Advantages of VRI vs OPI (Video Remote Interpreting vs Over the Phone Interpreting)
The advantages of VRI vs OPI are:
- VRI allows for non-verbal communication—OPI does not
- VRI allows for ASL interpretation, which is not possible through OPI
- Both allow you to save money by eliminating travel expenses
Although there are more advantages to using VRI over OPI, they both allow you to save significant amounts of money compared to in-person interpretation. So when we weigh the advantages of VRI vs OPI, both have so much to offer.
With many workplaces going fully remote, it’s important to have a remote interpreter who is there to help you overcome language barriers. Both VRI and OPI are great options to solve interpretation needs from the convenience of your home.
What is VRI?
VRI stands for video remote interpretation—which allows an interpretation session to be carried out over a video call. Video remote interpreting gives all the benefits of in-person interpreting with the convenience is over-the-phone interpreting. Each person involved in the interpretation session can use the following:
- Smart Phone
As the interpreter assists to facilitate communication between both parties. VRI is cost-effective, quick, and location-independent.
VRI is a great option if you need an ASL interpreter within a limited time frame. Rather than having to schedule an in-person ASL interpreter, you can connect with a VRI interpreter within minutes.
What is OPI?
Over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) is an interpretation service that uses three-way calling. An interpreter facilitates a conversation between two parties who speak different languages.
OPI is a low-cost option compared to using in-person interpretation services. Since each party can communicate through their phones, you don’t need to pay for travel expenses, location expenses, or equipment.
Although there are many advantages to using OPI, you won’t be able to use it if your client needs ASL interpreting. ASL interpreting requires the use of signals which can only be achieved if the deaf person can be seen either on video or in person.
How Much do Interpreters Cost?
The cost of an interpreter depends on a variety of factors. These factors include:
- The language pairs
- The experience of the interpreter
- The interpreter’s qualifications
- Video remote vs over the phone vs in person
- Travel time
Over-the-phone interpreters typically cost between $1.25-$3 per minute which can cost as much as $180 per hour.
Interpreters may have 2-hour minimum requirements as well that can factor into the final price. Video-remote interpreters cost between $1.75 to $7 per minute.
In-person interprets cost between $50 to $145 per hour. You may need to pay for an in-person interpreter’s travel expenses as well.
Is there High Demand for Interpreters?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for interpreters and translators is predicted to grow at 24%, which is much faster than average.
There will be 19,300 new jobs created during that time span as well. There are many different settings where interpreters can work including:
There are many opportunities for interpreters and translators to work remotely. These occupations come with variable work schedules, allowing workers to choose which hours they want to work.
The 2020 median pay of interpreters and translators was $52,330 per year or $25.16 per hour.
What is the Difference Between an Interpreter and a Translator?
The difference between an interpreter and a translator is the way in which they communicate. An interpreter interprets using the spoken word, whereas a translator communicates using the written word.
Interpreters need to have great speaking and listening skills in order to carry out an effective job performance. Translators need to have great writing and reading skills from one language to another. Interpreters work during:
- Client meetings
- Doctors’ visits
On the other hand, translators work directly on documents or business materials. They can translate:
- Advertising campaigns
- Website copy
Interpreters often work as translators and vice versa. They both have native-level fluency in two or more languages and usually have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Who are the Best Video Remote Interpreting Companies?
Interpreters who offer over-the-phone interpreting services and video remote services usually freelance or work directly with an interpretation company.
Although working directly with a freelancer can be more cost-effective, there are risks that come with it such as the interpreter not being previously vetted.
Oftentimes people you find on the internet can be exaggerating their language abilities and may not be fluent in the languages they are interpreting to and from.
It is beneficial to you to work with an interpretation company that thoroughly vets each of its interpreters before hiring them. Scrolling through thousands of freelancing sites such as Fiverr and Upwork can take hours in order to find an interpreter with the experience and skillset that you need.
While working with an interpretation company saves you valuable time that you could be used on other tasks of greater importance.
The best video remote interpreting companies are:
1. The Language Doctors:
We thoroughly vet each of our interpreters before hiring them. So they must pass a language fluency test in each language they plan on interpreting to and from. We also require each interpreter to have at least a bachelor’s degree, 5 or more years of experience working in interpretation, and have at least 5 years of experience working in their area of specialization.
2. Language Line:
They are a platform that provides translation localization and interpreting services. Also, their staff is bilingual and responds fast to customer requests.
3. Day Translations:
This company provides human-generated translation services and interpretation services as well.
As you can see, there are many advantages to using video remote interpreting services vs over-the-phone interpreting services. So video remote is the better option if you have a limited hearing client that needs ASL services.
Both of these options are more cost-effective than in-person interpretation services. Whichever service you choose, there will be an interpreter who is ready to fulfill your needs.
If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below—we will answer all comments within 24 hours.