To find the best interpreter services, the client needs to determine what type of service will be needed. Not all companies that offer this type of service have interpreters available who are able to provide face-to-face or telephone services or who can relay a message as needed. Personal recommendations, checking the local telephone directory or going online are good ways to find good foreign language or sign language interpreters.
The best time to look for interpreter services is well in advance of the date that the interpreter will be needed. Having some lead time allows the person, company or organization to consider several options before making a decision. Some services have interpreters available on an on-call or emergency basis, and it's a good idea to have contact information for a few of them at hand if an interpreter must be found on short notice.
Word of mouth is a good way to find professional services, and approaching organizations that have used interpreter services in the past and asking for recommendations is a good strategy for finding one. When asking for a recommendation, it's important to ask about the type of services performed and whether an interpreter was available promptly. Asking whether the client was satisfied with the services provided also is a good idea.
Hospitals, community groups that serve the needs of immigrants and social service agencies are good places to ask for referrals to interpreter services. These sources might even have a list of interpreters whom they would be willing to recommend. A social worker at one of these organizations might be able to provide this information upon request.
Checking out the local telephone directory is another effective way to see a list of options for interpreter services. Some companies might have larger ads that include information about the type of services offered and how long they have been in business. At the very least, the interpreter services' name, address and phone number can be found using this method. The search can be targeted to a specific area, if desired.
Going online is another effective way to find the best interpreter service. A prospective customer can check out different providers' websites to find out about services offered and how much they cost. The website also should provide some information about the interpreters' qualifications and training. This information will help an individual or organization find the best interpreter services for a particular assignment.