Steps to Work with a Video Interpreter
Thanks to video conferencing technology, you can work with an interpreter face-to-face at any time, from anywhere. However, if you want to work with a video interpreter successfully, it’s important to use the right approach. That way, you can ensure that the experience runs smoothly and that all participants and the interpreter have what they need to communicate effectively.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, here is a quick step-by-step guide for working with a video interpreter.
Steps to Work with a Video Interpreter
1. Create a Video Interpretation Session Agenda
Ideally, you want to take a few moments to create an agenda for the conversation. Not only will this help keep you on point, but it also gives you valuable information to share with other participants and the video interpreter.
Outline the topics that need to be discussed and list them in the order they will be covered. Then, share that information to give everyone a chance to ready themselves for the discussion.
2. Choose a Quiet, Private Place
Since you want to make sure that you’re easy to understand during the video call, choose a quiet location. Ideally, you want to be in a room alone. Additionally, you want to select a space where extraneous noise is limited.
It’s also best to select a room with a door you can close. This is especially true if any information you share may be sensitive or private. If passersby can overhear your conversation, there could be a compliance issue, especially for discussions bound by HIPAA or similar regulations.
When you explore your options, select a space with good lighting so that you can be seen clearly. Also, make sure to have a plain, neutral-colored surface behind you. White walls can be a bit harsh on camera, so it’s best to use gray or light blue surfaces if possible. Beige can also work well.
3. Double-Check Your Tech
While video interpretation sessions can mimic in-person conversations, the use of technology means there are possible failure points. You want to make sure that your microphone, camera, speakers, headset, or other tech is operating properly. Additionally, you need to make sure that you can access the application that is hosting the call.
Since video conferencing occurs over the internet, using a hardwired connection is usually a smart move. Hardwired connections tend to offer more stable connectivity than Wi-Fi, ensuring your call goes through without any disruptive buffering or disconnections.
4. Brief the Video Interpreter
Along with creating a session agenda, you also want to take time to brief the video interpreter. Along with giving them a deeper overview of the nature of the discussion, review any complex terminology that might come up.
By reviewing more complex words and phrases in advance, the video interpreter can familiarize themselves with the term. Additionally, if some of the phrases don’t have a simple translation into the other language, they can prepare to convey that information in the proper fashion.
During the briefing, you also want to discuss the video interpreter’s role in the conversation. Interpreters are trained to relay everything in the first person. Also, request that they interpret everything exactly, never adding or removing anything from the conversation. However, do encourage them to ask questions if they believe a cultural misunderstanding may occur or to alert you with an aspect of what was shared doesn’t translate into the other language.
5. Conduct Introductions
When the call begins, each participant – including the video interpreter – should formally introduce themselves to one another. At this time, the video interpreter can review their role in the conversation with the other participants, ensuring everyone understands their function within the discussion that’s about to take place.
Now is also a good time to ensure the other participants understand how the conversation will flow. Since the video interpreter needs time to transition between the two languages, make sure that all participants know that they need to speak slowly and allow for pauses, giving the interpreter a few moments to share what’s being conveyed regularly.
6. Follow Key Best Practices During the Discussion
Once the steps above are complete, you can proceed with the conversation. However, if you want to make sure everything moves forward seamlessly, you need to make sure that all parties use the right approach.
As you participate in the meeting, follow a few best practices, including:
- Look at the camera – not the screen – to mimic eye contact
- Speak slowly to ensure the interpreter gets all of the information
- Pause regularly, giving the interpreter a chance to share what you’re saying with the other participants
- Be patient with all participants
By doing so, you can make sure that the conversation is as smooth as possible.
7. Thank Them for Their Time
At the end of the conversations, make sure to thank every participant – including the video interpreter – for their time. That way, everyone feels acknowledged, ensuring the discussion ends on a positive note.
Do You Need a Video Interpreter?
If you require a professional video interpreter, Acutrans can help. Acutrans provides video interpretation services – as well as telephone and in-person interpretation – along with certified, notarized translations. If you need an interpreter, the Acutrans team can offer a fast, reliable solution. Contact us for a free quote today.