When you think about modern work requirements, I am sure that “digitalisation” is the key word that pops into your mind. The world of events could be no exception to this, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, when everything turned online. Many platforms suddenly gained huge popularity and event organisers had to adapt to the new norm very quickly.
Event managers today need to be fully acquainted with the available technologic solutions and have a genius for managing online meeting platforms. How are you supposed to select a suitable platform to ensure the success of your online event? Are you aware of what exactly each available option has to offer? Or do you feel confused and you do not really know which one should you rather decide for?
The purpose of this post is not to publicly advertise the features of any specific brand. Yet, as an interpreter working with various online platforms, I can give some advice regarding aspects you should consider when selecting a platform for a virtual event with remote interpretation.
The interpreter needs to hear the booth partner at the same time as the speaker on the floor
People usually focus only on the synchronization of the two interpreters at the moment of takeover. This is when the interpreters switch and the microphone passes to the booth partner, who replaces the colleague and continues interpreting. Surely it is of critical importance to coordinate correctly with the colleague during this moment. However, it’s not the only thing that matters. Equally important are the 20 minutes that precede the takeover.
Make no mistake! The silent interpreter does not simply get some rest until it’s their turn to speak again. When the booth partner talks on the microphone, we also listen carefully to what they say and support them as necessary. For instance, while silent, we may need to do a quick research about key terms or find a relevant material and bring those to the attention of the talking interpreter discreetly. Also, we need to keep track of the phraseology used by the colleague and keep consistency when taking turns to avoid any possible confusion of the audience. Often, we also help the colleague by noting down any numbers or special names mentioned in the speech, warn them if they make a mistake unconsciously, give them feedback about how they sound or about background noises etc.
For all these reasons it is of crucial importance to have a platform for online events that permits us to hear the speaker and the colleague simultaneously, when working remotely.
Internal communication through a private chat window
Obviously, the interpreters need to have a private chat window in the platform, where they can conveniently communicate between them and solve all those issues described above. Don’t forget that interpreters are seen by the audience as a part of the organizing team. You wouldn’t like their internal communication to be seen by all participants in a common chat window. So, make sure you use a platform that supports this possibility.
A platform that allows relay interpreting
Relay interpreting takes place in multilingual conferences, where you cannot possibly have interpreters for all language combinations that can be heard in the event. Imagine for example a conference with English, German, Italian, Czech, Norwegian and Greek speakers. How likely is to have Norwegian interpreters who can master all the other languages and are able to interpret all native speakers directly from the floor? Most probably you would need to use a pivot language in this case. This is the so-called relay interpreting, where the Norwegian interpreter in our case would listen to the English interpretation of a Czech speech for instance, instead of the speaker themselves, and render it into Norwegian based on English. As you can imagine, relay is especially useful for Greek, as in many situations the whole conference can depend on the Greek booth to understand and interpret a Greek speaker. To safeguard a smooth operation of this system, make sure that the platform you use supports such a relay feature.
As experienced interpreters we often take part in virtual conferences and events. Should you need professional advice with the selection of your platform, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among others, we can also support you with:
- Professional interpreters who cover multiple language combinations
- Arrangements for the provision of technical equipment or online platforms for hybrid meetings, if necessary
- Translation of your presentations and conference material
Contact us at email@example.com for a free consultation.