The Vital Role of Professional Interpreters in Ensuring Successful Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings aren’t going anywhere. The ease and convenience of virtual meetings, mainly through Zoom, means this type of engagement is here to stay.

Virtual meetings are now an essential piece of business whether you work from home or the office, as they allow you to connect with people across the country, across the world, and language barriers. But not all virtual meeting hosting platforms are made the same. So, it is critical to know the features of the platform you use to adapt its usage.

Why Zoom is one of the Best Platforms for Virtual Meetings

While there are multiple platforms for hosting and streaming live meetings, Zoom is one platform that supports various language rooms and the ability to have a multilingual meeting or webinar.

Zoom allows you to create Zoom rooms, breaking your main audio from your interpretations. You can host multiple interpreters at one time as well.

Even if your team or company only speaks one or the same language around all your locations, having interpretation in Zoom creates a more inclusive environment. Language interpretation can be as simple as providing a sign language interpreter for people who are hard of hearing in your community.

How to Use Zoom Translation Settings

Zoom also makes it easy to streamline the process of using interpreters in a live meeting. First, you’ll need a Zoom Pro account.

  • To enable Language Interpretation, go into your Zoom web portal → Settings →In Meeting (Advanced) → enable language interpretation. (This feature has to be selected ahead of time, and you can allow it to automatically select for every meeting by choosing Generate Automatically when creating a meeting.) Then you’ll add the language or languages you need.
  • After you’ve selected your languages, you’ll need to add your interpreters, and you can add up to 20. Using their email address, add them to your meeting in the interpreter role (which also grants them the same access as being a panelist.)
  • Finally, start your webinar and click Settings →Interpretation to allow them to begin working. This setting enables professional interpreters to create their audio channels. Each attendee can choose from the Zoom rooms to find the one with their preferred language and close any language gap.
  • During the interpretation, attendees can switch languages and decide whether to mute or lower the volume of the original audio. The participants who need the interpreted language can easily access it, and others can listen to the meeting host in real-time.

If captions services are enabled during the Zoom session, your attendees will have translated captions available. It is essential to let the attendees know that automated captions are available in multiple languages. Each attendee will need to turn in captions, which is not possible for the host of the meeting. It is excellent practice to provide written instructions translated into each language and inform the attendees of the options available and how to access them.
At the end of the Zoom meeting, you can save the audio and reuse it. If your Zoom account saves meeting audio to the Cloud, the recording will keep both the original audio and any translated channels.

Why Virtual Meetings Are Important

Virtual meetings were used before 2020 and the global shutdown, but today they are a staple of doing business. And why not? The ability to meet with a team remotely, from anywhere in the world, and with anyone worldwide is a significant benefit of technology.

  1. Hosting a meeting or webinar through the Zoom web portal (or app) allows companies to grow employee meetings, virtual webinars and training, product demonstrations, and more. The virtual conference will give companies a greater global reach and improve communication and relationships with employees, partners, and clients. People are naturally drawn to people they feel seen and understood by, and a large portion of that is through non-verbal communication. Being able to read someone’s body language is a crucial piece of building relationships, something that is challenging to do over the phone.
  2. Breaking down the language barrier with multilingual meetings creates more engaged audiences. Zoom allows you to host large meetings that can hold hundreds of people. When you enable language interpretation in Zoom, you’re increasing the number of people who can understand your message and join your meeting or webinar. And when you add Zoom-translated captions, you help improve the clarity of the communication.
  3. Virtual meetings can also foster inclusivity since it’s easy to add a sign language or language interpreter live into the meeting, so everyone can meet, share ideas, and work to find solutions together without worrying about language barriers.

You don’t need a global audience to need interpretation services. Even if your business only works in one country, you may still need interpretation services, depending on the makeup of your team and location. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the US, and in Canada, meetings and materials must be available in English and Canadian French. 13% of the population in the US is deaf or hard of hearing, and offering American Sign Language interpretation is a best practice for many publicly facing organizations.

Types of Meetings that May Need the Language Interpretation Feature

  • Team meetings
  • All-staff meetings
  • Quarterly or monthly touch-base calls
  • Client webinars
  • Employee training
  • Educational seminars
  • E-learning
  • Sales calls
  • Hybrid conferences – On-Site and Virtual conferences
  • Lawyer – Clients meeting
  • Doctor-patient appointments

Finding the Right Virtual Language Interpreters

Once you know that you need language interpretation services for your Zoom meeting, having the appropriate professional interpreter fluent in your target language who can simultaneously interpret, listen, process, and deliver the information as the meeting runs. But just because an interpreter can do this does not mean they’re familiar with Zoom interpretation. Working with remote settings adds another layer of expertise that’s needed. Be sure to select an interpretation company with trained interpreters for Zoom Translations.

Working with a professional language interpretation company means you can rest assured your interpreter is fluent in your target language, capable of simultaneous interpretation, and has experience working with the Zoom platform. The service provider will know about the type of Zoom accounts and the features available.
Zoom interpreters can also work for in-person meetings with small attendance. The interpreter can call into the Zoom session and interpret live for the people on-site at the meeting. This option is more cost-effective than an on-site interpreter. Also, Zoom Interpretation is a good alternative for rare languages whose interpreters are challenging to find.

A few ways to narrow down your search for professional interpreters are:

  1. Review their customer reviews if you’re unsure of the best language interpretation services. Any good language service provider has positive client reviews and/or case studies. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof and references from previous multilingual interpretation services.
  2. Select a firm that has outstanding customer service. Since you can host meetings and webinars at any time, you want to know that your translation company will be there to help you troubleshoot any problems when they come.
  3. A professional language services company can also help you before the start of the meeting, troubleshoot the zoom interpretation feature, test internet speed, and performance, and design the meeting flow to allow the interpreters to work best. The company can also provide you with translated recordings, subtitles, or voiceovers of the meeting so you can repurpose and reuse the content.

JR Language offers language interpretation and simultaneous interpretation for Zoom meetings and webinars in multiple languages. Our professional interpreters provide language assistance in more than 100 languages and ASL. Hosting Zoom meetings with interpreters may seem complicated, but working with the right Zoom translation service company makes it smooth. The professionalism and experience of the interpretation company selected will make it easy to get started.

Ready to test a multilingual Zoom session? At JR Language Translation Services, we go the extra mile to exceed your expectations in multilingual communications at affordable prices with workable turnaround times. Contact us for a quote today— we’d love to hear from you.

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