Ever since simultaneous interpretation took the place of consecutive interpretation as the most frequently used form of verbal translation, there has been a steady trend towards what is now known as RSI, Remote Simultaneous Interpretation. As a general rule, the interpretation booths have always been positioned in the meeting room affording a direct view of the speakers and any screens, and this still remains the best possible scenario in which to provide quality interpretation, especially for large-scale multilingual events. Now, with advances in videoconferencing technology and a growing trend – accelerated by the pandemic – to hold events online, in a hybrid format, or with webcasting or streaming, the interpretation industry can also provide interpreting in a remote setting.
Sometimes the interpreters are physically onsite at the event, but not necessarily in the same room. For instance, the meeting room may be too small to accommodate the interpretation booths, in which case, placing them in an adjacent room is a perfectly viable solution.
Or, at large-scale corporate events such as shareholders’ meetings, the interpreting booths are often placed backstage with the event production team and specialised technicians. In these settings, interpreters follow the event on high-resolution monitors, with views of speakers and any presentations.
Multilingual hybrid meetings take many forms. One typical format would be in-person events with interpretation which are webcast or streamed in all the conference languages to attendees who are not physically present. As you would expect, when the interpretation is made available in this way, especially if it is recorded and the sound files are posted online or stored for subsequent use, it is usually subject to a copyright fee for the interpreters.
Another hybrid option would be events with one or more speakers actively taking part in the conference from a remote location to which they connect through a videoconferencing platform. Similarly, the interpreters would be able to provide the service on-site, or from another location if appropriate.
However, if the majority of delegates are on-site, it makes sense for the interpreters also to be on-site. Calliope’s consultant interpreters can advise you on an interpreting solution for your chosen format.
If you are holding a virtual event, be it a webinar or an online meeting, all the participants will be connected to the videoconferencing platform from their individual locations. Some commercial platforms already incorporate language channels so that your participants can speak and listen in their own languages through interpretation, which may be provided from a hub or a home studio. For platforms without that functionality interpretation is still possible using a hub solution. Calliope has developed a series of tips for successful online meetings with interpretation, including recommendations on connection and sound quality. We will be glad to share our experience with you.
Examples from our portfolio
Annual EPF conferences
The European Psychoanalytical Federation has been a faithful client for many years, entrusting the provision of interpretation in French, English and German to Calliope member Danielle Gree since 2007. Usually the booths are placed at the back of the meeting room, with direct visibility of both the speakers and the screen, but at its Warsaw meeting in 2018 the EPF was a victim of its own success: the room was too small to accommodate hundreds of participants and three booths. It was therefore decided to set up the booths in a quiet corridor behind the meeting room, and the interpreters had the pleasure of overlooking Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science while debating the Origin of Life.
The challenge of a small room
How do you offer five languages in a small room? Our Swiss member came to the rescue supported by a flexible and inventive AV provider. The solution: two booths set up directly adjacent to the meeting room with the delegates, and three booths in a second row behind them with giant screens. “This has proved to be extremely practical, and we are now using the set-up twice a year for European Works Council meetings,” says Christoph Renfer, Calliope’s representative for Switzerland.
Please contact us to discuss the event you are planning. For a cost-effective and optimal interpreting solution, get a Calliope consultant on board as early as possible in the planning process. We will be happy to respond to all quote requests immediately.