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Over-the-Phone Interpreting (OPI) Services

200+ languages, 24/7 – Be prepared for every interaction by keeping our trained and certified team of telephone interpreters at the ready. No matter what industry you’re in, our experienced interpreters are available on demand, or by appointment, to facilitate your multilingual conversations.

phone interpreting

Accurate communication, guaranteed

Rapid response

Connect anytime, with anyone

There for you when it matters – our experienced phone interpreters are on call, all the time.

Telephone interpreters can bridge any language divide, allowing you to communicate clearly and reinforce relationships while fulfilling regulatory requirements. It’s the perfect solution for short interactions and last-minute meetings, billed by the minute without any hidden fees. After a simple account setup process, our interpreters will be on hand to connect you with your patients, customers, employees, stakeholders, and clients in over 200 languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Phone interpreters relay information with complete impartiality while navigating specific cultural and lingual nuances and colloquialisms. Their professionalism is unwavering, and every interaction is confidential, adherent to HIPAA and other regulatory requirements.

Signing up for an account is easy and you only pay when you use it.

Receive high-quality and consistent on-demand over-the-phone interpreting from us, following a simple setup-and-go process:

  • Complete a one-page Account Setup form
  • Utilize the service by calling a toll-free number
  • On-demand access to over 200 languages when you need it
  • Monthly billing: you are charged only for the minutes an interpreter is on the line

There are never any hidden fees for our telephone interpreting services – no one-time fees or “surge pricing,” monthly or subscription fees, or service charges. On average, connecting with a phone interpreter takes 20 to 30 seconds and you are not charged during this connection time. If an interpreter is not immediately available, you can opt for a callback or, for rarer languages, you can preschedule a call – there is a minimum charge for pre-scheduled calls.

Whether it’s a single meeting or ongoing, call center-level demand, our telephone interpreters are always there for you. Contact us today for more information or to create your account.

Our hiring process for phone interpreters leads to high-quality communications.

When it comes to interpreting, experience matters. The Rapport International difference is in our dedication to working with only the most qualified foreign language interpreters. Our telephone interpreters must have interpreting experience and training prior to working with us, in addition to scoring 90% or better on a rigorous interpreting exam.

The interpreting exam covers four major criteria:

  • Industry-specific terminology
  • Language competency in source and target languages, especially industry terminology and cultural jargon like slang and idioms
  • Interpreter skills such as active listening and memory retention
  • Ethical considerations: confidentiality, HIPAA and other regulatory requirements, and conflict of interest awareness

All new hires complete an orientation and calls are monitored for quality assurance throughout the first four weeks, and quarterly thereafter. 


What’s the difference between telephone interpreting and translation services?

Interpreting refers to the spoken word, translation to the written word. Outside of the language industry, the two are commonly used interchangeably. Learn about your interpreting options in our Interpreting Services blog.

How does on-demand over-the-phone interpreting work?

Once your account is established, authorized users dial in to a secure, toll-free number and provide an assigned client ID to connect to the interpreting service, then specify the source and target languages. Some companies offer both automated and operator-led services; at Rapport International you will always connect with a human. At the end of the call, you’ll have the opportunity to provide feedback to help us maintain quality and improve future interaction. Read about how phone interpreting works in Medical Offices & Hospitals.

What are the pros and cons of over the telephone interpreting services?

Over-the-phone interpreting allows you to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time. The service quickly overcomes language barriers, allowing participants to focus on content, meaning, and interpersonal connection. It’s cost effective – billed by the minute without startup or subscription fees – and satisfies the regulatory requirements of the medical, legal, and educational fields.

The service is more impersonal than in-person or video remote interpreting (VRI) because participants cannot see each other, so body language and other visual cues are missing. Technology issues (speakerphones are sometimes hard to hear) and logistics (more than two participants) can also affect the quality of a phone interpreting session. Find out more in our blog on Telephone Interpreting Services.

What if I want to see the person I’m talking to?

Virtual interpreting services (like VRI or a scheduled online platform call) are a viable alternative to over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) when an interpreter cannot be there in person. VRI services are available on demand for American Sign Language (ASL) and other select languages when the conversing parties are in the same location; only the interpreter is in a remote location. Alternatively, you can pre-schedule an online meeting via Zoom or a similar platform for meetings between two or more remote parties, or for rarer languages not yet available via VRI. Learn more about VRI services.

How does the billing work for over-the-phone interpreting?

Our on-demand telephone interpreting services are charged at a flat, per-minute rate with no one-time or hidden fees and no subscription or service charges. You are billed only for the minutes an interpreter is on the line; on average, connecting with a phone interpreter takes 20 to 30 seconds on average and you are not charged during this time.

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Clear communication improves outcomes.

Precise and impartial interpreter services prove your commitment to your customers, your workforce, and your business. Interpreters foster genuine cross-cultural connections, resulting in more successful and mutually beneficial patient, student, and employee relations, smoother business dealings, and collaborative problem-solving.

Interpreting services promote trust – get your free quote today.

Interpreting Services:

Everything You Need to Know

Dive into the world of interpreting services with our comprehensive guide. Find detailed descriptions of the various types of interpretation – consecutive, simultaneous, video remote, and telephone – and the best practices for working with each type of interpreter.

Download the guide today to gain a deeper understanding of the vital role interpreters play in breaking down language barriers to foster connections with your patients, clients, and customers.

Our Over the Phone Interpreting Clients

boys town
madonna rehab
Andover Public Schools
Wellesley Public Schools
stoughton public schools
ortho nebraska
Juice plus

What Our Clients Say About Us

Wellesley Public Schools testimonial 100tall 2023

Awesome customer service and support!

- Director of English Language Learners, Wellesley Public Schools Production Center


We use Rapport International's telephone interpreting service to stay in compliance with language access requirements. The service offers users the opportunity to speak to a person in any language within seconds. Plus you pay as you go - it's there when you need it and it's inexpensive.

They are fast and provide good interpreting. 

- Chief of Labor Compliance, NH Department of Transportation

stoughton public schools

Many, many thanks for all your help. I know that we shall need your services again in the future, so, in the meantime, please accept my gratitude! 

- Psychologist, Stoughton Public Schools

Juice Plus

One call (or email) and I am set - I have used Rapport International's services in Europe, Japan, Korea, China and on various telephone calls. Their interpreters are always professional, and as described. It also helps that Rapport can make it happen on short notice. It's been a travel main-stay of mine for the last ten years. Can't go overseas without knowing they are there. 

- Global VP, Product, Research, Juice Plus


Thank you Rapport International, we really appreciate the flexibility of your interpreters!! 

- Receptionist, Instinct Pet Foods

Proven process

Our Process

Our proven process matches you with interpreters experienced in your industry. We nurture these relationships over time to retain voice and style preferences, while creating cost efficiencies.
Costs & turnaround

Costs & turnaround

Working with Rapport International gives you the benefit of clear, transparent pricing and an established scheduling process.

Contact Us

Learn more about Rapport International and the services we offer

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