Remote interpreting with Zoom
At a time when our lives have been disrupted by Covid-19, we have been looking for efficient solutions to enable us to and stay in touch with each other. Many new technologies and programmes have been developed to enable us to continue our work remotely, and this is also the case for translation agencies offering translation and interpreting services. But with so many different options, how can we decide which solution to choose for our business? Which solution is best suited for our needs and for our translation and interpreting services?
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Zoom is a new platform which can be used for remote interpreting that has come on strong and has made its way into both the private sector and the business sector, and especially into the sector of translation companies offering simultaneous interpreting services.
1.Remote interpreting: a possible option at Zoom
Zoom is a video call and virtual meeting software that can be used from a computer, smartphone or tablet, and which offers a wide range of options when it comes to customising our remote events, whether they are formal or informal meetings, seminars, training courses, conferences, etc. Which features make Zoom interesting for translation companies? The feature that has caught translation companies’ attention is that Zoom’s remote simultaneous interpreting feature, this means it offers the required interface to be able to carry out our multilingual events.
2. Zoom plans for individuals, organisations and translation companies
Zoom offers four plans to organise our events. The first is the basic plan, which is for free and only allows to organise events with a maximum length of 40 minutes with a maximum of 100 participants and does not include the remote interpreting feature. If you want to organise a longer conference with more than 100 participants and interpreting into one or more languages, you will need to purchase the pro version with a supplementary plan or work directly with a translation company that has the business plan. The last option is highly recommended, since, as we will see below, webinars with remote simultaneous interpreting require good organisation by technicians who are familiar with the platform.
3. How do we perform remote simultaneous interpreting with Zoom?
When we have organised our event, taking into account even the smallest detail, and we open Zoom, we will see an “Language Interpretation” icon in the black bar at the bottom.
If we are administrators and click on the icon, we will be able to see the interpreters we have hired and their language combination for our event.
As soon as we click “Start” the participants will see the languages available in our event and can select one by clicking on it and clicking on “Mute Original Audio”. This last option will mute all channels except the one we have chosen, if we don’t click on this option we will be listening to all channels at the same time.
For more information on how to enable remote simultaneous interpreting with Zoom, please see this link on Using Language Interpretation in meetings and webinars.
4. Technical requirements for remote simultaneous interpreting sessions
In order for our event to run smoothly, it is necessary to bear in mind the following:
- We need to install the latest Zoom version .
- We need a headset and a microphone, preferably integrated (using the microphone of the webcam or our laptop is not recommended).
- Our headphones and microphone need to have a frequency between 125Hz and 15kHz to avoid acoustic shocks to the interpreters and to ensure a high quality session.
- We must work in an environment without potential interference.
- Only the speaker's microphone shall be switched on.
- The interpreters will not be in charge of the technical part, so we will have to hire a technical service.
5. Simultaneous remote interpreting: going further
Platforms that integrate remote simultaneous interpreting are revolutionising the interpreting market, making simultaneous interpreting more accessible to all users. Translation companies offering medical, legal, technical, etc. interpreting services have been forced to adapt to this new way of working and have sought the best solution to continue with their interpreting jobs while still offering their clients a quality service. Obviously, there are other platforms that offer this type of service that make remote interpreting possible, such as Interprefy, Kudo, Headvox, Interpretcloud, Interactio, Voiceboxer or Webswitcher, but at AbroadLink we believe that Zoom is one of the simplest and most efficient applications for managing your interpreting events remotely.
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Sonja Honke has a degree in Translation and Interpretation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a Master's degree in Conference Interpretation from the University of Granada. A German national, she is also a native speaker of Spanish and Catalan and has a high level of French and English. She is a project manager with a passion for multilingual communication and cultural diversity.
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