Changing the Game: How Technology Has Impacted Interpretation Services

It would be a challenge to find an industry in modern times that has not been turned on its head at least once by the advent of a new technology. Most industries find themselves sprinting to catch up with a new technological advancement every week. And while an industry such as interpretation that relies so heavily on human connection has evolved more slowly than some, human communication in general has been fundamentally changed by technology. Below are three of the most obvious impacts these technologies have brought to the field of interpretation.

Telephone

One of the first major changes to the interpreting market came with the advancements in telephonic technology. Conferencing features allowed interpreters to provide spoken language interpreting services remotely, beginning in the 1980’s. When an onsite interpreter was unavailable due to remote locations or uncommon languages and dialects, telephonic interpretation was a major breakthrough in access. It also solved the need for immediate access to interpretation services during emergency situations, when an interpreter would need to be dispatched to a location.

Video

Video conferencing technology allowed for the next breakthrough in the modernization of interpreting. By providing real time video feeds, interpreters could now take advantage of visual cues, which allow for a clearer interpretation. Utilization of video interpreting offered remote interpreters environmental context, facial expressions and body language to take into account, more closely resembling a traditional, face-to-face interpretation. Not only that, but video now offered a remote option for sign language interpretation, increasing access to services for the Deaf community.

Mobile

Both telephone and video remote interpreting provided remote options for consecutive interpretation, but neither was well suited for remote simultaneous interpretation. UN-style, conference and event interpretation was for many years largely untouched by serious technological advancements. But, with the advent of mobile technology and the widespread use of mobile applications, modernization has finally reached simultaneous interpreters and the clients they serve.

Mobile applications can now replace much of the hardware previously necessary for simultaneous interpretation. The ability for interpreters to work remotely negates the need for an expensive and cumbersome booth, as quality headphones replace the need for a traditional receiver. Computer software utilized by the interpreter includes an embedded, real-time video feed of the presentation, so visual cues can provide context. And compared to traditional interpretation, setup is a breeze; no more queueing attendees waiting to check out a receiver, as interpretation recipients can simply and easily download an app to their mobile devices.

Conclusion

Although is hard to say what new technologies are coming down the pike in the coming years that will shake up the field, one thing is certain. As technology becomes more and more integrated into the way we communicate and engage with each other, so too will technology impact the way interpreters connect with their clients. And, technological improvements are a win-win for everyone; by increasing access, lowering costs and bridging barriers, more people than ever before will have the tools they need to tap into the worldwide conversation.

I have had wonderful interpreters from LTC in the past, who have done a great job providing precise and accurate interpretation. Ms. Li, however, goes far above and beyond what is expected. I’m so very grateful for her exceptional service to both this family and to ZCS.

Director of Student Services

The Classes With Katelyn Are Amazing. I Am Very Happy To Have Her As My Professor. She Is An Amazing Teacher And An Excellent Person. I Am Learning A Lot From Her. She Is Very Patient, Responsible, Punctual, Very Clear, And With Great Experience Teaching. She Is Helping Me A Lot To Improve My English.

Anonymous

We meet virtually now. He even gave me a cooking lesson….he tried his best to do it in Japanese but we ended up doing most of it in English ????. While I may have learned less words, I certainly got to learn how to make tempura!!

Patrick (Happy Student in Tokyo)

Thank You For All Of Everyone’s Help With Fumiya. We Have All Seen Him Grow With The Ability To Communicate On The Daily Tasks. I Will Definitely Keep You On My Contacts In Future Situations Thank You Again Have A Great Day.

J.

I really LOVE my Portuguese classes and Juliana is TERRIFIC… I never had a teacher as great as Juliana, she is amazing and it is teaching me not only to talk in Portuguese but also about the Brazilian culture that is helping me a lot to understand the way they communicate…

Student in Mexico

Thank you both very much for all you do. This translation project will go incredibly far in informing many of our Veterans and their families, on the important facts and information surrounding our current pandemic.

EEO Specialist (Equal Employment Opportunity)

Their phone interpretation service is a very easy and convenient service for us to use when we are seeing patients in the office. Douglas Price is a great person there and is very good at communicating with our practice and helping us with anything we need. Great company!

Practice Manager

I cannot express enough great things about this experience. Jeancois was absolutely fantastic- professional, flexible, and dynamic- qualities I have found that some interpreters don’t always demonstrate when working with the pediatric population.

Bilingual Professor

I can say only that Ruth is an amazing teacher. I am absolutely satisfied with our classes. Thank you so much for your attention.

Language Training Student

The LTC Is The Best English Training Compared To My Previous Language Training Experience Because They Really Understand What I Needed And The Important And Suitable Materials Useful To Apply At My Work. They Give Me Confident To Speak In English And My Writing Is Improving.

D. Sriyunilawati

I have to say that Karen has been an amazing teacher. She is very kind and always is searching the way to explain me everything. Always works in her class in advance. Long story short she is great.

Student from Mexico learning English

I Appreciate Your Qualified Language Training Program Very Much. You Made It Possible To Improve My Knowledge In The English Language In A Lot Of Ways: A Significant Increase Of Vocabulary, Repetition And Consolidation Of Grammar And Practice The English Language By Using It In Conversations During Every Lesson. I Am Very Thankful For All They´ve Done And I´ll Always Recommend Your Institution In The Future.

C. Muth

I Wanted To Take The Time To Thank You For Your Amazing Services, Both Tom And Hayley Were Tremendous Help Onsite And Even Prepping For It. Looking Forward To Doing Business With You Guys In The Future.

D. Henriquez

Thank you so much to all of you for this workshop, I absolutely loved all the information you shared and will definitely continue to address cultural differences in class.

