Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO I REQUEST AN INTERPRETER?

Requests can be made by phone, email, website, or through the SWITS scheduling system. Please be sure to indicate whether you would like an interpreter on-site, by phone, or by video. You will be asked for the following additional information:

• Company or organization name
• Language needed
• Service date, time, and duration
• Name of consumer
• Name of provider or interviewer
• Nature of appointment
• Location
• Your name and contact information

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGAL AND NON-LEGAL APPOINTMENTS?

Legal assignments include, but are not limited to: court proceedings, attorney-client meetings, investigations by law enforcement, depositions, witness interviews, court-ordered treatment and education programs, real estate settlements and administrative or legislative hearings. SWITS reserves the right to determine whether a request is legal or non-legal.

WHEN DO I NEED TWO INTERPRETERS?

Two interpreters may be assigned to work as a team when the request exceeds two hours. Having two interpreters increases accuracy and reduces fatigue caused by continuous interpreting.

WHAT TYPES OF PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTED?

Payment can be made by check or credit card. Credit card payments can be submitted online at swits.us/payment. To discuss alternative payment options, please contact the accounts manager at (262) 740-2590 or accountsmanager@swits.us.

WHEN ARE SERVICES AVAILABLE?

SWITS provides services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE A TELEPHONE OR VIDEO REMOTE INTERPRETER?

Telephone and video remote interpreting is recommended for shorter interactions with 2-3 people. We recommend an on-site interpreter for group and mental health settings, as well as interactions involving children and the elderly. For more information on what service would work best for you, please contact your SWITS representative.

WHAT IS CONFERENCE INTERPRETING?

Conference interpreting may be necessary for business meetings, professional seminars, and multinational conferences or events. It is performed by highly qualified interpreters in simultaneous or consecutive mode. Conference interpreting requires the use of specialized knowledge and terminology, and interpreters prepare for events by studying reference materials and vocabulary related to the subject matter. SWITS strongly urges customers to provide any reference materials, presentation slides, or handouts as soon as the request is made so that the interpreter can prepare accordingly.

SWITS also commonly receives requests for what we classify as “community conference” interpreting. These requests require a simultaneous interpreter or team of interpreters and the use of interpreting equipment. These requests do not require a professional conference interpreter, but do require interpreters with simultaneous interpreting experience. Please contact your SWITS representative for more details and pricing.

IN WHAT LANGUAGES IS INTERPRETER CERTIFICATION OFFERED?

There are two certifying bodies for medical interpreting in the United States that are recognized nationally. For court interpreting, there is a federal certification, as well as various state certification programs. In Wisconsin, interpreters in the following languages can obtain certification:

American Sign Language
Deaf Relay
French
German
Mandarin
Polish
Russian
Spanish

For medical interpreting, interpreters can earn certification from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) or the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). Interpreters can become certified in the following languages:

Arabic
Cantonese
Korean
Mandarin
Russian
Spanish
Vietnamese

For more information on interpreter certification, please contact your SWITS representative.

HOW ARE TRANSLATION PROJECTS PRICED?

Translations are priced on an individual project basis. Prices differ by language pair and are priced per word. Additional charges may apply for desktop publishing or layout services. Translations requested by private parties or first-time clients may require prepayment. Please request a quote for pricing information specific to your project.

WHAT IS A CERTIFIED TRANSLATION?

A certified translation is often requested under special circumstances, such as during legal proceedings and research studies. A certified translation is not a certified document; certified documents are only issued by government officials. A request for a certified translation includes the translation and a separate notarized certificate of accuracy. The certificate states that the translator is familiar with the source and target languages and that the translation is true and accurate to the best of the translator’s knowledge. The document is notarized, a process which verifies the identity of the signer, and may be signed by the translator or the project manager, depending on the specific request.