NEW YORK - 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."
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. One version offers a prepaid card for interpretations between English and Spanish speakers only; the other is a prepaid interpretation card offering access to interpreters who can provide English interpretation for more than 170 languages.
- 24-7 access to 10 most-spoken languages. The top 10 most-requested languages (currently Cantonese, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese) are available any time, from anywhere the service is accessible, 365 days a year; the remaining languages are available year-round from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
- Optional pin-less dialing and recharge capability. Users can register the phone numbers they call from most frequently and avoid entering a PIN number. Users can also ensure they never run out of minutes in the middle of a conversation through the service's automatic recharge system, which adds a pre-determined dollar amount to a card's balance when the time remaining drops to two minutes.
- Certified medical interpreters. Users needing interpretation of more complex matters have access to medically trained and certified interpreters to provide assistance in the 22 most-spoken languages.
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."
The Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service card can be used within the United States and from over 100 international locations. Cards can be purchased in a $35 increment offering 10 minutes of access to an interpreter; a $50 increment offering 15 minutes of access; and a $100 increment offering 33 minutes of access. The charges are for calls from locations in the United States. Charges are higher when calling from international locations.
Deductions to the value of the card do not begin until an interpreter picks up. The card expires 24 months from the date the card is first used or last recharged, whichever comes later.
For more information on Verizon Prepaid Interpretation Service, please call
About Language Line Services
Language Line Services, the world's leading provider of language-based services, is a trusted partner to thousands of organizations whose focus is to effectively serve the rapidly expanding market of limited English speakers. The company delivers a dynamic suite of solutions spanning phone and video interpretation, document translation, interactive software-based translation, interpreter training, and certification programs, enabling clients to communicate with customers in their preferred language. Through its leading-edge technology infrastructure, Language Line Services delivers support for over 170 unique languages to its industry-leading portfolio of clients across markets including healthcare, financial services, government, telecom, packaged goods, insurance services, travel, and more. For information on how Language Line Services is helping clients achieve their strategic multi-cultural marketing and regulatory compliance objectives, please call 1-800-752-6096 or visit www.LanguageLine.com.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 60.7 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.