How to Become a Remote Interpreter: Comprehensive Guide

Remote Interpreter

Remote interpreting, also known as telephonic or video interpreting, has gained significant traction in recent years due to technological advancements and the growing need for flexible and accessible language services. With the advent of platforms and tools that enable seamless virtual communication, remote interpreters can now provide their services from anywhere in the world, transcending geographical limitations.

In this blog post, we will explore the exciting world of remote interpreting, exploring various tips, courses, and tools to succeed in this rapidly evolving field. Whether you are a language enthusiast considering a career change or a professional interpreter looking to expand your horizons, this guide will provide valuable insights into the remote interpreter profession.

What Does a Remote Interpreter Do?

What Does a Remote Interpreter Do
How to Become a Remote Interpreter: Comprehensive Guide 5

A remote interpreter is a professional who provides interpretation services remotely, usually through teleconferencing or video conferencing platforms. They assist in bridging the language gap between individuals or groups who speak different languages and need to communicate effectively.

The primary role of a remote interpreter is to listen to the speaker’s words in one language and accurately convey the message in another language in real time. They facilitate effective communication during various scenarios, such as business meetings, conferences, legal proceedings, medical consultations, or any situation where language barriers may hinder understanding.

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Here are some key tasks performed by a remote interpreter:

1. Language Interpretation

The remote interpreter listens to the speaker’s words and mentally translates them into the target language while maintaining the speaker’s intended meaning and tone. They then articulate the interpreted message to the recipient(s) in real time.

2. Multilingual Communication

Remote interpreters often possess proficiency in multiple languages. They may interpret between two languages or work as relay interpreters, interpreting from one language to another through an intermediate language. This allows for effective communication between multiple parties who speak different languages.

3. Cultural Mediation

Interpreters not only bridge the linguistic gap but also serve as cultural mediators. They know cultural nuances and ensure the interpretation is culturally appropriate and sensitive. They adapt their interpretation to account for cultural differences and help avoid misunderstandings.

4. Simultaneous or Consecutive Interpretation

Remote interpreters may employ different interpreting techniques based on the specific requirements of the situation. Simultaneous interpretation involves interpreting in real time while the speaker is talking. Consecutive interpretation involves listening to a speech segment and then interpreting it during pauses or after the speaker finishes.

5. Technical Proficiency

Remote interpreters utilize video conferencing or teleconferencing platforms to provide their services. They must be proficient in using the necessary technology and ensure a smooth connection and audio quality during interpretation sessions.

What Is Video Remote Interpreting?

What Is Video Remote Interpreting
How to Become a Remote Interpreter: Comprehensive Guide 6

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is a method of providing interpretation services remotely through video communication technology. It allows people who speak different languages to communicate with each other with the assistance of a professional interpreter, even when they are not in the exact physical location.

VRI is commonly used in situations where in-person interpretation may not be possible or practical, such as when the interpreter and the individuals needing understanding are located in different cities or countries. It is beneficial when real-time interpretation is required, such as in medical, legal, or business settings.

To use VRI, participants typically connect through a video conferencing platform using their computers, tablets, or smartphones. The interpreter joins the video call remotely and provides interpretation services in real-time. The interpreter can see and hear the participants and interpret the conversation between the spoken languages.

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How Does Video Remote Interpreting Work?

Video remote interpreting (VRI) is a method of providing interpreting services remotely through video conferencing technology. It allows individuals not physically present to communicate with an interpreter in real-time using video and audio connections. Here’s how video remote interpreting typically works:

