Remote interpreting: interpreting 2.0.
As in many other professions, technological advances are also having an impact on interpreting, with conferences moving from big halls to computer screens at home.
Telephone interpreting, video interpreting and online interpreting
A new development in the conference market is remote interpreting or online interpreting. The interpreters are not present at the conference venue but are connected to the conference via an Internet platform and interpret simultaneously or consecutively, either in their own office or together with other interpreters in a so-called interpreting hub.
Remote interpreting technique
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of remote interpreting, providers of interpreting technology and online conferencing technology have adapted or expanded their offerings accordingly. For example, simultaneous or consecutive interpreters can now be added to multilingual online conferences with a few clicks of the mouse. They log in remotely, then translate the event as usual (including in pairs).
The event is either hosted directly on the remote interpreting platform, or it can be linked to the client’s usual online platform. Typically, a technician is on hand to assist participants and interpreters by phone or email to resolve any transmission issues from their PC.
Hybrid solutions are also an integral part of the service. While the technical professionals are on site and the listeners are in their offices at home or elsewhere around the world, the interpreters work in the interpreting booth as usual – either on site or in a so-called hub of the technology provider. This ensures a smooth technical process at all times. In such scenarios, image and sound transmission from the conference venue as well as team organisation must be flawless.
Remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI)
There is a growing need for remote simultaneous interpreting services (RSI), since in many cases it is not possible to stage physical events attended by international delegates. As the name suggests, the interpreters use the technique of simultaneous interpretation.
Good acoustics without distracting background noise, adequate preparation (including access to the texts of the speeches in advance, if available) and disciplined speakers who know how to use a microphone are a must.
Remote consecutive interpreting
For short bilingual meetings, consecutive remote interpreting is a widely used technique. One or more interpreters can be added as participants and interpret what is being said with a time delay. The technique used is consecutive interpreting. This is a straightforward scenario that does not require any additional software.
In addition, participants are usually quite familiar with the process as many organisations already use various virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, WebEx or MS Teams for their internal meetings and discussions.
Remote interpreting via app and artificial intelligence
App-based remote interpreting allows users to access interpreting services via an app on their smartphone. This service offers clients a high degree of flexibility and accessibility, as well as a wide choice of interpreters in different language combinations. The technical requirements are relatively straightforward: All you need is a stable internet connection and a smart device that is compatible with the app.
However, remote interpreting via an app comes with its own set of challenges: As with any technology-based solution, there is a risk of connection problems, audio dropouts or other technical malfunctions. In addition, non-verbal signals such as gestures or body language may not be fully conveyed. This can lead to misunderstandings or reduced interpretation quality.
AI solutions such as speech-to-text software are also increasingly being used. The software automatically converts what is being said into text. The content is sent in real time to interpreters who interpret the content for participants, and/or is available to participants as subtitles. These AI solutions are suitable for events where the focus is only on reproducing what is said and inaccuracies can be tolerated.
We have partnerships with appropriate technology providers and can offer AI-based solutions such as speech-to-text solutions with or without captioning. However, these AI-based solutions are not suitable for events where the nuances and circumstances of speech are very important, as the accuracy of speech recognition can vary greatly and non-verbal communication such as tone of voice, intonation and body language can only be taken into account to a very limited extent.
Advantages of remote interpreting
While some are returning to physical events, others are sticking to video conference interpreting. That’s not surprising, considering the many advantages it offers:
- Time and cost savings: instead of needing expensive interpreting equipment and having to rent conference halls, etc., you log on to your computer from the comfort of your own home.
- No business trips, which means no travelling and no money spent on accommodation and meals.
- More environmentally friendly: due to the lack of business travel, the carbon footprint is smaller.
Language portfolio for remote interpreting
Thanks to our long-standing presence in the Swiss language services market, we have a large network of qualified conference interpreters with several years of experience on the Swiss market. We have been working with them on countless projects for renowned Swiss companies and organisations over the past years.
In addition to the most common target languages (English, French, Spanish, German and Italian), we also offer our interpreting services in other European and non-European languages. Feel free to contact us at any time and we will find the right interpreters for your event.