in place to:

  • move your face-to-face interpreters over to video remote interpreting (VRI) using our IRIS app
  • quickly scale interpreting by telephone through INTERPRETALK
  • deliver American Sign language interpretation by video
  • obtain back up services to your existing language service providers in the event they are unable to deliver given the demand or due to interpreters being exposed to the virus because they are in a call center environment
  • deploy our newest option to integrate video remote interpreting-on-demand directly into your existing telehealth platform and workflows
  • enhance online conferencing (Go-To-Meeting, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others) with interpreters by API or phone

 Our Dispersed Network of Interpreters Helps Avoid Risks

Language Services Associates provides access to a highly qualified global roster workforce of remotely distributed interpreters in over 235+ languages.  Access to highly secure, remote interpretation services helps your organization continue to meet compliance guidelines as well as minimize the risk of virus exposure and the rapid spread of infectious disease. Unlike a large call center that can be compromised by an outbreak, our network provides access to distributed points of service and ensures the chance of uninterrupted service.

We are also experienced in disaster efforts and rapidly deployed interpretation services for government entities during several national crises over the years, most recently hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Because the best time to prepare is now, please contact us at to get more information on how your organization can be prepared.

We encourage you to continue to stay informed by following updates and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Call Center Week 2017 Summary

8 min readAt the 18th Call Center Week Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, LSA was not only a sponsor and exhibitor, but was also an active participant in the many lectures, panels, round-tables, Q&A sessions, and networking events. Over 2,000 attendees gathered to discuss and learn about the latest trends and technology in delivering excellent customer service.  We heard keynote speakers from global leaders, including NBA Champion Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber, Jeff James from Disney, Tom Weiland from Amazon, Davy Roach from Frontier Communications, and Tim Spencer from Safelite Group.

A major announcement that reflects the changing dynamic in how call centers interact with customers is that this was the last time the event will be referred to as Call Center Week! Beginning next year, the conference will be rebranded as Contact Center Week to reflect the multi-channel expectations of customers. Customers expect to interact with companies instantly, on a variety of platforms, be it voice, e-mail, chat, text, or social media. Agents need to be able to respond with an omni-channel approach, across all of these platforms. Talkdesk, a cloud-based call center software provider, let us know that e-mail lags way behind in resolution and satisfaction of customer concerns at 43%.  Real time interactions by phone carry 59% satisfaction, and chat weighs in at 84% satisfaction!  Businesses also need to have a philosophy of a mobile-first user experience.  Consumers expect to interact on their smart phones almost exclusively, in fact, 75% of customer calls are coming from mobile phones.

Customer satisfaction has been such a driving factor over the years that it has been shortened simply to “C-Sat,” which is still the dominant consideration at Call Center Week. And it is just as important as ever. According to a study by Purdue University, 68% of customers leave a company based on a poor Customer Experience. Gartner also predicts that in just a few years, by 2020, that “customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.” Microsoft informs us that 97% of consumers list customer service as important to their brand choice and loyalty.

One of the biggest questions being considered was how artificial intelligence will affect customer experience. It is not a question of if A.I. will be integrated, but rather to what extent. A.I. will not completely replace the contact center agent, as A.I. can’t replicate human empathy.  A.I. will help your agents make quicker and more informed decisions while interacting with customers. Per Servion Global Solutions, an omni-channel customer experience provider, 84% of customers are frustrated when agents do not have instant access to their data. How many times have you answered IVR prompts in order to be directed to the appropriate department, only to have a live agent ask you all or many of the same questions again?  How often have you had to explain the same issue over and over again as you are transferred to multiple departments?  A.I. integration will give agents instant access to your customer profile, and will assist them in resolving your issue quickly and completely.  Again, from Talkdesk, “A.I. will help call center managers better route calls as well as provide agents with data and tools to create more positive interactions with customers. The result is a more productive and efficient call center, and a greater level of customer satisfaction, which is a win-win for all parties involved.” While A.I. can’t replace human interaction, Gartner cautions us with a prediction that by 2020, customers will be able to manage 85% of their interactions with an enterprise without human involvement.

Another recurring topic was innovation and disruption to traditional training methods. Frontier Communications has found that peer-to-peer training has emerged as preferable training method than in the classroom. It is logistically easier to plan and manage, makes actual customer interactions the basis for effective training, and doesn’t pull too many agents from the floor at one time. It allows agents to progress at their own pace, letting those who excel to advance more quickly. Medical Transportation Management (MTM) has made a huge investment in training, with over 50 trainers in their organization, making sure that culture and consistency is driven down to all 1,400 employees.

A focus on employee care was also emphasized. Disney let us know that in a poll of CEO’s, human capital ranked ahead of customer service as their top concern.  If your employees are happy, then good customer experiences will result.  And as leaders, the extent to which you genuinely care for your employees is the extent to which they will care for your customers, and each other. Echoing this, Safelite has found that customers will never love your company until your employees love it first. Let us not forget that employee satisfactions will drive customer satisfaction.

Over the Phone Interpretation FAQs

9 min readHow does Over-the-Phone Interpretation work? 

Our Over-the-Phone Interpretation service allows you to communicate with a non-English speaker via a telephone interpreter. The interpreter converts the spoken word from one language to another, enabling listeners and speakers to understand each other. 

What is the difference between interpretation and translation? 

Although both practices share the common goal of taking information that is available in one language and converting it to another, they are two separate processes. Interpretation refers to listening to something spoken and interpreting it orally into the target language. Translation involves taking a written text and translating it in writing into the target language. 

How long will I have to wait for an Over-the-Phone interpreter to be connected? 

On average, you will wait 22 seconds to be connected to an interpreter via the telephone (15 seconds for Spanish). However, you may be required to wait longer if the available resources for the requested language are experiencing unexpected demand. For rare language requests, it is sometimes helpful to call ahead and pre-schedule your Over-the-Phone interpreting session. 

