Image Source: Flickr, David Weekly
At Veeting, we are privileged to have access to experts across the industry who share their knowledge with our audience. This article is part of our ongoing interview series with partners and technology companies bringing you insights and updates on trends, best practices, the newest tech, and more.
On the global stage, the key to effective action is clear communication. Yet without accurate translation between languages, that’s an impossible goal. It’s no wonder international organizations are willing to invest in expensive audio systems and gather interpreters from around the world to fill the booths at conferences and summits every year. There is no question that it is essential for attendees to comprehend the topic at hand and be able to participate fully in the conversation.
But is it truly necessary to have interpreters on-site for every event to facilitate communication? Or is virtual interpretation the wave of the future? Interprefy has set out to prove that modern software can extend the reach of professional interpreters through the power of technology. Interprefy’s COO, Oddmund Braaten, and CTO Andrey Schukin described the opportunity in the global market and how taking interpretation online can make communication easier.
According to Andrey, “VOIP has progressed quite a lot since 2012. Now, interpreters can stay in their offices and work from laptops. Event participants can access the interpretation language of their choice and listen using their smartphone or a headset.”
Interprefy can go where standard interpretation equipment cannot. The 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos was hosted on top of a mountain 2500 meters high. When a snowstorm made it impossible to transport the interpretation booths and audio hardware for use during the forum, the fifty delegates from China might have been left out in the cold when it came to participation in discussions. But with Interprefy’s remote setup, the event was a success. All the delegates required was a smartphone and an internet connection to access interpretation services.
- Most interpretation engagements are for a minimum of one day. A business meeting that only requires interpretation for a brief time could hire an interpreter to work remotely.”
Andrey added, “There are other advantages as well. Since travel is not necessary, interpreters can be available on very short notice. Meeting organizers can also access interpreters for rare languages or for short events. Most interpretation engagements are for a minimum of one day. A business meeting that only requires interpretation for a brief time could hire an interpreter to work remotely.” While massive organizations like the United Nations are obvious clients, smaller customers can now improve communication as well. Far from being merely a technology company, Interprefy has the resources to connect clients with professional interpreters for virtually any language at any time.
As the leading provider of remote simultaneous interpreting, Interprefy has recently added more functionality to its existing services. Through custom development of WebRTC technology from Veeting, Interprefy can now satisfy the requirements of customers who prefer to host servers on-site rather than in the cloud. This setup can reduce latency by fractions of a second—improving the real-time experience even more for interpreters and attendees. The reduction in costs is still substantial. For example, Andrey revealed that some customers are able to replace expensive audio hardware with laptops.
With the features available in Interprefy’s new virtual meeting rooms, interpreters have even greater access to fully understand what’s occurring at an event. While video gives context to the proceedings, interpreters can also see online presentations as well as communication taking place on screen sharing, the shared whiteboard, and text comments. These additional information streams allow interpreters to better serve participants by ensuring that nothing is lost in translation.
Interprefy provides many advantages to professional interpreters by supporting the ability to work anywhere without having to travel back and forth. They can offer interpretation to client organizations anywhere in the world while maintaining the highest standard of service. It’s no surprise that the response from the interpreter community has been positive. As Oddmund noted,
- “I know an Italian/German interpreter who would have to travel the evening before an event just to work a few hours and then travel back the next day. Now, she can stay in her vineyard in Bologna and interpret anywhere.”
But will remote interpretation mean an end to the traditional booth setup? Not for now. There is a significant investment already in place for much of this technology, and many organizations will continue to leverage their existing infrastructure. In addition, while many interpreters would like to get off the road, others enjoy the excitement of travel. The opportunity to see the world was one of the reasons they chose their profession in the first place.
Finally, event organizers are slow to make sweeping changes in their technology—knowing that if something goes wrong with their interpretation service, the consequences would be disastrous. Oddmund spoke to this concern, “Event organizers avoid the uncertain. Our aim is to take away that fear and show what we can do — providing interpretation services that are flexible and don’t require complex logistics.” He gave the example of the recent Lush Cosmetics Summit in London where one computer replaced 2.5 tons of equipment and still provided all the tech required for sixteen interpreters to do their jobs well.
- “Event organizers avoid the uncertain. Our aim is to take away that fear and show what we can do.”
Fortunately, as more and more organizations begin testing the waters with remote interpretation, this concern will abate. Using a service like Interprefy to augment existing interpretation technology is an easy way for new customers to test the waters and learn how simple it is to use. From large conferences to seminars and workshops, panel discussions, press conferences, and board meetings, the use cases for this cost-effective and reliable interpretation service will only continue to grow, uniting the world in greater understanding.