New Microsoft Teams Interpretation Function

Published on 21/04/2023

If you want to communicate during multilingual meetings and conferences, you should try Microsoft Teams' new language interpretation function. 

But first of all, here are some basic concepts about interpretation:

Language interpretation services provide interpreters the ability to translate spoken words from one language to another without stopping the speaker's flow. Simultaneous interpretation fosters more inclusive gatherings, enabling participants who speak diverse languages to engage and collaborate comprehensively with one another.

Meeting organisers can now use Teams to enable language interpretation. They can add interpreters before the meeting and appoint interpreters during it. This is known as online simultaneous translation.

We will talk in this blog about how to do remote interpreting in Microsoft Teams in addition to the following:

  • Organize a meeting with language interpretation in Microsoft Teams
  • Designate interpreters
  • Change language channel
  • Interpreter experience

1. Organize a meeting with language interpretation

Microsoft Teams Interpreters

In Microsoft Teams, language interpretation can be added to any meeting. Once you have arranged a Microsoft Teams meeting, you can incorporate interpretation services into it and welcome interpreters from your organisation to participate.

Let's go through the steps to create a meeting with language interpretation:

1.    Create and save a meeting in Teams.
2.    In Teams, select Calendar and open the meeting you want to add language interpretation to.
3.    Select Meeting Options.
4.    Turn on the Enable language interpretation toggle.

5.    Search for an interpreter or select one from the Interpreters drop-down menu and designate their source and target languages.
6.    Select Add more interpreters if your meeting needs more interpreters.

Notice: Teams language interpretation only supports unidirectional interpretation. If the meeting requires the translation of multiple languages, the organiser should add additional interpreters.

7.    Select Save to apply the interpretation settings.

2. Designate an interpreter during the meeting

1. In your meeting, select Participants.
2. Hover your mouse over the person you want to make an interpreter and select More options...> Make an interpreter.

Notice: This option is only available in meetings scheduled with language interpretation enabled.

3. Change language channel

When attendees join a meeting with language interpretation, they will choose the language they want to listen to. They can also switch between listening to that language pair and the original speaker during the meeting.
Note: Currently, attendees can only select a language channel via the Teams desktop application.

1.     When participating in a meeting that provides interpretation services, a pop-up window will show up giving you the option to select the language you wish to have the discussion interpreted into.

2.    If you miss the dialogue, just select More actions... from the meeting controls and then choose Language Interpretation.

3.    In the drop-down menu, choose the language you want to listen to.

4.    Select Confirm.

4. Interpreter experience

Are you curious what it's like to work as an interpreter or oral translator? Know that interpreters will be able to listen to all speakers and start interpreting as soon as they join a meeting. Everything works in the same way as with other platforms.

The only disadvantage is that, once they join the meeting, they will not be able to switch rooms themselves. It should be up to the meeting administrator to allow them to switch rooms.

5. Conclusion

A new tool always means a new way of working. That's why at AbroadLink we are eager to start working with this new tool for events with remote simultaneous interpreting.

As a translation company offering interpreting services, we are already constantly working with different interpreting (or oral translation) platforms, so if you think Microsoft Teams could be exactly the platform you are looking for for your event, don't hesitate to ask us. We take care of the technical side and provide you with interpreters, so you don't have to worry about anything.

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