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Do’s and Do Nots of Remote Interpreting over Zoom

Remote interpretation in Zoom platform

Last updated on October 14th, 2022 at 04:37 pm

Simultaneus Interpretation in Zoom platform

Remote Interpretation Services over Zoom

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we continue to see meetings, conferences, and presentations conducted remotely. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Zoom has emerged for many organizations as the go-to platform for remote meetings and conferences. Zoom is user-friendly and has many useful features, which makes it an easy choice for professionals who have gone remote.

One of the most useful features of Zoom is the ability to enable remote interpretations. The interpretation can be either simultaneous or consecutive. For consecutive interpretations, there is no need for special settings. On the contrary, for simultaneous remote interpretation, you need to prepare the meeting in advance. The objective of this blog post is to discuss best practices for a successful remote simultaneous interpretation using Zoom.

Over the past seven months, JR Language has provided over 1,000 hours of simultaneous interpretation on Zoom, serving dozens of clients that have varying language needs.

While setting up and conducting simultaneous interpretation on Zoom is very straightforward, there are still some guidelines to keep in mind before and during the interpretation. Below you will find a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ that we have compiled as best practices while providing interpretation services.


Prior to the Remote Interpretation:

  • Ensure that you have a Zoom account that supports simultaneous interpretation. Not all account types support simultaneous interpretation functionality. The account types that support simultaneous interpretation are the Enterprise Account, Education Account, Business Account, or the Webinar plan. More information about the different account types can be found on Zoom’s website.
  • Familiarize yourself with how to enable the interpretation functionality on the platform. While the setup is straightforward, it is always a good idea to know how to properly set up prior to the beginning of the interpretation. If you are having a hard time enabling the function, a JR Language team member will be happy to walk you through it.
  • Provide JR Language with enough lead time when scheduling an interpretation that will take place over Zoom. Our team is busy with assignments, and schedules fill up fast, so it can be difficult to schedule a professional interpreter at the last minute. JR Language recommends providing 5 business days of lead time to schedule an interpreter that is appropriate for your event.  This is especially important if your event needs multiple languages, will run across multiple days or is taking place outside of normal business hours. Our language services company will always do our best to accommodate short notice requests, however, booking early will make the process smooth, and help avoid disappointment.
  • Share important prep materials with JR Language that can be distributed to the interpreter or interpreters. Our team is handling interpretations with many different subject matters, ranging from business meetings to medical conferences, to educational workshops. Allowing time for the interpreters to familiarize themselves with the subject matter or presentation materials ahead of time will benefit everyone as the interpreter will understand what will be discussed.

During the Remote Interpretation:

  • Speak clearly, and slower than you normally would. Although it may feel a bit unnatural at first, it will ensure the best interpretation. Speaking quickly can make the simultaneous interpretation exceedingly difficult for the interpreter and could result in not all the information being conveyed in full. Adding in extra pauses is also helpful.
  • Be mindful of the chat on Zoom during the interpretation. Our interpreters may send a quick message if the speaker is speaking too quickly or is not speaking clearly enough.
  • If possible, hold Q & A sessions until the end of the event, especially during simultaneous interpretations. JR Language recommends that once the presentation has concluded, end the simultaneous interpretation function so that everyone is in the general meeting room. From there, the questions and answers can be interpreted consecutively ensuring that all participants have a clear understanding of the questions and answers. Handling it this way will also make it much easier for all to clarify information if needed.


Below is a list of things that our language Services company recommends avoiding leading up to and during an interpretation over Zoom.

Prior to the Remote Interpretation:

  • Is your Zoom simultaneous interpretation going to last longer than 90 minutes? Do not anticipate one simultaneous interpreter to be able to handle it alone. Simultaneous interpreting is a very mentally demanding job, and most professional interpreters will request to have a partner for assignments lasting longer than 90 minutes. It is important to keep this in mind when creating a budget for interpretation over Zoom.
  • Having trouble setting up the Zoom interpretation on the day of the event? Do not panic! Most issues are easily fixed through some basic troubleshooting.
  • Has your meeting been canceled or rescheduled? Do not only let the interpreter know, it is important to also notify your JR Language Account Manager of any cancellation or rescheduling, that way they can provide direct assistance for the next steps.

During the Interpretation:

  • If you feel that the meeting will last longer than the originally scheduled booking, do not assume that the professional interpreter will be able to stay on the Zoom call. While JR Language will inform clients of hard stop times when possible, interpreters may need to get off at the scheduled end for a variety of reasons. If the Zoom interpretation is going to last longer than originally anticipated, JR Language recommends pausing the meeting to ask the interpreter if they can stay rather than just continuing the meeting without checking.
  • Do not worry! At this point, you have correctly set up your interpretation over Zoom, and are connected with a professional interpreter who will take it from here!

During your interpretation planning and execution do not stress! JR Language has you covered and will assist you with interpretation services on Zoom. After all, those 1,000 hours of Zoom have given us experience. Also, our company has years of experience in language interpretation services and also has an extensive and solid team of professional interpreters experienced in zoom meetings, webinars, and calls. Our interpreter’s coordinators are trained and have years of experience coordinating remote interpretations and are ready to recommend alternatives and guide you along the way.

We look forward to providing interpretation services to your next remote multilingual event on Zoom.

For more information read our previous blog post named Interpretation for Zoom Calls and Remote Meetings

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela and has a BS in computer engineering. As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. 20 Years of experience in marketing Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.