Before you make a request for a face to face interpreter there are many considerations which you should be aware of. By making decisions based upon your requirements we are able to assign an interpreter to best suit your patient’s needs.

The most important part of arranging an interpreter is to establish the correct language and any specific dialects your patient may speak. You should not assume that an interpreter speaks the same language as the patient and can understand all dialects.

Language support materials to help you to identify a patient’s language can be supplied to you by Language Empire. These come in the form of posters which can be displayed in reception areas to aid your patients in informing you of their language requirements. If you require further assistance, on Language Empire’s internet home page we have a ‘Dedicated Client Area’, which once selected can provide language and dialect information based on country, ethnicity and language. This is supported by the ‘Ethnologue’ which can also be found online. Please find the links below, additionally further training can be provided on these services:

www.language-empire.com | www.ethnologue.com

Using these tools will ensure you assign the correct dialect for the patient’s appointment. It is important to get these right, as for example, within the Chinese language, there are two main dialects: Cantonese and Mandarin. When booking an interpreter for your patient, if you are not specific as to which dialect you require, a Chinese Mandarin interpreter may arrive whom cannot communicate with your patient as the patient speaks Chinese Cantonese. This simply wastes time, the patient’s, the interpreter’s and ultimately your time as the practitioner. Where a dialect is not specified on the booking request, one of our Account Managers will contact you to try and find out this information.

It is important that you do not assume your patients nationality or country of origin means they speak the language of that country. Remember that a native of mainland France may not fully understand the French spoken by someone from an African country, particularly any cultural references or differences.

It is important to consider the patients ethnicity and religion. These may be important to the patient, particularly if the interpreter being used has come from a country or religious sect where there has been political unrest or conflict to that of the patient themselves. This is covered in more detail within the section of, ‘Cultural Influences’.

You should always establish if the patient would prefer a female or a male interpreter. Your patient may be bound by cultural or religious practice, and dependent upon the type of session and what will be discussed during it, your patient may feel more comfortable with an interpreter of the same gender. This decision to select an interpreter of a particular gender could affect the outcome of your session.

In order to ensure continuity of care for your patient you may request to use the same interpreter for follow up appointments. They may have used their services before and may be familiar with them and feel more at ease. The same interpreter can be used for follow up appointments providing this is agreed upon by your patient. Where you know their name this can be requested at the point of booking. Likewise your patient may not want the same interpreter for a follow up. You should always try to find out this information before making the booking.

Language Empire offers three main booking methods. More detailed information surrounding each of these can be provided upon request. They are as follows:

Online booking system using a customer login accessible from:


Email booking system accessed by emailing a completed booking template form to: bookings@language-empire.com

Phone booking (in an emergency only), contact the bookings team on:

0845 370 2002

With all methods of booking you will receive confirmation of date, time and venue of your booking including a unique reference number for your records.