To little surprise, English is the most widely spoken language in the United States, with 40.5 million speakers in 46 states and the District of Columbia as of 2016. So what about the other diverse languages? Isn’t it true that not everyone in the United States speaks simply English and Spanish?

While many people who speak a foreign language are also fluent in English, 8% of the US population (25.1 million) is classified limited English proficiency. This means they speak English less than “very well” and will almost certainly require interpretation assistance when communicating critical information. Fortunately, this population, as well as the organizations and businesses that serve them, can communicate in seconds thanks to language interpretation services.

US languages

Every year, the US Census Bureau conducts their American Community Survey where they ask more than 1 million Americans questions about their lives, families, and backgrounds. One question in particular: “What language do you speak in your home?” Below are the languages spoken in homes (in no order) in the US besides English and Spanish including an estimated number of speakers: 

 

  • Aleut-Eskimo languages are spoken in 1 state (Alaska), 23,665 speakers. 
  • Somali is spoken in 1 state (Minnesota) ,160,940 speakers. 
  • Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, Sioux languages are spoken in 1 state (South Dakota), 17,023 speakers.
  • Gujarati is spoken in 1 state (New Jersey), 419,964 speakers
  • Ilocano is spoken in 1 state (Hawaii), 92,955 speakers
  • Hmong is spoken in 1 state (Wisconsin), 232,161 speakers
  • Nepali is spoken in 1 state (Nebraska), 202,218 speakers
  • Pennsylvania Dutch is spoken in 1 state (Pennsylvania), 179,336 speakers
  • Polish is spoken in 1 state (Illinois), 512,332 speakers
  • Tagalog is spoken in 2 states (California and Nevada),  1,753,712 speakers
  • French or Haitian Creole is spoken in 2 states (Florida & Delaware), 900,596 speakers
  • Navajo is spoken in 2 states (New Mexico & Arizona), 166,856 speakers
  • Arabic is spoken in 3 states (West Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan), 1,229,949 speakers
  • Korean is spoken in 3 states (Virginia, Alabama, Georgia), 1,104,145 speakers
  • Portuguese is spoken in 3 states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island), 763,340 speakers
  • Chinese is spoken in 5 states (New York, Washington, Arkansas, Missouri, Utah), 2,155,939 speakers
  • Vietnamese is spoken in 6 states (Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Kansas, Iowa, Mississippi), 1,527,371 speakers
  • French is spoken in 6 states (Louisiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire), 1,184,736 speakers
  • German is spoken in 9 states (Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina), 905,326 speakers

It’s interesting, right? It’s not so often you would have someone walk into your hospital speaking Aleut languages, but believe it or not, it DOES happen. So what do you do in a situation like this? You result to interpreting. Thanks to Boostlingo, we offer video interpretation services that enable communication within minutes.

What Is Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)?

interpreter in video remote interpreting setting Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is when you use a specialized video interpreting software to provide sign language or spoken language interpreting services through a remote (offsite) interpreter. More recently, video remote interpreting has become a more useful technological advancement that has not only impacted, but has benefited many specific industries.

Imagine having both a visual and audio connection to experienced and credentialed interpreters, from anywhere across the US, to help you and your LEP patients or customers. The process sounds extremely easy, right? It is. Video remote interpreting enables interpreters to deliver a personalized interpreting session without geographic limitations. With integrations like Webex and Zoom, now remote interpreters can even join video conferencing calls.

Over the years, VRI has come to the rescue for many people. It has brought countless benefits to different industries. Today, we’ll be sharing some of those benefits and how VRI works in different industries.

How Does the Process Work?

Within minutes and with the touch of a button, the service provider can find someone who speaks the language needed and can interpret for them and their clients. Most often, the individual interpreting will appear on a screen. They can also see and hear you. It’s kind of like a Skype call where the interpreter Skypes in. This enables having a good connection, and relationship with both parties.

Now, let’s look at some of the industries who benefit from using VRI in their offices.

Healthcare

The healthcare sector is where VRI is used and needed more than anything. Quite often, individuals with limited knowledge of English, or deaf individuals, will come into a hospital or small clinic in need of medical care, but are unable to explain what is wrong or what their symptoms are. Those who do not speak English well may be people who are visiting relatives in the United States or people who live in the US permanently and have not yet become proficient enough for a conversation of this level.

However, it’s a doctor’s job to treat all of their patients who come through their doors equally, and to the best of their ability. A doctor can only rely so much on nonverbal cues, or can only check for so many symptoms without getting the communication they really need to assess what is wrong. Likewise, a patient needs to know what a doctor is instructing, what instructions a doctor is giving, what medication their providing, or what the next steps are that they want to take. Being unaware of what is happening, especially if it involves needles or any other type of procedure, can be a very scary experience for someone who has no idea what is going on because they cannot understand.

Additionally, those coping with long term health issues need to be clear on what is happening and the doctor’s plan of action. As such, a VRI interpreter steps in to solve all of these communication issues. A VRI can literally be a lifesaver in any one of these situations.