French Instructor

I Really Enjoyed My Time With Christine, She Is Amazing, As I Told You She Helped Me A Lot Improving My Conversation Skills. The Classes Were Really Dynamics\ And I Never Felt Like I Was In A Strict Class. I Want To Say Thank You Again And I Hope In The Future To Take The Training Again. I Will Recommend Ltc With My Venezuelan And Latin Friends.

F. Inciarte

Joseph was an excellent instructor. He was very dedicated to teaching me the language skills I needed for my upcoming assignment.

Student from Government Program

Our ENL (English and a New Language) team refers to her as a superhero and it’s no joke—she is truly amazing! Kitty does so much more than just interpret our conferences. She is someone who understands how school works and who can give us important cultural context, which is incredibly valuable.

Director of Student Services

Several months of training with Judith passed very quickly. It was interesting, the atmosphere was great, I will miss our lessons!

Project Management Employee

Juliana is even more than an amazing Portuguese teacher but also a cultural expert and a very lovely person. I will really miss her a lot…

Portuguese Student

The Classes Have Been Great. My Knowledge Has Increased Tenfold, Thanks To My Classes And Personalized Curriculum. The One-On-One Nature Of The Classes Ensures That Learning Is Catered To You.

K. Singh

I would like to commend Catherine Thille for her professionalism. The sessions were always on time and well structured.

French Student

This Year Went Very Well. The Interpreters Were There On Time Every Day And Very Helpful To Catherine. I Did Not Have To Think Twice About Their Service. Thank You.

C. Carol

Gabi was afraid to tackle speaking, until we just starting talking. She has now put out a yoga video with her speaking English. She will teach this class twice a week.

Maggie (Teacher in Atlanta, GA)

I thoroughly enjoy working with him. He has all the proper material and the patience. our classes are very instructive and he doesn’t waste time.  Alvaro has been really good at being able to construct the pieces and then put them in place so that it all comes together and becomes usable. 

Spanish student

I Would Recommend Ltc To Other Global Companies Requiring Interpretation Services. During Our Event, The Performance Of Ltc Made Me Feel At Ease Which Allowed Me To Focus My Attention On Other Aspects Of The Event. I Believe That When You Work With Ltc, You Will Receive A Professional And Efficient Team Of People Who Will Do Everything In Their Power To Deliver Excellent Service.

D. Hayden

I appreciate you, Anya and Lauren for leading the training. It was very beneficial and I got to immediately use some of the material in my class.

Language Training Workshop Teacher

The ongoing lessons have helped break up the routine of quarantine and more importantly, a source of learning and personal improvement during these extraordinary times.

Jasmin (Student in Mexico City)

Overall, I Thought The Course Was Fantastic. I Feel Like I Learned A Lot And Improved Significantly. Astrid Is A Great Professor. She Took The Class Seriously And Made It Enjoyable. She Did A Great Job Of Recognizing Everyone’s Weaknesses And Helping Us Improve On Them. She Focused On Improving Our Grammar While Also Keeping The Class Conversational. The Lessons Were Well Prepared And Focused On Areas We Needed To Learn, Not Just By-The-Book. It Felt Like The Class Was Tailored To The Student’s Abilities. I Am More Than Satisfied.

K. Corrigan

Thanks Wendy for all your help! You are a terrific manager. What a difference between my GLobal LT experience and working with you!!

Teacher

Thank you. I appreciate what you do to help our Company succeed with better communication for our fellow employees.

Director of Human Resources – Staffing Company

On behalf of Freedom House, I would like to sincerely thank you for you and your team’s services today. Your presence helped us to ensure that the event went smoothly and that all of the attendees were able to participate. Thank you so much!

Freedom House

Thank you for organizing these workshops for teachers, we learn so much from each other and grow to be better instructors.

Language Training Instructor

I’m so grateful to have you interpreting these important and complex issues for our student!

Current ASL Client

My Classes With Connie Have Been Excellent. I Would Even Go So Far As To Say That They Have Exceeded My Expectations.

M. Bush

It was the 3rd class with Kathy today. She is the best English trainer I’ve ever met. Her lessons really work good. So far I have nothing I need to ask you.

Nissan student from Japan.

I Hope All Is Well. I Wanted To Follow Up Regarding The Translating Last Weekend. The Gentleman Helping Us Was Fantastic. He Was The Epitome Of Customer Service And Was So Knowledgeable. He Is The Biggest Asset You Have At Your Company.

Anonymous

I Really Have Appreciated The Classes With Nancy – She Is Wonderful Teacher And I Was Very Motivated To Learn More (And Always Felt Badly When I Struggled Because She Inspires One To Want To Be/Do Better). I Am Very Appreciative Of Having Had This Opportunity To Work With All Of You. It Is One Of The Very Best Language Classes I Have Taken In Years.

A. West

When Covid hit we were cautious allowing anyone but the patient in the office and this is a wonderful helping hand in the matter.

Interpreting Location Manager

I Enjoyed Studying With LTC. I Am Grateful For The Great Work With Ana And Her Professionalism To Customize Themes And Her Support In My Daily Life. I Feel More Comfortable With My Language.

D. Triviño

Kazuko Is A Wonderful Teacher And A Super Sweet Person. Thank You For Your Services And Timely Responses In Everything. I Plan To Recommend Ltc To Any And Everyone I Know Interested In Language Learning. Thank You!

J. Brogan

Thank You So Much, I Really Enjoy My Classes With Joyce I Love Her She Is Very Nice Teacher.

J. Nolaya

Thank you so much for your interpretation service – it has been a blessing to work with you and has been so helpful in a meaningful way!

Current ASL Client