Is there a simultaneous interpretation function for Zoom meetings and webinars?

Is there a simultaneous interpretation function for Zoom meetings and webinars

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*Zoom and services that include the name Zoom are services provided by Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

From July 15, 2022, Zoom will have a 40-minute limit even for meetings with two participants if you have a free subscription. (Previously, it was only for meetings with 3 or more people.)
Companies and organizations using Zoom for business should consider switching to a paid license at this opportunity. 

Zoom has also made it easier to attend meetings and seminars abroad. Business negotiations that used to be conducted on business trips or by teleconferencing can now be done from home using a single computer, and many people have increased opportunities for communication.

Interpretation/translation functions may be required for international communication. We will explain what services can be used in Zoom meetings and webinars.

What types of conference interpreters are there?

What types of conference interpreters are there

There are several methods of interpreting, and they are not suitable depending on the scale of the conference. Let’s take a look at each feature first.

simultaneous interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting means that the interpreter translates while listening to the speaker’s voice. Since the interpreter interprets without stopping the speaker, the progress time is almost the same as without interpreting.

In order not to block the speaker’s voice, the interpreter interprets while listening to the voice through headphones in a dedicated booth, and the listener listens to the interpreter’s voice through a receiver. This is an interpreting method that is mainly used when a large number of people listen to a single speaker, such as at large-scale meetings, academic conferences, and lectures.

consecutive interpretation

Consecutive interpreting is a method in which the interpreter translates while the speaker is speaking. Occasionally, the speaker will pause, the interpreter will translate, and the speaker will speak again.

The tempo of the conversation will be bad, but it has the advantage of being able to understand the meaning firmly because it is translated by dividing the utterances into chunks. Consecutive interpreting can be said to be suitable for meetings with a relatively small number of people.

whispering

Whispering is a method in which an interpreter sits next to a specific listener and directly communicates the content of the interpretation.

Like simultaneous interpretation, it progresses in real time. Used when a small number of foreign language speakers are included in the membership.

Automatic translation for web conferencing services

When it comes to interpreting functions for web conferences, you may have a strong image of “a function in which AI automatically translates audio and displays subtitles.” Google Meet and Skype have a real-time subtitle display function, and it is a service that can be used even with a free plan.

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Subtitle display is easy to use, but accuracy is somewhat compromised due to automatic translation. AI is expected to improve its accuracy as it learns, but it is safe to assume that it will not be able to convey the fine nuances of human speech.

Simultaneous interpretation function for Zoom meetings and webinars

Simultaneous interpretation function for Zoom meetings and webinars

Zoom also has a feature that supports foreign language meetings. In the case of Zoom, there is no automatic translation or subtitle display, and Zoom does not undertake translation/interpretation as a service.

Zoom’s language interpretation function is “a function that allows an interpreter to participate in a meeting“. The system reproduces the environment in which simultaneous interpretation is performed in an actual conference.

How Simultaneous Interpretation Works at Meetings

Simultaneous interpretation at a conference requires four items: an interpreter, a booth, a microphone, and a receiver.

Simultaneous interpreters do not share seats with other participants in the conference. The interpreter interprets while listening to the speaker’s voice with headphones in a dedicated booth that can block out the surrounding sounds so that the interpreter’s voice does not contain unnecessary sounds.

Participants will be given receivers in advance, and if they tune in to the designated channel, they will be able to hear the interpreter’s voice.

In a conference where interpretation into multiple languages ​​is performed, a separate channel is set for each language so that you can only hear the audio you have selected.

How Zoom’s Simultaneous Interpretation Function Works

Zoom assigns simultaneous interpreters to each language audio channel. This channel replaces the booth mic receiver. The interpreter interprets while listening to the original audio, and the participants select the language channel and listen to the interpreter audio.

How to use Zoom Simultaneous Interpretation

How to use Zoom Simultaneous Interpretation

Let’s take a look at how to use the simultaneous interpretation function on Zoom.

Advance preparation

We will explain the necessary preparations to use the simultaneous interpretation function on Zoom. Do this before scheduling your Zoom meeting.

Account verification

Business, Education, Enterprise Account, or Pro Account + Webinar Add-on plan subscription required. Not available for free accounts.

