Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is interpretation?

Interpretation is the oral transmission of a message from one language into another language. CTS LanguageLink provides accurate and reliable first-person interpretation, accommodating the country of origin, cultural nuances and the speaker’s level of education. Our interpreters analyze the original message and select words that most accurately convey the true meaning of what is said.

What is the difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation?

Consecutive interpreting refers to the process by which the source-language speaker and the interpreter take turns speaking. Telephonic interpretation is consecutive. The consecutive interpreter listens and takes notes while the speaker talks. When the speaker pauses or finishes speaking, the interpreter reproduces the message in the target language.

Simultaneous interpreting is necessary when there are people who speak several different languages. The source-language speaker speaks continuously, while the interpreter sits in a sound-proof booth and renders the message through a microphone, simultaneously, in the target language. Because of the fast-paced and exacting nature of this kind of interpretation, two interpreters are usually involved for each language. Each interpreter works in 20-minute increments.

What if I am unsure about the language I need?

Our customer service representatives can help you with that. You should also ask your client what country they are from, as that will help us pinpoint the correct language more quickly. We can provide Point-to-your-language posters and cards to help you identify the language your client speaks.

What languages do you service?

We service provide professional interpreters for more than 240 languages and dialects. For a complete list, refer to our list of languages here.

What should I do to facilitate the interpretation?

Remember to communicate directly with the LEP client, and avoid slang, jargon, acronyms or technical terms that may not interpret well into the other language or culture. You may have to clarify information that the LEP client does not readily understand. Our professional interpreters are trained to ask for clarification if you use a term that is not familiar to them.

Are your interpreters trained in our industry terminology?

Our professional interpreters have extensive experience in tailoring their interpretations to our clients’ needs. We partner with industry experts who provide our interpreters with specialized training in medical, court, insurance, financial and other industry-specific terminology. Our interpreters must be familiar with police and 9-1-1 procedures, and also demonstrate excellent customer service skills.

If you use specialized terminology, discuss this with your customer service representative upfront. We may request that you provide us with additional information to help our interpreters familiarize themselves with your industry.

Why do the limited-English conversations seem longer than the English-only conversations?

Our interpreters are required to provide accurate and concise interpretations. They interpret in first person for simplicity and brevity. It is important to remember that they interpret across both languages and cultures, which can make the limited-English conversations longer. You can help facilitate the interpretation by making your message easy for the LEP client to understand. You may need to clarify or elaborate on your message to explain concepts that do not have an equivalent in other languages or cultures.

How do you guarantee confidentiality?

Each interpreter signs a confidentiality agreement and is bound by a strict Code of Ethics, ensuring that all the information pertaining to the work we do for you remains strictly confidential. Additionally, our interpreters are required to adhere to HIPAA compliancy standards.

If you have taken my request and provided me with a job number, am I guaranteed to have an interpreter?

No, the job number is a confirmation that you have placed a request and that we are working on filling that request. When you call in, the job number allows our agents to quickly access your job, provide status, and accommodate changes and cancellations.

How late can I phone in a request?

You can phone in a request at any hour. Our phone lines are open and we have live operators available 24/7.

How much advance notice do you need to service my request for an interpreter?

We do not require any advance notice. However the more time you give us, the better chance we have of filling the assignment.

How soon will I know whether you have filled my request?

You will receive a status update within 24 hours. If you need service in less than 24 hours, you will receive a status update based on when your assignment is.

May I request a specific interpreter?

Yes, we will always try to accommodate your request. If the interpreter you have requested is not available, we will confirm whether you want us to fill the request with someone else or reschedule around that interpreter’s schedule.

May I get an on-site interpreter now?

Depending on the language and the location, we may be able to get an interpreter immediately. However, if we are not able to find someone on-site we can always provide a telephonic interpreter.

Can your interpreter call the client (subject) a day ahead to confirm the appointment?

Yes. Our interpreters always make a reminder call if the client information is provided ahead of time. However, the appointment must already be scheduled with the LEP client in advance. If the client/subject information is confidential, the interpreter will not contact the client.

May I use the interpreter longer than the amount of time I scheduled?

If the interpreter is available, he or she will stay longer. You will need to contact us to confirm whether the interpreter can stay and for how long. In most cases, the interpreter will not be available to stay longer than the requested time due to other interpreting appointments throughout the day.

This is my first time calling you for services. What information do I need to provide?

Our customer service representatives are experts at managing customer requests. They will walk you through the process, but you should be prepared to share the following information: account number, name of caller, caller’s phone number, job site location, date, time, language, contact person and phone for the location of the assignment, and any other special instructions for the interpreter.

Will I receive a confirmation call?

Yes, you will receive a confirmation call from one of our customer service representatives confirming the interpreter for the on-site request.


If you have additional questions that are not addressed above, please contact us at +1 866-610-1338 or email