Telephone interpreting is an interpretation service that allows the interpreter to translate via telephone the conversation of two or more individuals who do not share a common language. The interpreter, connected via conference call, works consecutively, meaning that he or she waits for the speaker to finish an utterance before interpreting it into the listener’s language. This process is commonly used when an interpreter is not available on-site or when the conversation anyway would take place over the phone.
First used in the 70’s, telephone interpreting became popular during the 90’s thanks to the lower costs of international calls. Demand for telephone interpreting has kept rising in the 21st century, leading to a more sophisticated and high-quality service. Thanks to technological improvement, which guarantee faster and more reliable connections, interpretation over the phone is nowadays widely used in a number of settings such as commercial negotiations, emergency calls, customer service etc.