Environment where Zoom’s simultaneous interpretation function can be used

Your app must meet the following conditions:

・Zoom desktop client

Windows: 5.2.1 (44052.0816) or later / macOS: 5.2.1 (44040.0816) or later

・Zoom mobile app

Android: 5.2.1 (44042.0816) or later / iOS: 5.2.1 (44038.0816) or later

Selection of simultaneous interpreters

To use the simultaneous interpretation function in Zoom, you need to register an interpreter when creating a meeting. Please select an interpreter and obtain an email address in advance.

Simultaneous interpretation function settings

Enable the language interpretation feature in the account where you schedule the meeting.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal (https://zoom.us/).
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Enable Language Interpretation under In Meeting (advanced).
  4. Nine default languages ​​(English, Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish) are displayed.
  5. If you use a language that is not here, you can add it to the list by clicking “+”, typing the name of the language, and clicking “Add”.
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*You can add any number of languages, but only 5 custom languages ​​can be used at the same time.

How to assign a simultaneous interpreter for a meeting or webinar

When you’re ready to use the simultaneous interpretation feature, let’s actually set up the interpretation feature in your meeting.

  1. Click “Schedule a Meeting“.
  2. Under “Meeting ID“, select “Automatically generate”.
  3. Check “Enable language interpretation” in “Interpretation”.
  4. Enter the interpreter’s email address and select the language. An invitation email will be sent to the address set here, and the interpreter will be able to enter the channel of the responsible language.
  5. After setting each item, click “Save” to finish.

* If you want to set it for a webinar, set it in the same way from “Schedule a webinar“.

How to start simultaneous interpretation in a meeting

Once the meeting has started, the host can use the interpretation function by starting the simultaneous interpretation function.

Working with hosts

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. After starting the meeting, click Interpretation.
  3. Click “Start” to start the interpretation session.
  4. The session ends when the host clicks Interpreter > End.
  5. You can’t start or manage translations on the mobile app, so please use the desktop client.

Interpreter operation

  1. Join the meeting by signing in to the Zoom desktop client with the email address account that received the invitation email from the host.
  2. When the host clicks Start, they will receive a message that they have been assigned to a language.
  3. Check the content of the message and click “OK” to start interpretation. Listen to the original audio and interpret.
  4. Interpretation ends when the host ends the interpretation session.

Attendee actions

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Once the host has started the interpretation session, click on “Interpretation” and select a language channel to hear the interpretation audio.

Fees/expenses

Since the Zoom language interpretation function is a service through an interpreter, it is necessary to consider the system usage fee and the cost of arranging an interpreter separately.

Zoom Paid License Agreement

* Since the price varies depending on the customization of the plan, etc., please contact us from the inquiry form at the bottom for details.

Interpretation service fee

If you need a simultaneous interpreter, we will ask an interpreting service company to arrange it. Fees may vary depending on the content, time, language, etc. of the meeting, so be sure to obtain an estimate before confirming.

Precautions when using the simultaneous interpretation function on Zoom

Just as web conferencing is different from face-to-face meetings, simultaneous interpretation with Zoom is also subject to limitations unique to online.

create a time difference

During a Zoom meeting, you may feel that the other party’s reaction is momentarily delayed. Even with Zoom’s simultaneous interpretation function, audio delays occur, so we must be aware in advance that the actual progress may differ.

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Also, in meetings where the language changes rapidly, channel switching may not keep up. When using the interpretation function, it will be necessary to control the pace of the meeting in consideration of such cases.

Multilingual relay interpretation is not possible

In the case of international conferences where interpretation into multiple languages ​​is carried out, a method called “relay interpretation” is used. This is a method of interpreting into another language based on the translation of another interpreter.

When a meeting is held in three languages ​​(English, Japanese, and French), the interpreter can translate “English-Japanese” and “Japanese-French” by translating the English statement from English to Japanese, and then translating the Japanese translation from Japanese to French. It can accommodate 2 people.

However, with Zoom, interpreters can only access the original audio and channels in their own language. Relay interpretation is not possible because you cannot hear the other interpreter’s voice. In this case, you will have to assign another English-French interpreter.

summary

  • With Zoom, you can use the simultaneous interpretation function through an interpreter.
  • A paid account is required to use the simultaneous interpretation function on Zoom
  • It is required to proceed with consideration for communication delays and computer operations

Although Zoom’s interpretation function has online restrictions, there is no difference that it is basically a practical function that assumes the simultaneous interpretation environment of an actual meeting. Expand your business opportunities by making good use of the simultaneous interpretation function.