  1. Platform or Software: VRI requires a video conferencing platform or specialized software designed for interpreting services. These platforms often have features such as video and audio capabilities, screen sharing, and chat functions.
  2. Scheduling: A client or organization needing interpreting services will typically schedule a VRI session in advance. Depending on the arrangement, this can be done through the interpreting service provider or directly with the interpreter.
  3. Connection Setup: At the scheduled time, the client and interpreter connect to the video conferencing platform using their respective devices, such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. They may need to log in with their credentials or join a specific meeting room.
  4. Language Selection: The client informs the interpreter about the target language they require assistance with. The appropriate interpreter is selected for the session if the interpreting service provider offers multiple interpreters for different languages.
  5. Video Conference Start: Once connected, the client and interpreter can see and hear each other through the video conferencing interface. The interpreter may also have access to additional tools like a whiteboard or document sharing to aid the interpreting process.
  6. Interpretation Process: The client speaks, or signs in their native language, and the interpreter renders their message into the target language. This can involve consecutive interpretation (waiting for the speaker to finish before interpreting) or simultaneous interpretation (while the speaker is still talking). The interpreter’s translated message is then relayed back to the client.
  7. Communication Flow: Throughout the VRI session, the client and interpreter maintain a back-and-forth exchange, with the interpreter facilitating effective communication between the parties. The video conferencing platform may have a chat function for participants to communicate in writing.
  8. Conclusion and Wrap-up: Once the interpreting session is complete, the client and interpreter can thank each other and end the video conference. Any relevant information or follow-up instructions may be provided before disconnecting.
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How much does a Remote Interpreter make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Remote Interpreter in the United States is $73,569 annually. This is approximately $35.37 an hour, equivalent to $1,414/week or $6,130/month.

The Only 6 Tips You Need As A Remote Interpreter

Becoming a remote interpreter can be a rewarding career, allowing you to provide language support and facilitate communication across different languages and cultures. We have highlighted some important steps that you can follow in your pursuit of becoming a remote interpreter.

1. Gain formal education or training

While not always required, obtaining a degree or certification in interpretation, translation, linguistics, or a related field can enhance your credibility and provide valuable knowledge and skills. Look for reputable educational institutions or language training programs that offer interpreter training courses or degrees.

For example, pursuing a degree in language studies or linguistics can help you gain a deep understanding of language structures, semantics, pragmatics, and other linguistic concepts

2. Enhance your language skills

Apart from getting a degree or formal training, you must continuously improve your language skills by immersing yourself in the target language(s) and practising speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Engage with native speakers, use language-learning apps, take language courses, or consider working or studying abroad to enhance fluency.

3. Specialize in a specific field

It is also good to focus on a specialized field or a few specialized fields. This way, it will be easier to build expertise in this domain than focus on too many areas. You can focus on areas like legal, medical, technical, business, or conference interpretation, among others. Remember that acquiring specific knowledge and vocabulary related to your chosen field will make you more valuable as an interpreter.

4. Develop interpretation techniques

Again, you need to familiarize yourself with various interpretation techniques, such as consecutive interpretation (listening and then rendering the message), simultaneous interpretation (interpreting in real-time while the speaker is speaking), and sight translation (reading and orally translating written documents). Practice these techniques to build accuracy, speed, and clarity in your interpretations.

5 Gain practical experience

Employers and recruiters will value experience more than degrees and certifications. They will want to know if you have ever done a job as an interpreter and your achievements in those previous jobs you did. To gain experience, you need to start looking for internships, volunteer opportunities, or part-time positions where you can apply your skills and receive feedback from experienced interpreters. Consider working with local organizations, language service providers, or non-profit agencies that may require interpretation services.

6. Build a professional network

Networking is essential for finding remote interpretation opportunities. You can attend industry events, conferences, or online and offline webinars to meet potential clients, language service providers, and fellow interpreters. Develop relationships with professionals in the field and maintain an active presence on professional platforms like LinkedIn.

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Courses For Remote Interpreters

As a remote interpreter, several online courses can help you enhance your skills and expand your knowledge in interpretation. Here are some reputable platforms where you can find online courses for remote interpreters:

  1. Coursera: Coursera offers a wide range of courses in interpretation and translation, including remote interpreting. You can find courses from top universities and institutions worldwide, such as the University of Geneva and the University of California, Irvine.
  2. edX: edX is another popular platform that provides online courses from renowned universities. You can find courses on interpretation, language, and communication skills that benefit remote interpreters.
  3. InterpretAmerica: InterpretAmerica is a leading organization that offers professional development resources for interpreters. They provide webinars, workshops, and training programs specifically designed for remote interpreting. You can check their website for upcoming courses and events.
  4. is a well-known platform for language professionals. They offer various training courses and webinars on interpreting, including remote interpretation. You can browse their training section to find relevant courses.
  5. Udemy: This is another popular platform that offers a wide range of online courses, including those related to remote interpretation.
  6. ATA (American Translators Association): ATA is a reputable association for translators and interpreters. They provide online courses and webinars on various topics, including interpretation. They may offer specific courses related to remote interpreting, so it’s worth checking their website.

