As indicated in Telephone Interpreters page, Video Remote Interpretation or VRI falls into the category of service. In most a typical VRI situation, you are placed with the limited English speaking person and the other person is located in a foreign country with an internet connection, either through a mobile phone or via a laptop equipped with a camera (or a smart phone with a camera). The translator is usually present in order to help the limited English-speaking person make the correct translation or interpretation from the native language to the second language.
Video remote interpreters can also be called Video Interpreters. If you have ever been in a situation where a non-English speaking person was speaking in a language that you know, then you may have experienced being asked to translate from English to another language. Although it may appear obvious to most people that a native English speaker would be able to translate from English to Spanish, the fact is that it is not so simple. It takes a lot of effort and patience on your part, but in most cases, most native speakers to translate the same way, despite their native language.
Video remote interpreters are basically software applications used to translate or interpret between languages by using video output devices, usually a camera or an external monitor with an external video source, such as a television or a laptop. The video source can be of a certain format and with specific software, such as the Open Video format, for example, which can be easily converted to various formats, including those of VGA, DVI, etc.
One of the major advantages of Video remote interpreters is that they enable translation and interpretation between different languages with the same interpreter at the same time, without requiring the use of separate interpreters. This means that the interpreters do not need to be on site when they are conducting interpreting assignments, which can cut down on the overall cost of the service. Since most interpreters require no equipment at all, these systems are therefore very cost effective.
A disadvantage of Video remote interpreting is that it requires the use of video equipment to operate, and it does not involve any form of a manual. This may sound strange for those who are used to dealing with translators who need to have a manual and a pen for note-taking.
It is not compulsory to hire a Video remote interpreter, but if you know anyone who has, then you are more than likely to want to ask them for one. As a way of avoiding having to pay for the services of an interpreter when you have a second language to learn, it is worth asking if they might be able to do the translation for you. You may also want to consider the possibility of hiring someone who already has experience, because the higher the experience, the more accurate your interpreter will be.
Video remote interpreting also enables the use of digital cameras, which provide better quality of translation than the more traditional interpreters. They are available in various sizes and prices, and are generally easy to set up and install. You can even download and set up the video equipment online. Once installed, the equipment is relatively low-cost and can be transported anywhere without difficulty.
Video remote interpreters are a good option if you want to ensure that the interpreter is right on the spot, since most video recordings are played back to them through their microphone or web cam. This is a very cost-effective solution for people who speak only a small number of languages. With a reliable video recording, the interpreter is not required to travel a long distance to meet you and give you instructions, which can be a great saving in some situations.