First you need to understand that phone interpreting is a, at a minimum, three way street. You can’t simply take a phone call from someone who speaks a different language than you speak and then transfer them to a phone interpreter. That’s due to the fact that interpretation is a method for facilitating a conversation between people who speak different languages- it isn’t just a simple translation service. You will need to be on the phone, the person you’re speaking with who’s speaking another language needs to be on the line, and the interpreter needs to be on the line. It is, in essence, a conference call where one person mediates conversation between the other two.
You don’t need to be on the phone with the person you’re speaking with, you can also be in the room with them and then speak with a phone interpreter using speakerphone. You can also have multiple people in the room or on the phone speaking multiple languages, provided your phone interpreting services are able to handle all the different languages represented.
Generally speaking when you call a phone interpreting service you’re going to speak with an operator who will connect you with an interpreter who understands the language of the other person on the phone. During times when you’re unable to identify the language spoken by the other individual on the phone your interpreting service will be able to identify the language for you and connect you with the right interpreter.
When your telephone interpreting service connects you and your partner with an interpreter than you’re going to need to speak with them about what you aim to accomplish with the conversation. Your partner should do the same. It’s important that your interpreter will be briefed as thoroughly as possible and that they will understand you and your partners’ needs and desires as deeply as possible. Remember that your interpreter is, in essence, a mediator of your conversation. Not only will they make sure that you both understand each other, but their interpretation of the words spoken will guide the conversation in subtle and not so subtle ways. If nothing else, your interpreter needs to know where you’re coming from so they understand the assumptions that need to be taken into consideration when they translate your speech.
After you have connected with the right interpreter and they understand your needs all you need to do is speak with each other, taking turns, taking your time to make sure that both people are confident that they fully understand each other before moving on. The conversation will not be as fast and fluid as a normal conversation, but with the right attitude and the right interpreter phone interpreting services will provide immense value to your business or personal life.