Events that require language interpretation are often challenged by time requirements, space limitations, physical location of equipment and interpreters, and the need to link different locations together. The ability to perform remote language interpretation is a solution to these challenges. Here are a few examples of the applications that require it:
- With the growth of foreign language speaking minority populations, there is an increasing need to have language interpretation in the courts. Many courts (especially those in remote locations) are challenged by the requirement to contract local interpreters that can perform on-site interpretation.
- Many corporate and government agencies have the need to communicate with people in different countries that might not have language interpretation capabilities on-site. The ability to provide these remote sites with language support from one centralized location is crucial to their performance.
- With the number of languages required in international meetings on the rise, the physical space to locate interpretation booths in every conference room where it is required becomes a challenge.
What is “remote interpretation”?
Remote language interpretation is a term that refers to a situation where language interpretation is being performed with either the participants in need of language support or the interpreter providing the language support are located remotely. Here are two examples:
- The interpreters located on-site and are providing language interpretation for both the local participants and the participants that are off-site via teleconferencing equipment.
- The interpreters are located off-site and are providing language interpretation for participants that are on-site and/or remotely located.
It is worthy to note here that remote interpretation is not the place to save a few bucks on your design quality. The quality of the audio and video that you provide to the interpreter will be directly proportionate to the quality of language interpretation you get back. In other words, if you are distracting your interpreter with bad audio or video, they cant concentrate on doing their job effectively.
Case Study: Agriculture Canada uses remote interpretation to enhance their boardroom functionality.
Agriculture Canada, located in Ottawa, ON, is a government agency that operates their affairs simultaneously in two languages French and English as legislated by the Canadian government. This digital conferencing system solution was designed by Dave Hanson of The Attain Group consultants, and includes the capability to provide language support for remote sites via video teleconference and/or audio conference. The interpreter is able to provide the local participants with language interpretation support into French or English, as well as providing similar language support for up to four remote sites. Depending on which language is being spoken on the floor, the system is able to route the correct audio source to the far site so that they are always hearing the proceedings in their own language.
Basically, the way it works is that when someone is speaking English within the boardroom or from a remote site, the interpreter switches their console to the French position and begins speaking French. Within the system, their voice will be routed to a specific audio channel. This audio channel is then routed out to the local participants (via wired or wireless channel selectors with headphones) and to an audio matrix mixer which will pass it on to the outgoing channel of the teleconference interface, and ultimately to the participants on the far site. Thus, the French speaking participants in the boardroom and on the far site will always hear their native language in this example French via either the live feed or the interpreter. This works the same way if someone in the boardroom or someone on the far site speaks French the interpreter will switch to the English position, and interpret into English, which will then be routed to the English speakers in the boardroom and on the far site.
Sound complicated??? Its really not because the digital conferencing system manages most of the routing for you. Granted, each situation is different and the system design will vary depending on the specific requirements of each project
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on Remote Court Interpretation from one of our dealers in the near future!