Telephone interpreting is mostly required in situations where it is especially difficult for an interpreter to be present in person, such as in prisons or detention centres.

This type of interpreting may also be called for in cases of emergency where there isn’t sufficient time for an interpreter to reach the required location.

Interpreting over the telephone has additional challenges as the interpreter is unable to see body language, and it can be more difficult to make sense of what is being said, especially if there are technical issues or if the sound quality is not satisfactory.

However, new technology means that this type of interpreting is evolving. For example, interpreting via video calls is already in use and is likely to become more and more sophisticated.