Communicating accurately is critically important in today’s highly globalized world, especially with medical, legal or customer service oriented subject matter. This can be especially challenging when the need arises to communicate with customers, patients or colleagues who speak little to no English.  For such circumstances, On-the-Phone Interpreting (OPI) services are the best answer to solve these ever-growing communication needs.  

OPI also helps medical facilities, legal institutions and companies meet local, state, federal and international mandates for requiring high-quality interpreters, and are a lifeline at times of Emergency, when accurate information is important to deliver the right help quickly.  So, not only is OPI an important translation service to have on-hand, but having 24/7 availability of this service is essential.

We’ve outlined below five key situations where 24/7 availability of OPI is important.

Medical Emergencies

According to The American Journal of Psychiatry, for medical professionals, it is important to utilize medical interpreters to provide the same quality of care to all patients regardless of their preferred language. Medical providers have a professional and ethical obligation to treat all patients according to a standard of care determined by their field. This obligation cannot be fulfilled with regard to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals without the use of medical interpreters.

A language barrier can lead to serious delays in understanding symptoms, treatment options, or emergency instructions. Having access to a telephone interpreter 24/7 ensures that medical professionals can communicate effectively with patients regardless of their language.

Legal Interactions

There are many circumstances when speakers of different languages have to communicate in legally relevant settings, and given that each country, state or region has its own unique legal procedures, concepts, and terms that frequently has no equivalent in other languages, this can create significant legal headaches.  So, whether at a police station, courthouse, or immigration office, legal interactions require clear communication. 

OPI can bridge the language gap during arrests, witness interviews, emergency court orders, or any such legal process. Timely interpretation ensures accurate representation and adherence to due process, as these issues can occur at any day or time.

Business and International Transactions

Globalization has increased cross-border business interactions.  When engaging in international transactions, language acts the glue that allows individuals to convey their thoughts, negotiate deals, and establish long-term relationships. Beyond just linguistic comprehension, effective communication requires an understanding of cultural nuances, gestures, and expressions that can affect ultimate outcomes.

In practice, companies negotiate contracts, resolve disputes, and collaborate across time zones. Having OPI capabilities available around the clock ensures smooth communication during conference calls, negotiations, or business meetings.

Customer Service and Support

Organizations with diverse customer bases must provide around the clock service in multiple languages.  According to Freshworks, there are two benefits from 24/7 customer support:

Reduces wait times:  Customers today do not like waiting to get assistance. In fact, a survey conducted by McKinsey revealed that seventy-five percent of customers online still demand help in 5 minutes or less. Offering assistance around the clock goes a long way in maintaining a good first-response rate and reducing the overall wait times across channels.

Increases customer loyalty:  Being available to offer assistance 24/7 demonstrates that you truly care about your customers, and also that you prioritize their needs. This also helps your customers gain trust, and anchor their loyalty in your brand.

Whether handling inquiries or technical support for customers speaking multiple languages, having 24/7 OPI ensures customer satisfaction across all customers.

Emergency Responders

Language access for first responders is a critical issue these days.  Imagine a non-English speaker reporting a fire, accident, or crime.  Dialing up 911 to request a firefighter or ambulance can be very daunting for LEP communities.  It’s also not straightforward for the emergency responders that arrive on the scene. Language barriers between emergency workers and LEP populations can quickly lead to distrust, making it difficult for the responder to determine the actual severity of a given emergency.

In these time-sensitive situations, OPI can play the important role in relaying critical information to ensure the right level of assistance.  By taking into account the needs of LEP people in emergency situations, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and other first responders enhance their level of emergency preparedness.


It is important to offer the same great service to any customer in the language they speak, no matter the time or day. When discussing contracts, partnerships, customer service matters, or any such information, on-the-phone communication errors due to language barriers should never be an issue for your organization.

Click here if you would like to learn more about Language Scientific’s 24/7 OPI service.

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