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What Is Video Remote Interpretation (VRI)?

Video Remote Interpreting is used in medical offices, counseling appointments, training events, and other venues to provide live visual interpretation through a computer monitor, a television screen, or other audio-visual equipment. In this article, we’ll define video remote interpretation and talk about when it’s best used.

What is video remote interpretation?

Video remote interpretation is the use of videoconferencing technology, equipment, and an internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to provide the services of a qualified interpreter, usually located at a call center, to people at a different location. When two people are meeting in person or remotely and don’t use the same language, VRI is a way to have a live interpreter facilitate communication between them. The interpreter knows both languages. They are fluent in the provider’s language, and the consumer’s language. More importantly, they are aware of the attributes of each language that go beyond the spoken words.

The importance of visual communication

In most languages, facial expressions, head positions, and intonation change the meaning of words. In American Sign Language, eyebrows up vs down change the meaning of a question. This subtle difference is not so subtle to someone who is fluent in the language. It takes a skilled professional to communicate the correct message. Likewise, the tone of a message changes when spoken with a smile as opposed to a frown. Seeing the person relaying the message can make a world of difference.

Do you notice it’s easier to understand someone if you can see their face? You might work with someone who likes to have video meetings instead of phone calls. This could be because they feel their message comes across better when you can see them. They probably also like to get feedback on non-verbal cues.

Final thoughts

If you need to meet with someone and you do not share their language, an interpreter can help, and with them, on a video call, the experience will be even better for communicating the right message.

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