VRI, OPI & 3 Realities Of Remote Interpreting Services


VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) and OPI (Over the Phone Interpreting) are essential skills that every modern-day language interpreter should actively seek out. And while remote interpreting services have been around for decades, their popularity has grown exponentially since COVID lockdowns, and every year since. As technology continues to advance at an accelerated rate, people must adapt along with it.

Thankfully, there are exceptional remote interpreting training courses that teach bilingual adults how to become professional interpreters. By learning from expert instructors, our students receive the highest quality remote interpreter training possible, thereby allowing them to become experts themselves. Our online courses are always 100% LIVE through our video chat platform. Ensuring that students receive the convenience of distance learning and the benefits of in-person instruction.

Once certified, remote interpreters can work in a variety of different industries, like immigration, healthcare and more. While each has their own unique challenges there are some that are universal- as in, challenges that are prominent in every industry.


3 Challenges that come with VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) and OPI (Over the Phone Interpreting) services


1. You can't see body language with OPI

Body language is one of the most important components of language. In fact, experts agree that 70-90% of communication is nonverbal. With in-person interpreting, if body language becomes more closed off, or they squint their eyes more, interpreters can adjust accordingly because it could indicate that the person doesn't understand. So you are working off just what people say with OPI.

Tip: you must take extra control of the conversation knowing you can't see your client. Especially if there are more than 3 people on the call, the limited time you have can get derailed with constant interruptions. Explain ahead of time that everyone should have a pen and paper with them. Tell them to write down their questions as they come up, and that you will stop every 5 minutes to give them time to ask anything they need. Oftentimes, questions get answered on their own in natural conversation so this is a great way to eliminate getting side-tracked.


2. You can easily lose connection with VRI

VRI lost connectionVideo Remote Interpreting (VRI) might seem like a better experience, especially when compared against OPI (Over the Phone Interpreting). But in reality, it's just different hurdles to prepare for. Your client could be in another country, or they could be in a secluded area with bad reception. Or maybe their home internet connection isn't as fast or secure as you need it to be.

Tip: If the platform you are using allows recorded sessions, tell your clients how they can access a recording for future reference. Tell them to try and take steps in advance of your appointment, so that they can get to fast WIFI. They can even rent a conference room at their local library for free & fast internet connection!


3. You have less control over your environment with both VRI & OPI

When providing in-person interpreting services, there are steps you can take to control your environment. Making intentional choices like choosing a secluded area, closing the blinds, and putting a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door eliminates distractions. Whether you are working with VRI or OPI equipment, it's harder to have such control because you aren't in the same room as your client. This just means you have to make MORE intentional choices in your preparation.

Tip: Set up an auto-generated email to clients BEFORE your interpreting assignment. Include directions for accessing your platform, that they should pick a quiet space and close windows. Explain that your client must speak directly into the microphone especially if  they turn on speaker for the whole room. Tell them that you will call them back if connection is lost so they don't waste time trying to contact you.



Our online translator classes are taught by expert instructors ✅ who have real-world experience in their interpreting specialty. They have worked hard to make fully remote online courses that are unique and engaging ✅ using a hands-on approach that is unparalleled by the competition. If you or someone you know is interested in our online Medical Interpreter Training Programs with live instruction✅, our fully remote yet real time classes ✅ are offered in SpanishPortugueseArabicRussianChineseHaitian Creole, Vietnamese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Korean, Somali, Urdu, Ukrainian languages online and onsite.

Get the necessary online interpreter training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our online interpreter training programs: Online Medical Interpreter TrainingOnline Legal Interpreter Training,Online Immigration Interpreter Training, Business & Community Interpreter Training

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