Best Software and Technologies for Remote Interpreters

There are several software and technologies available for remote interpreters to facilitate interpretation services remotely. These tools can help interpreters provide language support in various settings, including conferences, meetings, and events. Here are some commonly used software and technologies for remote interpreters:

1. Video Conferencing Platforms

Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and Google Meet provide features for remote interpretation. These platforms often include options for interpreters to join as participants and provide interpretation in real-time. Participants can select their preferred language channel to listen to the interpretation.

2. Remote Interpreting Platforms

There are specialized platforms designed specifically for remote interpretation. These platforms offer features tailored to the needs of interpreters, such as the ability to handle multiple languages, seamless channel switching, and support for different modes of interpretation (simultaneous, consecutive, etc.). Examples of such platforms include Interprefy, Kudo, and Interactio.

3. Interpreter Console Software

Interpreter consoles are software applications that enable interpreters to work remotely by providing them with the necessary tools and features. These consoles typically have features like language channel management, audio controls, visual aids, glossary support, and note-taking capabilities. Some popular interpreter console software includes Interprefy Console, Linguali, and Interactio Interpreter.

4. Remote Interpretation Equipment

Interpreters may also use specialized hardware equipment to enhance the quality of remote interpretation. This includes professional headsets with noise cancellation, high-quality microphones, and audio interfaces to connect to the interpreter console or computer.

5. Cloud-based Collaboration Tools

Cloud-based tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Dropbox can facilitate collaboration between interpreters and clients. These tools allow for real-time document sharing, editing, and annotation, which can be particularly useful in situations where interpreters need to work on shared materials or scripts.

6. Language Support Software

Interpreters may utilize language support software, such as glossary management tools and terminology databases, to ensure accurate and consistent interpretation. These tools can help interpreters access relevant terminology, prepare in advance, and ensure the accuracy of their translations during remote sessions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is remote Phone Interpretation

Remote Phone Interpretation is a service that allows individuals or organizations to connect with professional interpreters over the phone to facilitate communication between two or more parties who speak different languages. It enables real-time interpretation for various purposes, such as business meetings, healthcare appointments, legal proceedings, or customer service interactions, without the need for in-person presence. The interpreters provide linguistic assistance remotely, bridging language barriers and facilitating effective communication.

2. What are the 3 types of remote interpreters

  • Video Remote Interpreting (VRI): Video Remote Interpreting involves using videoconferencing technology to connect an interpreter remotely with individuals who require interpretation services.
  • Telephone Remote Interpreting (TRI): Telephone Remote Interpreting is a method where interpreters provide their services over the phone.
  • Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI): Remote Simultaneous Interpreting refers to the practice of providing simultaneous interpretation in real-time from a remote location.

3. What is the difference between a remote translator and an interpreter

A remote translator primarily focuses on written communication, converting written text from one language to another, often through digital platforms or communication tools. On the other hand, a remote interpreter specializes in oral communication, facilitating real-time conversations between individuals who speak different languages, typically through video or audio conferencing.

Where To Find Remote Interpreter Job

Here are some platforms will have highlighted below that offer genuine jobs for remote interpreters

  1. Indeed
  2. Linkedin
  3. ZipRecruiter
  4. Flexjobs
  5. Simplyhired
  6. Glassdoor


In conclusion, the remote interpreter career path offers a world of opportunities for those with strong language skills and a passion for facilitating communication across cultures. As the world becomes more interconnected, the demand for remote interpreters continues to grow, opening up a flexible and rewarding career option. With the advancements in technology and the increasing acceptance of remote work, pursuing a career as a remote interpreter can provide a fulfilling and lucrative path for language enthusiasts seeking to make a global impact.

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