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Interpretation for Zoom Calls and Remote Meetings

multilingual meetings in zoom

Last updated on August 12th, 2022 at 11:22 am

zoom remote interpretation

Unmute Yourself

These days we have meetings with people from all over the world often at the same time. Need to meet with people from France and Japan at the same time? Want to have a face-to-face meeting? And need interpretation services to go with that? We can help you! We can arrange a remote interpreter and get you set up on a platform like Zoom and you can have a meeting like you’re all in the same room.

The Need for Language Services

Language services are being used more and more as we globalize. Once more people see how convenient it is to work with multilingual people remotely by using interpreters over Zoom, it’s going to become more common. Most Internet users prefer a language other than English, but most of the Internet is in English. We can assist you reach your multilingual global audience. Think of the potential created just by speaking the language.

Options for Remote Interpretation Using Zoom

When using Zoom Language interpretation the client will have the same options to manage the meeting depending on their needs and the nature of the meeting or webinar.

For conversational 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. For presentation-style meetings where a presenter is speaking to a group of people, simultaneous interpretation is the better option. The interpreter speaks along with the speaker, interpreting the speech for the listener, and headphones are often used for clarity.

Best Practices for Using Professional Interpreters on Zoom

When using interpretation services for an on-site meeting you need to prepare ahead of time, the similar set of rules applies for remote interpretation services:

  • Clearly define the start and end times for Zoom meetings and take the time zones of all participants into consideration.
  • Check internet lines for speed a day in advance if possible, internet capabilities change with load.
  • Book the interpreter at least a week in advance if possible and provide materials to the interpreter ahead of time so they can rehearse and research any specialized terminology.
  • Provide Zoom links, meeting ID codes, and passwords to interpreters in advance.
  • Fifteen minutes before the start of the meeting or presentation, check to make sure that the interpreter is ready to go and that all attendees who require interpreters are able to hear them clearly.
  • Presenters should speak clearly and slowly while presenting material to ensure that interpreters can keep up with the pace of the presentation, have time to do their work, and for their work to be received. When you are using Zoom or any other meeting platform there is a delay caused by the internet.

Consecutive or Simultaneous?

When using Zoom for multilingual meetings, keep in mind the parameters of 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. For larger groups and more than two languages, Zoom’s business level or higher will be needed. Zoom Business also allows for simultaneous interpretation.

Zoom Language Interpretation Functionalities and Usage

When utilizing the Zoom simultaneous interpretation functionality, users can now add up to 20 different Zoom interpreters to be a part of the meetings or presentations. This means for shorter meetings, up to 20 languages can be simultaneously interpreted. For meetings longer in length, typically 90 minutes or more, this means that 10 languages can be interpreted as interpreters will need to work in pairs for longer meetings. The ability to add 20 Zoom interpreters greatly increases language access for client’s 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 important details to keep in mind.

  1. Manage Time Zones with Zoom Interpreters
    It is important to communicate the correct time zones starting from the initial request. It is very unlikely 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 start.

  2. Plan your Zoom Simultaneous interpretation ahead
    Coordinating up to 20 Zoom interpreters will take time. Providing as much lead time as possible for an event of this size is key to ensuring that all Zoom interpreters can be confirmed.

  3. Recording of a Zoom Interpretation
    Client’s that would like to record their Zoom interpretation for later use are able to do so. This feature is very helpful as it allows for Zoom simultaneous interpretations to be used at a later date so that people who aren’t able to attend the original meeting are able to still access it in their native language. To record the Zoom interpretation, users must be in the correct channel in order to record the interpretation. This means that if you would like to have the Spanish interpretation recorded, users must be in the Spanish channel in order to record the correct language. Once recorded, Zoom interpretations are then saved as a local copy. From there people can listen to the recorded interpretation, or the interpreted session can be transcribed and to add subtitles to the video.

    When coordinating a Zoom simultaneous interpretation, JR Language recommends that clients communicate if they intend to record the Zoom interpreters prior to the meeting beginning. 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 there is a Zoom recording fee for the right to record interpreters and use their interpretation at a later date, so having all parties on the same page regarding fees and services prior to the interpretation beginning will mitigate the possibility of any confusion following the interpretation.

  4. Zoom Sign Language interpreter
    ASL interpreting is also possible on Zoom. There is a very useful feature that allows the host to ‘spotlight’ or ‘pin’ the ASL interpreter to the main screen. Once spotlighted, the ASL interpreter will remain on the screen no matter if there is screen-sharing, etc. This feature is also very helpful 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 migrating to remote meetings, we are seeing 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 meetings utilizing a variety of languages.

Case studies for Multilingual Visual Meeting

  • Question and answer session for Request for Proposal Meeting. The client included an interpreter on the Zoom call to assist Spanish-speaking business people interested in the FRP. This interpretation was done consecutively.
  • Protocol update meetings and presentations for a non-profit organization. The purpose of this meeting was to provide updates in Chinese on how the organization was handling COVID-19. This was interpreted simultaneously to the Chinese audience.
  • A simultaneous interpretation was done 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.

Academic setting

  • A parent-teacher conference for a student who only spoke Korean. The interpreter was in the call doing consecutive interpretations to aid the meeting between parents and teacher.

Legal Application

  • A legal deposition was executed with a Portuguese interpreter doing consecutive interpretations helping the communications for a trail.

Talk to the experts at JR Language Services to help you

JR Language is a language company that will guide you to find the solution that is better for your multilingual conference. With the experience and resources to accurately and professionally design solutions for your online meeting, we will recommend platforms and will see if the one you have is adequate for your language interpretation needs.

We will support your organization to broadcast 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 meeting, training session, or video webinar. We will discuss with you 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, but it is subject to the bandwidth of the internet service you use. This platform is ideal for companies that use Zoom as their meeting tool.

Our professional interpreters are located all over the world and accessible at any time. Our interpreters are not only experts of their language combination but also 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 help you design the delivery of your message. Communication has never been easier globally and it is exciting to see the connections being made and language barriers being broken with the simple tool of interpreters and delivery platforms like Zoom. Ready to be heard? 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.