Couple’s global travels eased by talking on the telephone
A COUPLE who are undertaking a five-month adventure from the UK through Europe to Asia have solved several travelling challenges by using a telephone interpreting service.
John and Cait Hearn, from St Albans, set off through France earlier in 2013 and are now on their way to South East Asia via Russia, Mongolia and China.
Anticipating there may well be some problems with the different languages on their trip, they found out about a 24-hour telephone interpreting service which comes in the form of live phone interpreting on demand, in any language, wherever and whenever it’s needed, provided by the city’s Atlas Translations.
John said: “We’ve used it several time already and it has definitely saved us a lot of time and hassle. Our French isn’t great, so in Lille, France, we needed to book a hostel in Brussels for our next stop over the phone. We rang up using the Atlas service to ask them to confirm everything was booked up with no confusion. In Munich we had a tour guide whose English wasn’t so good, so we rang up and put the interpreter on loudspeaker. The guide was happy we could understand what he was saying, as were we!
John went on: “When we got to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina we discovered the train line that used to link Sarajevo and Budapest had been discontinued in December and we had no idea how else we could get there. When we asked in English we were just given a shake of the head, so we rang up the phone service and were able to arrange a bus alternative to get us up to Hungary.
“In St Petersburg and Moscow we had to book our Trans-Siberian rail tickets at the Russian stations where no-one spoke much English. As our route was quite specific it was invaluable to have the phone service to communicate exactly what we wanted. We got the correct tickets and the ticket office people were pleased too.”
Clare Suttie, who runs Atlas Translations, based in St Albans where the couple sourced the service, said it is popular with businesses as well.
“This has become a hugely popular way to speak with clients, suppliers, colleagues and any other contacts anywhere in the world. For example, if you are importing, exporting, surveying customers, doing market research, whatever, you can phone anyone, anywhere, in any language. This helps with gaining new business and solving problems quickly.
“For example, if you have someone in Germany who wants to buy your product, you can give them a call, tell them about it, take the order number over the phone and build a good relationship with your customers. It avoids writing emails in English, then getting them translated into German, waiting for the response and then having to get that translated back into English. And as we all know, time is money.”
Advantages are avoiding struggling with an unfamiliar language or cumbersome written translations, but replacing them with a one to one conversation in everyone’s native tongues, overcoming any language barriers easily.