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Interpretation for Zoom Calls and Remote Meetings

multilingual meetings in zoom

Last updated on April 17th, 2023 at 03:34 pm

zoom remote interpretation


Speak to Your Clients in Their Language with Video Interpretation Services

Unmute Yourself! Now, more than ever, we have meetings with people from all over the world, which often happen in real-time.

Do you need to meet with people from France and Japan simultaneously? Is your company having a multilingual meeting with employees in different countries? Are you looking for interpretation services to improve your multilingual communication? Your company is not alone. Many companies and organizations use video remote interpreting to incorporate language interpretation support in their remote meetings.

Interpretation services for remote meetings are becoming increasingly important in today’s globalized business world. As more and more companies conduct business across international borders, new technology has provided the benefit of remote meetings. Additionally, with the help of interpreting services, companies can overcome hurdles and facilitate communication between parties.

By adding a remote interpreter and working with a platform similar to Zoom, you can have a meeting like you’re all in the same room while facilitating communication between parties and providing remote simultaneous interpretation.


The Benefits of Using Language Services for Business Communication

Effective communication is critical to the success of any business, especially those that operate internationally. However, language barriers can often get in the way of clear and efficient communication, in writing and spoken form. This is where language services come into place, providing businesses with the tools and support to communicate effectively with clients, partners, and employees worldwide.

One of the primary benefits of using language services is that they help to ensure that everyone involved in the conversation can understand and participate fully. Whether it’s a conference call with clients in another country or an email exchange with a foreign supplier, language services provide businesses with the tools to communicate using interpreting and translation services.

In addition to facilitating better communication, language services can help businesses build stronger relationships with their international partners. By showing a commitment to communication and understanding, companies and organizations can establish trust and respect with their partners, leading to more robust and successful partnerships.

Every day more organizations experience the convenience of working with multilingual people remotely while using professional interpreters over Zoom and other platforms. All communications platforms in the market are improving their features to facilitate multilingual exchange.


Options for Remote Interpretation Using Zoom: Consecutive or Simultaneous Interpreting Service?

When using Zoom Language interpretation the client will have the same options for on-site language interpretation. Clients should design events with the help of an interpreting services coordinator communicating needs, type of content, and languages required, depending on their goals and the nature of the meeting or webinar.

For informal meetings with back-and-forth dialog, consecutive interpretation is the best choice. The speaker says a few sentences, then the interpreter gives the interpretation to the listener. Zoom simultaneous interpretation is the better option for presentation-style meetings where a presenter speaks to a group of people. The professional interpreter speaks some seconds behind the speaker, interpreting the speech for the listener. Headphones are often used for clarity.

Before the event begins, it is recommended to supply written instructions translated into each language offered and notify the attendees of the options available and how to access them.


Best Practices for Using Professional Interpreters on Zoom

When using interpretation services for on-site events, you must prepare ahead. A similar set of rules applies to remote interpretation services:

  • Clearly define the start and end times for Zoom meetings and consider the time zones of all participants.

  • Book the professional interpreter at least a week in advance, if possible.

  • Provide interpreters with Zoom links, meeting ID codes, and passwords in advance. When you can, it’s always helpful to also provide any relevant materials to the interpreter beforehand so they can prepare and research any specialized terminology.

  • Check internet lines for speed a day in advance if possible. Be aware that Internet capabilities change with load.

  • Check the compatibility of the devices you will use for the virtual meeting.

  • Log on fifteen minutes before the meeting or presentation starts! This gives everyone time to ensure to any necessary day-of  troubleshooting, such as microphone clarity.

  • Presenters should speak clearly and slowly while presenting material to ensure that interpreters can keep up with the pace of the presentation, as well as to compensate for Zoom’s—or any other meeting platform—delay caused by the internet.

  • The meeting coordinators should be familiar with the zoom interpretation feature to enable language interpretation. Zoom’s website offers a guide for interpreting services. It also provides system requirements for the smoothest application experience, which maybe be worth checking out!