The Legal Sector

By law, anyone in the United States who will be going on trial for an offense with limited English has the right to have an interpreter. This service is even more necessary in immigration hearings. While some immigration matters are seen in more courthouses than others, some courthouses may employ interpreters on staff, however, that option isn’t always practical.

So while a court may hear several immigration matters a day, they may rarely hear someone who is either deaf or who speaks a lesser spoken language. Imagine hearing cases all day, then having a case when you’re least expecting come in from another country to have their case heard. Any language that you aren’t used to hearing is extremely difficult to learn. As such, by having the ability to connect with a VRI that speaks any language, saves the day again.

Technology

Many tech companies may have inventors in the United States, working with companies in Japan or Germany, all working to do the same thing but none speaking the same language.  Video conferencing can encourage cross-cultural investment and collaboration, especially when video interpreters can help bridge communication gaps.

As you can see, it is incredibly essential for some sectors, as it is necessary to get ideas across both rapidly and accurately. If you’re interested in using VRI technology for your business or public service, take a look at the VRI services we offer. Here at Boostlingo, we have qualified and professional interpreters ready and waiting to help you understand others in your field.

Today, not all video interpretation services are created the same. Some offer more services than other, but when choosing the one that will best match your needs, some may not know where to begin.  

Interpretation services are an important piece of quality medical care, the legal process and multinational business. The interpretation services provider you partner with dictates what kind of services you’ll be able to provide to your clients.

So which one should you choose? To be honest, it’s not that easy to sift through this large group of companies in an industry that is largely unknown to most people.  However, there are ways to streamline the decision making process.

If you’re wondering how to find the best in-person or video interpretation services, this article is for you. We’ll explain what you should look for in an interpreter and help you get started with on-call interpretation services. Potential language service clients should consider the following when searching for an interpretation provider:

 

Reputation

 

Video interpretation services has become more popular over the years, especially for people who live in rural areas. Because video interpreting is such an important role, it’s important to research their reputation beforehand.

How long have they been in business? IF you decide to go for a new company, that’s okay, but in general, you’re looking for a tried-and-true interpretation service that has had much success in the past. If you contact the interpretation company, they should be able to provide you with customer reviews and examples of their work. Be sure you look for reviews! Reviews are from real people that were in real situations with this company you’re considering in hiring.

Another thing to research, is to look for interpretation companies that specialize in the subject you need interpreted. If you’re looking for a medical interpreter, look for a company that specializes in medical terminology. Legal interpreting, on the other hand, requires a completely different set of vocabulary.

 

Qualification

 

When you’re looking for video interpretation, you should look for interpreters who are accredited and you want to make sure you’re getting the best service possible. When searching, When considering an interpreter, you should always ask if the interpreters adhere to the Interpreters Code of Ethics. This is extremely important as your personal information should always remain confidential and you should feel comfortable with your interpreter.

Another thing to look for is to see if they are qualified and know the culture of the language they’re interpreting. If you’re Deaf, you need to find an interpreter who is going to make eye contact and use body language. If you are only fluent in one language, you need to find an interpreter who knows the ins, outs, culture and knows how to speak that language properly.

Your interpreter should interpret exactly what is being said and not add any commentary. An experienced interpreter is trained to translate people’s speech in real time.

 

Technology

 

Around the world, interpretation skills are in high demand and that’s because of technology.  With the advent of advanced video technology, interpreters have the ability to work in different situations all around the world. The market for interpreters is expected to grow by more than 25% in the next several years. So, when you’re looking for a professional interpreter, you should look to see if they are up to date with technology. How fast is their internet connection? Can they guarantee a secure connection? Another technology qualification should be that your professional interpreter should be able to give you easy-pay options and online scheduling.

Once again, do your research. Some companies you look into may not even offer video interpretation, or the option to book their services in advance. Video interpretation was made to be convenient and easy, so be sure to find an interpreter that will allow you to plan ahead and make sure that they’re available for teleconferences in the future.

Another question to ask your interpretation company is if the internet connection fails, can the interpreter login by phone? It’s worth double checking your connection before an important conference.

 

Quality

 

Once you’ve found a video interpretation company, you’ll get a good sense of the quality of their work. This industry demands high-quality, professional interpretation services. A great interpreter is ethical, experienced, and knowledgeable.  A strong interpretation agency should hold its linguists to high standards when it comes to accreditation and experience, while also remaining in conformity with state and federal law. It’s okay to give your interpreter feedback. If they’re talking too fast and you’d like them to repeat a phrase, don’t hesitate to ask. Interpreters want you to feel happy with the services they provide, and a good interpreter should expect this.

 

How to Get Started with Video Interpretation Services

 

This process can be overwhelming, but we do have a few tips on how to get started on your search.

  • Ask for a demo session. If you can test drive several interpreters you’re more likely to find one who works well with you.
  • Get to know them beforehand. If you don’t have a chance to meet the interpreters, ask that they log on about 15 minutes before your conference starts. That way, you can meet them and get to know their background.

You might not find the right interpreter for you right away, but don’t give up! You’ll find a qualified professional who’s ready to help you with any situation. If you’re in need of a video interpreter, check out what we offer at Boostlingo. We work with healthcare, legal and judicial as well as corporate industries.