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Simultaneous Remote Interpretation on WebEx

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Last updated on November 10th, 2021 at 02:51 pm

remote language interpretation

WebEx Interpreting

The landscape of interpretation services continues to change and adapt to clients needs and new technology making the service more versatile than ever.

In late October 2021, WebEx announced that remote simultaneous interpretation will now be available on their platform. Leading up to this announcement, the only available remote translation or interpretation option on WebEx was an AI-driven solution. While AI driven solutions have their place in some meetings, being able to utilize a professional remote interpreter is of upmost importance when conducting a meeting or presentation where accuracy and understanding the nuances between different languages is vital.

Prior to this announcement, the main platform where remote simultaneous interpretation was taking place was Zoom. Interpreting over Zoom became commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s expected to remain a popular option moving into the future even after the pandemic is over. The cost effectiveness, convenience, and simplicity of remote simultaneous interpreting are just a few reasons that illustrate why it is here to stay.

Simultaneous Interpretation experience on WebEx

The overall functionality of WebEx’s remote simultaneous interpretation is very similar to Zoom. Remote Interpreter’s will be assigned to their language channel by the meeting host or admin during meeting set up using their email. Interpreter’s can also be added once the meeting has started. Attendees will then be able to select their desired language with a few clicks of the mouse. Once attendees have selected their desired language, they can decide how loud they would like the interpretation volume to be. Interpreters can also switch language direction for bi-directional meetings, or question and answer sessions, which is another feature similar to Zoom simultaneous interpreting. Multiple interpreters can be added to the language, which is especially helpful for longer meetings where two interpreters will be required.

Difference with Zoom Language Interpretation

There are a couple of notable differences between the two platform’s remote simultaneous interpretation functionalities. The first is that on WebEx, there is no limit to how many interpretation channels can be added to a meeting. On Zoom, the maximum amount of interpretation channels is set at 20. While most meetings don’t require dozens of language interpretation channels, it is an added benefit of using WebEx that users will not run into an issue of limited channels no matter how many languages they would like to use.

The second notable difference is an added benefit for the remote interpreters. On WebEx, interpreters will be able to send a request to their partner to switch interpreting when a break is needed. With Zoom, interpreters had to find a work around for this situation, whether it was messaging on Zoom or on another platform, there is no clearly defined way for interpreters to formally request a switch. This added feature on WebEx will make interpretation switches straight forward and mitigate the risk of any information being lost when a switch of interpreters is needed.

Prepare for the Interpretation Meeting ahead of time

Similar to using any new software, we recommend users become familiar with WebEx prior to utilizing the interpretation feature. When meeting hosts or admins are familiar with the new features, it allows for a smooth experience for all involved ranging from the attendees to the remote interpreters themselves.

We know of the additional stress generated by a software that is not working well at the time of an interpretation, so plan, test, and coordinate and make any questions that you might have to resolve any technical issue.

Best Practices for Remote Simultaneous Interpretation

In any interpretation services and like when we are interpreting over Zoom, there are some practices that should be followed to ensure that the interpretation is accurate.

  • Remind all speakers to speak clearly and at a normal pace, remind them there is an interpreter helping other attendees. It is common when public speaking to speak faster than you normally may without even realizing it. The faster the source language is being spoken the more difficult it is to interpret accurately simultaneously what is being said.
  • Provide the interpretation team with any prep materials that are available with enough time. The more background information that the interpretation team has going into the meeting the better. Interpreters will review available prep materials prior to the interpretation beginning to familiarize themselves with topics and terms that will be used in the meeting. That gives them time to research terms and ask any question is there is need for clarification.
  • Provide JR Language with sufficient lead time. While remote interpreting has helped simultaneous interpretation become more available than ever before, interpreting over WebEx or Zoom is not an on-demand service and the interpretation coordinators do need at least a few business days to confirm availability of the best interpreters for your needs.

Other Language Services to support your meeting Interpretation

In addition to remote simultaneous interpretation over WebEx or Zoom, JR Language also provides various other language translation services. We can help provide written translation services for documents, and websites. JR Language is a one-stop translation company that can help also with multimedia translation services ranging from subtitling to voice overs to E-learning translation.

Robert Kells
Robert Kells
Robert has been with JR Language working as an Account Manager for over four years. His main goal every day is to help JR Language's clients with all of their language translation and interpretation needs. Understand their needs and offer options. Robert is based in our Chicago, IL office.