  • The meeting host can enable other functionalities like captions and sign language interpretation. The host can establish up to 20 participants as interpreters while setting the meeting.

When using Zoom for multilingual meetings, keep in mind the parameters and considerations to configure your meeting on the platform. An interpreter can be on the free version of Zoom as one of the attendees. This is best for small groups using two languages. Zoom’s business level or higher will be needed for larger groups and more than two languages. Zoom Business also allows for remote simultaneous interpretation and sign language interpreting.



Zoom Language Interpretation Functionalities and Usage

When utilizing the Zoom simultaneous interpretation functionality, users can now add up to 20 different Zoom interpreters to participate in meetings or presentations. This means for shorter sessions, up to 20 languages can be simultaneously interpreted.

For meetings longer in length, typically 90 minutes or more, this means that ten languages can be interpreted, as interpreters will need to work in pairs for longer meetings. The ability to add 20 Zoom interpreters significantly increases language access for clients that are striving to reach as large an audience as possible.

For Zoom interpretations that will require up to 20 interpreters, there are a couple of essential details to keep in mind.

1. Manage Time Zones with Zoom Interpreters

It is essential to communicate the correct time zones starting from the initial request. It is improbable that 20 interpreters will all be located in the same time zone, so the best way to have everyone on the same page is to communicate the dates, times, and correct time zones from the planning of the language interpretation.

2. Plan your Zoom Simultaneous interpretation with enough time

Coordinating up to 20 Zoom interpreters will take time. Providing as much lead time as possible for an event of this size is critical to ensuring that all Zoom interpreters can be confirmed and receive all the supporting information for the interpreting service.

3. Recording of a Zoom Interpretation

Clients who want to record their Zoom interpretation for later use can do so. This feature is beneficial as it allows for Zoom simultaneous interpretations to be used later so that people who can’t attend the original meeting can still access it in their native language. To record the Zoom interpretation, users must be in the correct channel to record the language interpretation. If you want to have the Spanish interpretation recorded, users must be in the Spanish channel to record the correct language. Once recorded, Zoom interpretations are then saved as a local copy. From that copy, people can listen to the recorded interpretation, or the interpreted session can be transcribed and add subtitles to the event video.

When coordinating a Zoom simultaneous interpretation, JR Language recommends that clients communicate if they intend to record the Zoom interpreters before starting the meeting. This is important for two main reasons. The first reason is that interpreters can tell if they are being recorded, so they can notify the host if the interpretation is not taking place so that the proper adjustments can be made. The second reason is a Zoom recording fee for the right to record interpreters and use their interpretation later. Having all parties on the same page regarding fees and services before the interpreting service begins will mitigate the possibility of any confusion following the interpreting session.


4. Zoom Sign Language Interpretation

ASL interpreting is also possible on Zoom. A handy feature allows the host to ‘spotlight’ or ‘pin’ the ASL interpreter to the main screen. Once spotlighted, the ASL interpreter will remain on the screen regardless of screen-sharing. This feature is also beneficial for recording the ASL interpretation as it ensures the ASL interpreter will always be on-screen during the recording.


Examples of Remote interpretation using Zoom

As the world is now used to remote and hybrid meetings, we see more requests to assist those meetings with language services. We have helped clients by providing remote interpretation using the Zoom platform for many different types of sessions utilizing a variety of languages.


Remote Interpreting Services for Business Applications:

  • Remote simultaneous interpretation services in English and Japanese performed for an international sales symposium for a soap product company. This interpreting service was held entirely on Zoom. Interpreters helped with business presentations and business conversations for two days.

  • JR Language performed Interpretation Services for Recurring remote meetings in Mandarin and English between a US-based architecture firm and their clients in China to facilitate communication. These virtual meetings require consecutive interpretation, and their content is technical.

