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Interpreter Cost


How Much Does an Interpreter Cost?

 
low costIn-Person Interpreter: $50-$145 Per Hour average costPhone Interpreter: $75-$180 Per Hourhigh costVideo Interpreter: $105-$420 Per Hour
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While translators work with the written word, interpreters focus on the spoken word. Professional speech interpreters frequently work in the business, healthcare, social work or judiciary fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[1] . Available for contract work such as guiding international travelers, interpreters may also interpret at conferences, legal trials or corporate events. Phone and video interpreting services have increased in popularity with the advancing technology.

Typical costs:

  • Interpreting may take place in person, over the phone or via video phone.
  • In-person interpreters typically cost $50-$145 per hour. For example, American Language Services[2] offers interpreters starting at $100 per hour (or $125 for sign language) and a two-hour minimum is required.
  • Phone interpreters typically cost $1.25-$3 per minute. Language Translation, Inc.[3] offers a flat fee of $1.88 per minute for phone interpreting, for example.
  • Video interpreters typically range from $1.75 to $7 per minute. For instance, LifeLinks[4] offers video interpreting from $2.25 per minute for any language and $2.95 for sign language. A 15-minute minimum is common for phone or video interpreting.
Related articles: Event Planner, Video Conferencing

What should be included:
  • Interpreters may specialize in languages ranging from French to Mandarin, and agencies should offer a number of qualified interpreters representing the majority of world languages. Sign-language interpreters are specially trained to relay speech to the hearing impaired, typically in American Sign Language. In-person interpreters should be booked several days to weeks in advance, depending on the agency.
  • Interpreter qualifications vary by state. For instance, Colorado requires court interpreters to have some form of certification, but not for medical interpretation, according to the Colorado Association of Professional Interpreters. Conference Interpreters may be active members of the International Association of Conference Interpreters[5] , a trade group.
  • Phone or video interpreters working with large call centers are typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No advance reservations are needed for this service.
Additional costs:
  • Travel time is typically billed extra, as an hourly rate or a set fee. For instance, interpreters working with the Arkansas Courts[6] cost an additional 45 cents per mile or $40 per hour for travel outside of their county.
  • A two-hour minimum is common for in-person interpreters, so clients must pay extra if less than two hours of services are required.
  • It is common for sign language interpreters to switch off every 15 or 20 minutes, according to the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing[7] , because of the mental stamina required to interpret for long periods. Therefore, if an event is scheduled for longer than two hours, a second interpreter may be required.
  • Unless otherwise stated, international phone calls may incur additional charges on top of the phone interpreter's fees.
Shopping for an interpreter:
  • Search the online directory at the American Translator's Association[8] for a list of interpreting service companies and individuals.
  • The Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing[9] offers a list of tips for working with a sign-language interpreter, both before and during an event. The AIIC[10] lists tips for choosing the right conference interpreter and the National Law Forum[11] explains what qualifications to look for in a legal interpreter.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.bls.gov/ooh/Media-and-Communication/Interpreters-and-translators.htm
  2.  www.alsglobal.net
  3.  www.languagetranslation.com/telephone-interpreting/speakeasy-rates.html
  4.  www.lifelinks.net/vri_home.html
  5.  aiic.net/
  6.  /courts.arkansas.gov/administration/interpreters
  7.  www.ncdhh.ne.gov/faq_interpreter.html
  8.  www.atanet.org/onlinedirectories/
  9.  www.cchdwi.org/interpreter_tips_0001.pdf
  10.  aiic.net//ViewPage.cfm/article155.htm
  11.  nationallawforum.com/2010/11/05/law-firms-guarantee-your-roi-when-hiring-an-interpreter/
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