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Being translators in the time of Covid-19: remote interpreting

remote interpreting

The year 2020 forced citizens and workers worldwide to drastically change their habits. Since face-to-face activities were severely limited to keep contagion from Coronavirus under control, many professions have had to grapple with the need to exploit and maximise the potentials offered by the digital sphere.

The interpreter’s job in the age of Coronavirus has therefore moved online, thanks to a practice introduced as early as in the 1970s. Back then, it was mainly used in the legal and institutional areas, but today it is experiencing a new golden age, having become the fifth most commonly used and widespread interpreting system.

Today, those who rely on remote interpreting include managers, civil servants, and intellectuals, but also the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses that operate internationally.

What remote interpreting is and how it works

Remote interpreting enables the interpreter to mediate the conversation between speakers not located in the same physical space. And of course, the interpreter needs not occupy the same physical space as the speakers either.

He or she interprets with the same methods used during a face-to-face interpreting assignment: all that changes is the system used by the interpreter to provide the service.

Provided he/she has access to a fast, stable internet connection, an interpreter may provide his/her service during a conference, negotiation, or any kind of meeting, and respect the timing of the translation without problems, which can either be simultaneous or consecutive, depending on the customer’s needs.

The platforms used for remote interpreting generally also offer an online technical service, including the services of an operator tasked with supervising and ensuring the correct functioning of the platform during the interpreting assignment, ready to intervene promptly to resolve any technical issues that may arise.

The benefits of remote interpreting

By using digital platforms to supply interpreting services, the interpreter naturally complies with the social distancing rules laid down to contain the contagion, and can also continue working, even if offices are closed and international trips are suspended.

One of the most notable benefits of remote interpreting for customers is undoubtedly the elimination of the interpreter’s travelling and accommodation expenses. Additionally, this way, they can also request the services of any professional they choose, regardless of their location.

Likewise, interpreters also benefit from the possibility of working for customers anywhere in the world with the same methods, and potentially without leaving their desk at home, optimising times, and so completing a larger number of assignments in the same timeframe, since no “idle time” is now required for transfers.

The versatility of the interpreter, who is capable of providing a range of different interpreting services, is also retained intact, since the remote interpreting service, also offered by Eurotrad, makes it possible to supply all the same types of interpreting that are possible in face-to-face mode, namely simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, or chuchotage.

Redazione Eurotrad

March 3, 2021

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