We tend to think of interpreting as taking words spoken in one language and converting them accurately into another language. Often, this is the case. But it can also be about interpreting what people are saying so those who are deaf, or hard of hearing, can understand what is being said through sign language.
If you have business customers, suppliers or partners that fall within this community, there will be times when you’ll need Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services.
We understand that even though the process of acquiring language services might seem straightforward, it can still cause anxiety for those responsible for implementing it.
That's why at LinguaLinx, we strive to make it as simple as possible for our clients, and we're committed to guiding them through every step of the way.
The aim of this article is to provide you an introduction to VRI and alleviate any concerns you may have. We believe that with a little preparation and the support of a knowledgeable LSP partner, the implementation process can be straightforward.
The Rising Demand for VRI Services
The World Health Organization has identified that 430 million people have disabling hearing loss. That’s a large number of people.
Even if you don't regularly communicate with people who fall into this category, it's important for your business to have a plan for when it may become necessary.
And consumer brands today need to have inclusivity as part of their agenda, or they’ll get left behind. More than ever, the public wants to know not only the products of the companies that they engage with but what those companies stand for.
How Does Video Remote Interpreting Work?
During a VRI session, you communicate by speaking, which is interpreted and signed by the interpreter. The other party responds by signing back, and their message is then conveyed to you verbally by the interpreter
In most cases, you can do everything through your LSP’s app, so you have complete control of the process and timescales. But the advantage of using an LSP, is that if there are any issues, you have an account management team to talk to and solve the problem.
What Infrastructure Costs are There?
The beauty of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is that you won't need to install any hardware or special network connections.
All you need is a reliable internet connection and a computer with a camera and microphone - just like any other video call.
And with smartphones being a staple accessory for most of us, you'll likely have all the necessary tools in your pocket.
How Much Advance Notice Do You Need to Give?
A lot of the time…none. Your LSP should have on-demand VRI which connects you with an interpreter instantly. Obviously, sign language interpreters aren’t as prevalent as voice interpreters, so there may be slightly less languages at your disposal, but there are also less language nuances in sign language.
For example, Spanish has only one designated sign language whereas there are three official Spanish languages and ten major dialects.
How Much Does Video Remote Interpretation Cost?
The great thing about VRI is that there are no variable costs outside of what’s quoted. You don’t need to get an interpreter to a location which can incur travel, subsistence and even accommodation expenses. Everything is done online, so all you’re paying for is the fee for the interpreter.
As with all interpretation and translation needs, the actual rate will vary depending on a number of factors. The main ones being the language, some are more rare or difficult than others, and the industry you’re in.
Some industries such as financial services, technology and legal have more jargon and require deep understanding of the sector. Legal, for example, has its own proxy language which is recognized by the Oxford Dictionary – legalese.
Average rates for VRI services will be somewhere between $40 - $80 an hour or, if you want to pay by the minute, between $2 - $4 a minute.
Are VRI Services Secure?
Yes, VRI services are secure, especially if your LSP is compliant with the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that regulates the security of health information in the U.S.
And in Europe, it’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ready, meaning your sensitive information is in safe hands.
Sign Language and Beyond
Given the events of the past few years, not being there “in-person” is becoming more common and more widely accepted. While VRI is predominantly for the hard-of-hearing community, you can see how it can have more mainstream uses as well.
If you partner with a good LSP, understand the process and know the target language (even if it’s English – you may want to talk to people in your own community in sign language), then you’re in a good place to communicate with a wider audience.
Get a Quote for Your Video Remote Interpretation Needs
We welcome the opportunity to discuss VRI services with you, without any obligation and free of charge. Rest assured that with LinguaLinx, your message will be accurately translated and effectively conveyed.
Our ISO 17100 compliance, 20 years of professional translation expertise, and the trust we have earned from various organizations are testimony to our competence and reliability.
Continue Learning with These Helpful Articles
If it turns out you need VRI services, you'll most likely want to work with a language service provider.
Below, we've compiled a few helpful articles to learn more about how to choose a language service provider to work with.