How OPI Can Help Rural Areas Overcome Language Barriers

It is common knowledge that most big cities act as immigration centers. Nonetheless, a rising number of immigrants are settling in rural America. Immigrants account for around 4.8 percent of the rural population and 16.6 percent of the urban population. While they have had a good influence on local areas, they frequently confront issues that city dwellers do not. 

One of the most crucial is the inability to obtain an interpreter. Fortunately, remote interpretation options such as over-the-phone interpreting make it easier than ever to provide language services regardless of location.

Urban vs. Rural Immigrant Communities

Before we dive into the benefits of remote interpreting, let’s take a look at some of the differences between urban and rural immigrant communities. 

According to a compelling article by Brookings, more than 90% of immigrants in the United States live in urban areas, leaving the remaining 10% to do so in rural areas.

Rural immigrants are more likely to be Hispanic and non-Hispanic white than immigrants from metropolitan areas. Hispanics make up the vast majority of rural immigrants (54.2%) and comprise more than half of them. The next largest group is non-Hispanic whites (25.9%), followed by Asians (14.3%) and non-Hispanic blacks (2.4%).

Rural immigrants often have less education and are more likely to live in poverty in terms of income. Compared to half of urban immigrants, almost two thirds of rural immigrants only have a high school diploma or less. Furthermore, 31.6% of rural immigrants who are not citizens live in poverty.

However, both groups’ proficiency in English is comparable. Rural immigrants often speak English effectively at a rate of about 71%, followed by a less proficient rate of 18.3% and a rate of 10%.

Additionally, rural immigrant populations are by definition smaller than metropolitan ones. When it comes to finding interpreters and offering language services when needed, it creates a big issue.

How Can Remote Interpretation Help Bridge Language Gaps?

When compared to living in urban areas, the resources available in rural locations are extremely restricted. For immigrants who live in these remote areas, it may be more difficult to get an appropriate interpretation from most locations, especially when there is a limited number of individuals from the same culture. That is why remote interpretation may be quite useful in certain situations.

Hiring an on-site translator for medical records, legal concerns, or educational objectives is difficult. The costs of engaging an onsite interpreter for frequently planned sessions in advance, in particular, might add up due to the high prices paid.

As a result, rural immigrant communities and the organizations that support them face a difficult situation. Luckily, the interpretation industry has evolved and started providing on-demand, low-cost remote interpreting services such as video remote interpretation (VRI) and over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) are now accessible.

Although no virtual connection can fully match the power of an in-person encounter, remote interpretation modes such as VRI or OPI aid in the development of trust between speakers and interpreters by providing simple contact methods such as video chat or phone. It is useful for telemedicine appointments, court hearings, and other situations that need more intimate encounters. However, it does need a high-speed internet connection, and data show that rural areas in any country have poorer internet connectivity.

That is why Boostlingo prefers over-the-phone interpretation for persons living in remote areas. It also works well in shorter, less intimate conversations. Scheduling a medical visit or contacting customer service are just two examples of why you might prefer OPI over VRI.

Looking for An Over the Phone Interpreter? Contact Boostlingo Today!

You may speak with an interpreter over the phone or via video utilizing Boostlingo’s interpreting platform to establish a connection in a matter of minutes. It is also simple to use. For video calls, all you need is a webcam, a computer or mobile device, and an internet connection.

Would you want to give Boostlingo a try? To request a demo, contact us right now!