On today’s blog post we’d like to take a further look at the specific interpretation services on offer at Tatutrad. In earlier posts, such as The Different Modes of Interpretation, we introduced the basic concepts of interpretation. We’ve also spoken about cultural knowledge in commercial interpretation, awkward interpretation situations in sport, medical interpretation in hospitals and interpretation in courts and legal procedures, among other topics. 

Today we’re going to focus on telephone interepting, something that we have considerable experience in and is a service we’re often asked for here at our translation agency in Seville, Spain. 

There’s no doubt that we live in an increasingly interconnected world that is becoming more multicultural and multilingual. This is one of the main reasons why the demand for interpretation services grows year on year. However, it’s not always easy to quickly find an interpreter you trust for an urgent service, and at times like these, the importance of telephone interpretation comes to the fore. 

Telephone interpreting can be defined as an interpretation service undertaken by professional interpreters over live calls which enables two people who speak different languages to communicate over the phone. 

With recent technological advances, telephone interpretation has gone on to acquire new features, transforming itself as required. As a result, videoconference interpreting has also emerged, which is another branch of telephone interpretation that we can hopefully talk about in future posts. 

These services enable users to make international calls to a country with a different official language, or local calls, normally to communicate with public institutions. 

In this communicative practice of telephone interpreting, consecutive interpretation tends to be used, whereby the interpreter listens to one of the two participants on the call and then, when they have finished, transmits the message to the second speaker in their language. 

The sectors where telephone interpretation is most widely used are healthcare, public and corporate organisations, travel and tourism services, or insurance companies. 

In reality, a big technological set-up is not required to be able to offer this service. All that is needed is a means of communication (either a mobile or landline, or a computer with a voice over IP or VoIP system) and a highly experienced telephone interpreter. 

Yes, just like in all areas of translation/interpretation, experience is a plus. Carrying out telephone interpretation without being able to see or interact with one of the speakers 

either directly or in-person also has its downsides and makes transmitting the message harder. 

We’re now going to look at the advantages and drawbacks of the service that we’ve discovered at our translation agency. 


1. Provided you have a trusted provider who is at the client’s disposal and addresses their needs, telephone interpretation is, without a doubt, a highly practical and fast service. Here at Tatutrad, our large network of professional interpreters is available to provide this service to clients. We have English, French, German, Italian and Spanish interpreters, as well as interpreters who work with numerous other language combinations. We are therefore able to meet the high demand, where a large number of working languages come into play. 

2. This is the most affordable method of interpretation for the client. Although there are some challenges and drawbacks, as we mentioned previously, not having to pay either for the interpreters to travel or interpretation equipment lowers the cost. It should be pointed out that we don’t always recommend this service as there are times when offering a quality service over the phone is impossible, and for us, quality is everything. 

3. Immediacy and flexible hours are always a bonus when contracting a service. There’s no doubt that these are two of the main advantages of telephone interpretation. The fact that this service can be offered remotely enables us to play around with time differences so that the interpretation can happen at nearly any time. Thanks to this, live telephone interpretation is an invaluable service not just for individuals, but also those companies with international presence or that collaborate with other foreign companies and have to conduct meetings over the phone. 

Nevertheless, this service can’t always be used. As we mentioned previously, this service doesn’t enable the translator to connect with the client in the same way as they would in person. Furthermore, we don’t recommend this mode in situations where there 

is noise or problems of a technical nature that hamper communication. Neither is it the most ideal service for interpretations on topics requiring the interpreter to undertake exhaustive documentation and prepare terminology when the urgency of the service doesn’t allow them to carry out this preparatory work. 

These are the main disadvantages of providing and contracting telephone interpretation services. However, what makes Tatutrad special is our integrated language consulting service, whereby the client receives advice surrounding the services that best suit their needs. 

This, together with our experience and the quality of our services, ensures that clients don’t face any obstacles when carrying out their multilingual tasks.