Spoken language and ASL interpreters in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando or anywhere nationwide can be costly for individuals and small businesses. I often get questions for how they can best book an interpreter without exceeding their budget. In general there are several ways you can maximize the interpreter for the budget.
Do You Need a Certified Interpreter or Translator?
Certified interpreters and translators are more expensive than qualified ones. Certified linguists typically provide higher quality work, while qualified ones may have the experience and education, but have not taken the appropriate exams to demonstrate that they have the language skills to become certified. Generally if it is a formal event or document with potentially grave legal or medical consequences, then you’ll probably want to use a nationally or court certified interpreter or translator. If it’s an informal event like a family reunion, wedding, religious ceremony, or the like, where miscommunication won’t be as serious, then you’ll likely be fine with a qualified interpreter.
Save Your Receipts for Americans with Disability Tax Breaks
This won’t help with the upfront costs of paying for an American Sign Language interpreter for the Deaf, but it may allow you to get some of the cost back when you file your taxes.
Negotiate Rates with Interpreting Agencies
Larger language service providers (LSP) likely have fixed rates, so it may be easier to negotiate rates with smaller agencies. Especially if you’re working on a larger project such as a multi-day conference, a semester-long class, many hours of medical interpretation, or a large medical or legal translation project. You are also more likely to get better treatment from a boutique agency than a larger corporation. Furthermore, if you’re a local business or client, you’ll be able to keep more of your money in the community by supporting a local agency.
Look for Funding from Disability Organizations
If you’re looking to fund an interpreter for an educational trip or some type of self-improvement training, then you may want to reach out to local or (inter)national disability organizations, offices, or vocational rehabilitation centers, to see if they offer any type of funding or scholarships that may help you pay for accessibility language services.
Consider Video Remote Interpreters (VRI)
For short telemedicine appointments, meetings, or trainings that are expected to last around 30 minutes, it may not be necessary to pay for the standard 2-hour minimum for an on-site certified interpreter if a VRI interpreter will do. You will usually pay by the minute (around $3-4) and while there is usually a minimum, it’s less than 2 hours. Regarding the equipment, you simply need what you would use for a standard Skype or FaceTime video call and a high-speed internet connection.
Hire a Local Interpreter
If you’re traveling to Los Angeles from Chicago, there’s no need to bring your own interpreter. As long as you book a week or two in advance you shouldn’t have issues booking a local interpreter even in busy markets such as Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Washington D.C. or anywhere nationwide. This will save you from having to pay for travel expenses.
Ready to Reserve an ASL Interpreter?
We have a network of qualified and certified interpreters and translators in major cities such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Orlando, Raleigh, and nationwide. We are also able to customize our services to fit your budget. As a family-run 5-star language service provider, we strive to treat our American Sign Language for the Deaf & Spanish interpreters, translators, and clients as the VIPs that they are.