Help! Zoom interpreting channels do not work !

Published on 13/10/2021

If you are reading this blog you are probably under great stress. I say that because I know first-hand how frustrating it is to organise an event and that something goes wrong.

The first thing I'll tell you is not to get upset, being stressed out doesn't fix things. So take a deep breath and pay attention to what I am going to explain in this blog.

When creating and setting up multilingual online events there is always something that can go wrong. So today I will explain why sometimes interpreters cannot connect to their corresponding interpretation channels even though you have set everything up according to the instructions.

The big secret is that there are two ways to connect to a channel. This applies not only to the interpretation channels, but to all channels of the event.

1. Channels of an event in Zoom

Zoom Event

To understand how Zoom works, it is necessary to understand its structure. On Zoom there are all kinds of channels, both public and private.

In general, and provided you have not created any additional custom channels, the channels of a multilingual event will consist of at least three channels:

  • General channel
  • Language channel 1
  • Language channel 2

As you can imagine, each channel is aimed at a different type of users. In this case, all attendees may speak at the meeting via the general channel. If you want your event to be interpreted into a single language, you will only have two interpretation channels (language channel 1 and language channel 2). In this way the interpreter(s) will be able to interpret into both language 1 and language 2.

It is important to note that only the interpreters you have assigned during the event setup will be able to enter the interpretation channels. Other participants may listen to the interpretation channel, but may not join or intervene in it.

2. Zoom accounts and users


Following the thread of channels, there are also different account roles in Zoom. These are:

  • Owner
  • Administrator
  •  Member

Zoom also allows you to attend events without having an account linked to the platform. This means that someone who has not registered with Zoom will be able to access an event to which they have been invited without any inconvenience.
To start with, it doesn't seem to be relevant whether an attendee has a Zoom account or not, but let me tell you that the root of your problem is exactly that: the Zoom account.

3. Interpretation problems at a Zoom meeting

Zoom Meeting

In my day-to-day work I have encountered two types of situations that, frankly, cannot be solved in 15 minutes if you don't know what is wrong.

The first of these occurs if you have created a meeting via your Zoom account, assigned interpreters to their respective channels and they are unable to connect to the meeting via the link provided to them.

In this case, the interpreters click on the link that Zoom has sent to their email. When they do so, a small screen appears indicating that the meeting will start shortly. But unfortunately this is not the case, as the meeting has already started and there is no way for them to access their channel.

If you think someone should be able to give them permission to enter, you are wrong. The problem in this case is due to the interpreter.

Many interpreters, working both with their own clients and with interpreting companies, have a Zoom account. This account can be either paid or free, it doesn't matter. But the point is that they have a Zoom account and if they work from home, from their computer or laptop, they are probably connected to that account.

The fact that they have logged in with an account interferes with the invitation to join the interpretation channel. Zoom needs to identify the interpreter via their account, so they need to log in with the email provided and connect via the link to the meeting.

4. Interpretation problems at a Zoom webinar

Zoom webinar

When creating multilingual webinars instead of meetings, the following problem can easily arise: the interpreter can connect to your event, but appears as an attendee or panellist.

If you have created a multilingual webinar by following all the steps of naming the event, setting the time, etc., at the end, just before the "save" option appears, you will have had to enable language interpretation. In addition, apart from enabling this option, you will probably have entered the names and e-mail addresses of the interpreters and their language combination before saving.

You have probably already noticed that, when you start the event, no matter how many interpreters connect, the Zoom panel (by clicking on "Interpretation") will show you: ******* (did not enter). If you now go to the "Participants" tab and within this section to the "Spectators" tab, you will see your interpreters assigned as assistants. What to do now?

Pay attention because we will now explain how to solve the problem and assign your interpreters to their interpretation channel.

You need the interpreter to log in to Zoom before connecting to the event or, if not registered, to register. In this way..

If your interpreter is registered with Zoom and enters the seminar after logging in, this message will appear: "He is joining (name of meeting) as a panellist (...)" Don't panic. If you now click on the "interpretation" tab, you will see that your interpreter is already logged in, but as a panellist. As soon as you click on "Start" (interpretation), you will be automatically assigned the role of interpreter and placed in the corresponding interpretation channel.

So remember, whether you have a problem connecting your interpreters to a meeting or to a webinar, the answer is always to register or to log in (and with the email you have registered the interpreter in the Zoom settings)

5. Conclusion

Zoom translation

At AbroadLink Translations we like to provide our clients with the tools to make remote multilingual events through Zoom go as smoothly as possible.

After all, it is precisely these kinds of events that help you business to grow. How else would you sell your products to a Chinese or German company, for example?

Multilingual communication in the 21st century is more important than ever. For this reason, you should take advantage of all the tools available to you and make the most of them.

If you have not yet organised your event and after reading this blog you do not feel like doing it, don't hesitate to contact AbroadLink Translations. We manage your entire event so that you can have peace of mind.

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