How many languages do you provide? 

Our Over-the-Phone interpreters are available and ready to assist you in hundreds of languages. 

What if I don’t know the language my client is speaking? 

Our call center coordinators are trained to help identify your language needs. Simply let the coordinator know that you are unsure of the language your client is speaking and they will be able to assist you. 

How many telephone lines can be connected at once? 

We can connect up to 49 third party calls at a time. 

Is this consecutive or simultaneous interpreting? 

Over-the-Phone interpreters are consecutive interpreters, which means the interpreter only interprets after you have completed a thought, then the non-English speaker responds, and so on. Simultaneous interpreters interpret while you are speaking, which does not work effectively via the telephone because two parties speaking at once is often inaudible. 

When does the charge for the call begin? 

The charge for the call begins as soon as the Over-the-Phone interpreter is connected to the line and communication is established. 

What do I do when the interpreter is connected to the call? 

When the interpreter comes on the line you should immediately take control of the call. You may start by introducing yourself, briefly explaining the nature of the call, and requesting that the interpreter say a few words to the non-English speaker to ensure that he/she is able to communicate. Next, you should begin speaking to the non-English speaker in the first person, as if the interpreter was not there. 

CORRECT: “Hello, my name is John. How can I help you today?”
INCORRECT: “Tell her my name is John and ask her what I can do to help her today.” 

Remember to pause at the end of a thought to allow the interpreter time to interpret. 

Can I tell the interpreter what questions to ask? 

You should never tell the interpreter what questions to ask. The interpreter will interpret exactly what you say as if he/she was you. Interpreters do not serve as third party agents but are there only to communicate your words directly. They should not add, edit, or omit anything that you say. 

Can the interpreter answer the questions for my client? 

The interpreter cannot answer questions for your client. The interpreter is there only to facilitate communication between the non-English speaker and the English speaker. The interpreter will only interpret what the client says. 

May I request a particular interpreter? 

You may request a particular interpreter.  Provide our call center coordinator with the interpreter’s ID number and we will call the requested interpreter to see if he/she is available to take the call. 

What if I encounter an issue with an interpreter? 

Our dedicated Client Experience department is available to assist you should you encounter any issues with an interpreter. You may contact LSA’s Client Experience team by phone at 866.221.1301 or on the Web. 

What do I do when the call is finished? 

When the call is finished you can simply hang up. The charge will be completed as soon as you disconnect the line. 

How do you guarantee the quality of your Over-the-Phone interpreters? 

We are committed to providing the highest quality interpretation support.  In order to be eligible to take calls for our clients, all telephone interpreters must go through our robust three-step Interpreter Selection Process. This process starts with a review of the interpreter’s general qualifications. We then administer a series of tests to validate the interpreter’s language proficiency and assess his/her interpreting skills. 

Do your interpreters know specific terminology? 

Once an interpreter is activated and placed into our network, he/she has unlimited access to a multitude of helpful resource documents and training materials. These items include industry and company-specific glossaries and vocabulary lists. Interpreters review these documents on an ongoing basis so that they are fully equipped to provide the highest quality interpretation service possible. We will always provide you with an interpreter that possesses the appropriate education and industry experience that your request requires. 

How do you guarantee confidentiality? 

All of our linguists are held to a strict Code of Ethics and recognized professional standards, which includes strict compliance with the confidentiality of client information. 

Tips for Working With Telephone Interpreters

3 min readListed below are some helpful tips on how to work with telephone interpreters. Following these best practices will ensure you consistently have the best interpretation experience possible.

  1. Speak at a reasonable pace (not too fast) and enunciate clearly.
  2. Speak in short phrases and pause frequently so that the interpreter can convey the information quickly and accurately. If you go on for too long, you will have to wait a while for the interpretation, and you run the risk that the interpreter will forget details and may have to ask you to repeat something.
  3. Address the Limited-English Proficient (LEP) person directly (i.e.,”What is your name” not “Ask him what his name is”).
  4. Speak “plain English” and avoid jargon or “shop talk” that may be specific to your work or industry.
  5. It is common for interpreters to occasionally require clarification of unfamiliar terms. If your interpreter asks you to define a term, try to rephrase it in other words. The interpreter may have to ask the LEP person to clarify terms as well, but will let you know before addressing your customer in the other language.
  6. Your interpreter will let you know if he / she has any problems hearing you or the other party, who may be calling on a cell phone or in a room with background noise.
  7. Remember that interpreted communication typically takes twice as long as communication in the same language; please be patient.

Our goal is to ensure completely accurate and effective communication always occurs between you and your diverse customers. We appreciate your cooperation and encourage you to contact the Client Services department with any questions, concerns or feedback.

LSA Featured on NBC News

2 min readLSA’s work with the Virginia Department of Health was recently featured on NBC 12 News in Virginia. The report showcases how LSA’s innovative INTERPRETALK® service aids communication between Virginia Department of Health inspectors & local restaurant owners who speak limited to no English. LSA’s INTERPRETALK® bridges this communication gap to ensure that restaurant owners receive the proper instruction to avoid or resolve health code violation.

[mejsvideo src=”/wp-content/uploads/lsa-nbc-12-06-07″]

In the video, Gary Hagy with the Virginia Department of Health speaks about communication challenges & how INTERPRETALK® is essential to protecting public health:

“If the individual doesn’t understand what we’re asking him to do, how can we expect him to get it done? It gets really really frustrating.” says Hagy. “I wish we had it (INTERPRETALK®) years ago…We want to protect public health and without that link, the communication link, it’s not going to happen.”

This is but just one example of how our services are utilized.

Click here to learn more about how LSA & INTERPRETALK® can work for you!