par Bradley Rose
, Senior Designer | August 21, 2007
With the launch of the Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service, the inability to communicate with non-English speakers should no longer be a problem that breaks a business deal or prevents social interaction with a contact who speaks another language.
The new service is the first of its kind to provide mobile, on-demand, quick, global access to professional interpreters in more than 170 languages. It is ideal for travelers, business professionals or anyone interacting with people who either speak no English or just a limited amount.
"The world has become more accessible, but a major barrier to doing business in a global community is the lack of a common language," said Ken Kelley, product manager for Verizon. "By offering businesses and international travelers an on-demand, mobile, over-the-phone and culturally sensitive interpretation service, the language barrier can be bridged."
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Utilizing the Verizon network, Language Line Services' leading phone-based interpretation technology and a (patent-pending) prepaid card format, the Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service is accessible from any phone, 365 days a year.
"This new service allows anyone or any company to have fast, easy access to reasonably priced and professionally trained interpreters when their service is needed, so users can easily communicate with limited-English or non-English speakers," said Kelley.
Key features of the Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service are:
Two versions of the prepaid card format for faster service.
24-7 access to 10 most-spoken languages.
Optional pin-less dialing and recharge capability.
Certified medical interpreters.
The Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service is both convenient and user-friendly. In the United States, users simply dial the toll-free access number on the back of the card, enter their PIN and follow the prompts. To use the cards outside the United States, users first call the customer service number on the back of the card to get the access code for the country they will be calling from. They then dial that code and the 800 number found on the card to access the service. In the English-to-Spanish version, a user is automatically connected to a Spanish interpreter. For other languages, users reach an easy-to-navigate menu that asks them to select their needed language. Seconds later, a Language Line Services interpreter joins the call and remains on the line to carry out a three-way conversation between the user and the non-English speaker the user needs to communicate with.
If the user and non-English speaker are not in the same location, the user can request the interpreter to conference in another party with a domestic number.
The service also has an automated "help" function for users who are not certain which language is spoken by the non-English speaker. The function connects users with a live Language Line Services representative who can quickly identify the needed language.
In addition to assisting individuals conducting business with non-English speakers, the Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service will also be a valuable tool for English speakers traveling abroad, new U.S. residents and foreign tourists.
Louis Provenzano, president and chief operating officer of Language Line Services, the world's largest global interpretation company, said, "Every 31 seconds a limited-English speaker enters the United States. "The Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service is a very handy tool that will provide the resources to make the lack of a common language a non-issue."