Para-Plus Translations, Inc.
Toll Free: 800-558-3011
1. What is the difference between translation and interpretation?

Interpretation and translation are two closely related linguistic disciplines. Yet they are rarely performed by the same people. The difference in skills, training, aptitude, and even language knowledge are so substantial that few people can do both successfully on a professional level.

Translation deals with the written word. Translators work with written text(s) to change the writing into the target language. The key skills of the translator are the ability to understand the source language and the culture of the country where the text originated. By using a good library of dictionaries and reference materials, the translation piece is clearly and accurately put into the target language. In other words, while the linguistic and cultural skills are still critical, the most important mark of a good translator is the ability to write well in the target language.

Interpretation refers to oral or spoken word. Interpreters listen to words spoken and change them into the target language orally. Interpreters have to possess excellent public speaking skills and the intellectual capacity to instantly transform idioms, colloquialisms and other culturally-specific references into analogous statements that the target audience will understand. An interpreter has to be able to interpret in both directions on the spot, without using dictionaries or other supplemental reference materials. Interpreters must have extraordinary listening abilities, especially for simultaneous interpreting.

2. Does Para-Plus charge for quotes?

There is no charge in giving hourly rates or quotes for interpretation assignments. To schedule an interpreter, please visit our Schedule an Interpreter page.

3. How can I become an interpreter?

If you are interested in becoming an interpreter or translator, you need to have a strong command in several languages or at least a pair of languages. If you are looking ahead to make interpreting or translating a career, we highly recommend pursuing further education in interpreting education and language skills development. Please check the Resources to the right for additional information on becoming an interpreter.

4. How can I work with Para-Plus Translations, Inc.?

Please visit the Are you a Linguist? page.

5. My family speaks fluent Korean, why do we need an interpreter for doctor’s appointments?

Sometimes family members/friends will not give the patient a provider's full and complete explanations. They may be embarrassed to admit they do not understand or embarrassed by the nature of the conversation. They might not agree with the provider. Conversely, they may miscommunicate the patient’s message, preferring that the provider hear their version of the situation.

Family members'/friends' emotional involvement often results in a tendency to protect the patient from bad news; therefore, they edit or change information. Also, sometimes family members/friends will not share with a provider the patient's full message, again because they are embarrassed, do not have what they judge to be the proper vocabulary, or because they make a decision that the provider doesn't need to know "all this extra information."

Finally, aside from interpretation lapses, confidentiality is also a problem when a family member or friend serves as a language interpreter. Often, the patient does not want to disclose upsetting private information or secret issues in front of a relative. The patient may not feel confident that the family member/friend acting as an interpreter will maintain confidentiality.

6. How many languages does Para-Plus provide?

At Para-Plus Translations, we offer a full range of interpreter services in over 100 languages.

7. How much does an interpreter cost? What is the pricing system at Para-Plus for interpretations? Is there an hourly rate?

It is standard practice for interpreters and agencies like Para-Plus to require payment of an hourly fee for interpreter services after the minimum is met. Hourly rates are dependent on the language and the industry skill set of the interpreter provided for the assignment. Language interpreter billing policies vary and are generally negotiated on an individual client basis. Rates may vary depending on the nature and timing of the assignment and the level of experience and certification of the interpreter. Rates typically include a minimum fee, hourly rates, charges for mileage and travel time, and cancellation policies.

8. How much notice does Para-Plus need to schedule a face-to-face interpreter? How far in advance do I need to call to schedule an interpreter?

Interpreters are independent contractors who provide services for many different clients. Due to these demands on scheduling of their time, it is important to provide Para-Plus with ample notice to ensure that we can provide the best interpreter for your needs. However, our organization has arrangements in place to ensure that qualified interpreters are readily available on a scheduled basis and on an unscheduled basis with minimal delay, including on-call arrangements for after-hours emergencies. Our protocol combines qualified interpreters and state of the art technology to provide reliable and readily available language access whenever required. Every effort will be made to secure the proper interpreter for an assignment, even for same day requests.

The Interpretation Coordinator attempts to assign interpreters based on individual communication needs, and the availability and reliability of appropriate resources. We can often meet the demands with our extensive list of interpreters of many languages.

9. Are Para-Plus’ interpreters trained in specific industry terminology?

When choosing an interpreter or translator, his or her expert knowledge of the subject matter is as equally important as their interpreting/translating experience. Someone without proper education and technical training is not likely to read and understand certain types of documents or relay information within a specific industry set. Simply knowing the language is not sufficient; the linguist must know the subject matter at the same level as the audience that will read certain documents or hear the information in a specific setting.

Our interpreters and translators are highly qualified in their areas of specialization and are often field professionals in engineering, language, medicine, law, teaching, editing, and more.

10. Are Para-Plus’ interpreters certified?

A certified interpreter is an interpreter who has passed a valid and reliable certification exam administered by an independent entity or certification entity such as the Registry of Interpreting Services (National Center for State Courts) or CCHI for Healthcare Interpreters.

Private companies that give tests to their contract interpreters may then call those interpreters certified, but most people outside those companies do not recognize such credentials. Individuals who complete certificate programs in interpreting may be qualified, but they are not certified.

While there are no standard forms of certification, the American Translator's Association, the Translators and Interpreters Guild and Federal Courts have certification programs in a number of languages. Even then, not all languages are available for certification within those programs.

Many Para-Plus translators and interpreters have attended seminars through the American Translators Associations (ATA), Delaware Valley Translator's Association (DVTA) and other language-related organizations which provide medical, legal and other professional terminology and procedures training to qualify interpreters for a variety of professional proceedings. Para-Plus will make every effort to ensure that the interpreters assigned to a project are certified by an accredited certification entity if applicable, but otherwise qualified for the specific task assigned.

11. What types of events does Para-Plus provide interpreters for?

Para-Plus Translations provides interpreters for a variety of events or needs such as conferences, legal needs, medical and more.

12. Does Para-Plus charge for canceling interpretation assignments?

A two (2) hour fee will be charged if an assignment is canceled the same day as the job was scheduled.

A 24 to 48 hour cancellation charge may apply for some languages.

Cancellation notice for Sign Language is two (2) full business days excluding weekends & holidays. A two-hour charge may be assessed if this requirement is not followed.

13. What is the difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation?

In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks.

In consecutive interpretation, the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking. The speech is divided into segments, and the interpreter sits or stands beside the source-language speaker, listening and taking notes as the speaker progresses through the message. When the speaker pauses or finishes speaking, the interpreter then renders a portion of the message or the entire message in the target language.

Our interpreters are trained in simultaneous and consecutive techniques.

14. Does Para-Plus provide Sign Language interpreting?

Yes. To learn more, visit the Sign Language page.

Feel free to reach out to any member of our management team with questions or check out the FAQs above. We invite you to schedule an interpreter, request a quote for a translator, or submit your information to join our growing team of international linguists. Para-Plus is here to serve your language needs.