It may be the middle of the night when you need language help, but the interpreter who answers your call may be sat at their desk on the other side of the world enjoying their morning coffee!

After you make a call to whym, you may be wondering: who are the people at the end of the phone? Who picks up my calls, wherever I am, day and night? How does whym decide who are the best interpreters worldwide? If so, read on…

What makes whym special is that, instead of machine translation, there is a real human being at the other end of the phone. But what qualifies this human being to be one of our professional interpreters? We pride ourselves on only offering the best interpreters in the world the chance to work with us, precisely because they become an integral part of the success of our app.

All of the telephone interpreters who work for whym have spent years of hard diligent study to be the best at their job. Machines are no match for professional interpreters (and won’t be for some time, if ever!), and we are delighted to be supporting the best professional interpreters around the world every day.

So, what does it take to become an interpreter?

It takes years of studying to become a professional interpreter, which is slightly different to a translator’s training. Learning another language is only the beginning of the journey. Typically a professional interpreter will have a degree or professional qualification in interpreting.

On top of this they will gain accreditation from a relevant body. These vary across the world but examples in the UK would be the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI), Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) . Interpreters will also undergo extra training to become specialists in particular fields like law or medicine.

professional telephone interpreter

What kind of Interpreting do we look for?

There are also different types of interpreting. For the whym app we use consecutive telephone interpreters. Consecutive interpreters will listen to one language, wait until the speaker finishes and then interpret into the other language.

The greatest skill in interpreting is simultaneous interpreting. This means the interpreter is listening and interpreting at the same time. We challenge you to try that in your native tongue alone and you will soon see how difficult it is- an unbelievable talent!

Where do the Interpreters work?

We don’t expect a single interpreter who works for whym to be sat in a call centre. Instead, we work with our provider InterpretersPortal  who champion the modern and work-force friendly approach of using freelance interpreters based all over the world.

We are able to provide round the clock coverage in our 13 languages by working with a small number of skilled individuals based in different time zones. Each interpreter works in an environment of their choosing; for most this is a home office. They will work for multiple clients and accept calls whenever they are available- just like any other freelance worker. Through InterpretersPortal we are able to monitor who is online and available for work at different times of the day.

It may be the middle of the night when you need language help, but the interpreter who answers your call could be sat at their desk on the other side of the world enjoying their morning coffee! Over the coming months, we hope to introduce you to some of the interpreters who may answer your calls. Watch this space!

Want to be a whym interpreter?

We’re always welcoming more and more interpreters to the whym team. We’d be delighted to hear from any freelance, professional, telephone interpreters. As mentioned above, we work with InterpretersPortal. They recruit and manage all of our interpreters on our behalf. If you are interested in working for us, please do get in touch with them directly.


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