  • Our interpretation company executed hybrid interpretation services for a car brand presentation where they presented new features in Mandarin. In this case, the Mandarin interpreter was on-site at the location of the presentations, and the Zoom interpreting was broadcasted for people listening remotely.

  • Question and answer session for Request for Proposal Meeting. The client included an interpreter on the Zoom call to assist Spanish-speaking businesspeople interested in the RFP. This interpretation was executed consecutively.

  • A simultaneous interpretation was made in 4 languages with an audience of 400 people around the globe. The president of the global company wanted to send a message to all employees.

Remote Interpreting Services for Human Resource Application:

  • JR language delivered remote consecutive interpreting for benefits meetings with a health insurance provider. We provided Spanish interpretation to help explain the comprehensive details of health insurance plans while assisting in question-and-answer sessions.

  • On-going hybrid Spanish interpretation for quarterly updates for a coffee brand performance. The Spanish interpreter joins remotely and interprets for the company’s Spanish-speaking employees to keep them up to speed with the presentation’s content. For this setup, the Spanish interpreter listened to the interpreter via a microphone connected to the Zoom call and interpreted for the Spanish-speaking employees attending on Zoom from their offices.

  • Hybrid interpretation for a casino. The casino used interpreting services to onboard new Spanish, Tagalog, and Nepali employees. For this setting, the interpreters are remote, and the employees are on-site and getting the audio from Zoom.

Remote Interpretation Services for Education Applications:

  • JR Language has used remote interpretation during dozens of IEP (individualized education plan) meetings. Interpretation during IEP meetings helps parents fully understand the plan set for their child and the steps they will need to take to support the program.

  • Several universities use our remote simultaneous interpretation for commencement addresses and ceremonies. The offering of remote interpretation services enabled out-of-town friends and family to listen to the commencements in their native language.

Remote Interpreting Services for a Financial Application:

  • Our language company provided remote interpretation services into Canadian French for a large financial institution. The remote meeting interprets for meetings discussing the economic impacts of current events.

Remote Interpreting Services for a Legal Application:

  • A legal deposition was executed with a Portuguese interpreter making consecutive interpretations, helping the communications for a trial.

Talk to the experts at JR Language Services

JR Language is a translation services company that will guide you to find the best solution for your multilingual conference. Our interpretation services coordinators have the experience and resources to accurately and professionally design solutions for your online meeting. We will recommend platforms and validate if the one you have is adequate for your language interpretation needs.

We will support your organization in broadcasting your message or will help to benefit your meeting by using different languages. Our experienced team will supply the professional interpreter with the required subject matter expertise. We will guide you to prepare for the conference, training session, or video webinar. We will discuss the pros and cons of all the options available.

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that can be prepared to add interpretation without the cost of adding a more robust platform. Still, it is subject to the bandwidth of your internet service. This platform is ideal for companies that use Zoom as their meeting tool.

Our professional interpreters are located worldwide and accessible at any time. Our interpreters are experts in their language combination and have the industry expertise required – from medicine to law to finance. We have a large pool of interpreters who can assist in your conference. However, demand is growing, and we like to reserve their time and give them time to prepare.

Whether your meeting is large or small, one language or many, face-to-face, webinar, or other methods, we can assist in designing the delivery of your message in other languages. Communication has never been more accessible globally. It is exciting to see the connections and language barriers broken with interpreters and delivery platforms like Zoom. Ready to be heard? No matter how our clients call it: Zoom interpretation, or Zoom translation, JR Language is ready to help!



Sergio Ruffolo
Sergio Ruffolo
Sergio has more than 25 years of multinational experience providing consulting services and leading IT organizations in Africa, Asia and America, which has given him plenty interesting and insightful lessons to teach about global business. He is fluent in Spanish and English, in addition to conversational Portuguese. He has lived in more than 12 cities around the world, moving around and working in different cultures has left him with a real global perspective. Sergio is a real citizen of the world.