Telephone interpreting: the convenient way to tear down linguistic and intercultural barriers

Since the cost of long-distance calls fell in the 1990s, the demand for telephone interpreters has increased steadily. In addition to the increasing globalization of our everyday and business worlds, this high demand for telephone interpreting is also driven by its versatility, yet simplicity and relatively low cost.  

All you need for successful telephone interpreting is 

  • a phone with a connection that is sufficiently free from interference, and 

  • a trained, qualified and socially competent telephone interpreter with experience in the target language. 

Do you need a professional and socially competent telephone interpreter whose discretion you can rely on for even the most sensitive of topics? 

Then you’ve come to the right place. As one of the leading full-service agencies for professional language services, our telephone interpreting service will help you to overcome any challenge involving interlingual communication.  

We can provide you with bespoke telephone interpreting services tailored to your specific industry and topic of conversation. 

  • What is telephone interpreting? 

  • Possible applications: what is telephone interpreting used for and when? 

  • How can I benefit from the services of a telephone interpreter? 

  • Why should I use one of EHLION's language professionals for my telephone interpreting needs?


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What is telephone interpreting? 

In telephone interpreting, a trained interpreter facilitates communications between at least two interlocutors who either don’t speak a common language at all or else only at a level that is insufficient for the purposes of the conversation.  

As with normal interpreting, the telephone interpreter translates one person's spoken words into the other person's language and vice-versa, using either the consecutive interpreting or simultaneous interpreting method. The participants (and the interpreter) communicate via a telephone connection, which must be as stable and free of interference as possible.  

There are two possible configurations for a professional telephone interpretation service: 

  • Variant A: Two or more call participants are together in the same room using one telephone, and the interpreter dials in from a different location and can be heard through loudspeakers.  

  • Variant B: Two or more call participants are at different locations and are connected by telephone, and the telephone interpreter is connected to the call via a conference circuit.  

Note: Telephone interpreting is possible via both landlines and mobile telephones. This allows you to remain flexible, no matter your location.  


The telephone interpreter ensures that conversations run smoothly without any misunderstandings. 

It is the interpreter's responsibility to translate the spoken words accurately so as to avoid misunderstandings, e.g., through misinterpretation or imprecise translation. When selecting the appropriate interpreter for the specialist field or topic of conversation, we place the greatest importance on identifying experienced, qualified interpreters with the requisite specialist knowledge. 

The telephone interpreter always adopts a neutral stance with regard to the participants, and strictly limits his or her input to accurately conveying what is said in the respective languages. Accordingly, the interpreter does not play an active role in the conversation.  

One particular challenge for telephone interpreters is that, in addition to linguistic barriers, it is often necessary to overcome intercultural hurdles. Although interpreters do not play an active role in shaping the conversation, their social competence and intercultural understanding enables them to help reduce any tensions or inhibitions between the two parties, creating a relaxed and trusting basis for communication.  


Possible applications: what is telephone interpreting used for and when? 

There are practically no limits to the possible applications for telephone interpreting. Telephone interpreters can be used whenever a direct interlingual exchange is not possible due to a lack of the relevant language skills on the part of one or more of the call participants.  

The sectors and topics of conversation involved might range from: 

  • matters of public safety and security 

  • to negotiations with international business partners, 

  • through to maintaining international business relations, political dialog, 

  • health issues with an international dimension, or 

  • achieving clarity on sensitive issues – to name just a few. 


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How can I benefit from the services of a telephone interpreter? 

To be able to prepare for the telephone conversation and provide you with the best telephone interpreter for your current requirements, all we need from you is: 

  • the desired language combination, i.e., the source language and target language into which the translation is to be held, 

  • the subject of the conversation and any specifics that may be of crucial importance, 

  • and the time and estimated duration of the call. 

So, what language combination will your call involve? Just let us know. Thanks to our worldwide network of highly-skilled translators and interpreters, we are able to provide our translation and interpreting services into almost any target language, including hundreds of potential language pairs. 

EHLION’s telephone interpreter service even extends to the less common languages 

In addition to all European languages, we also offer direct telephone translations for many other languages, including Arabic and Chinese

Our top priority at EHLION is quality, so you’ve come to the right place for premium quality language services. 

We’ll make sure that your phone conversation runs smoothly. 

To this end we’ll not only provide a professional and socially competent telephone interpreter, we'll  also ensure that everything runs smoothly and easily from a technical point of view. 

In fact, apart from a telephone, there are no special technical requirements: the call between you, your conversation partner and the telephone interpreter will take place using either a loudspeaker or a conference call. You’ll also have the opportunity to brief the telephone interpreter prior to the call. 


Why should I use one of EHLION's language professionals for my telephone interpreting needs? 

Having an interpreter dialed in will enable you to concentrate fully on the content of the upcoming conversation and on the person you’re talking to.   

This will allow you to approach any conversation, no matter how difficult, in a totally relaxed manner, because you’ll be able to say exactly what you mean in your own native language without having to grapple for words or stammer your way through the conversation in an unfamiliar language.   

The use of a telephone interpreter will also benefit your interlocuter

As well as eliminating the language barrier, it will also break down any intercultural barriers, enabling you to quickly establish a rapport with your counterpart,even in difficult situations. 

  • Bridging intercultural divides, 

  • with smooth, flawless communication across language barriers: 

whatever the purpose of your conversation, EHLION’s telephone interpreters will bring you several steps closer to your goal in all your international communications.  

Interested in telephone interpreting with EHLION? Then please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or simply send us a message.  


Book your free initial consultation now!

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EHLION – Your partner for outstanding quality

EHLION provides high-quality language solutions covering all aspects of global communication. We offer comprehensive language and translation services for many of the world’s most competitive and highly technical industries, including the automotive, chemical and electronics industries and environmental technology. Our professional solutions include negotiation interpretation, conference interpretation, specialist translations, technical documentation, terminology management and cross-cultural consulting and coaching. EHLION – for perfect texts in any language. Get in touch with us to learn more about how our services can be custom-tailored to meet your needs.

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