Language Interpretation Is the Next Wave in Virtual Meetings

A vector illustration of two people talking in different languages

Planning an event in multiple languages can be a challenge for meeting planners. Innovative virtual language interpretation software is making attendee accessibility a reality for everyone involved in creating inclusive meetings.

The PCMA Convening Leaders conference this January offered something no other annual mega-gathering of the association has: virtual interpreters. The capabilities of Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) have reached new heights, elevating the events industry and the experiences it creates for attendees.

Interpretation software and the companies leading its development are making meetings more accessible, effective, efficient and inclusive for everyone.

The Loudest Voices in Virtual Interpretation

There are several companies in the vanguard of this new wave of interpretation, and they’re making full attendee accessibility a reality.

KUDO Language Access

Named one of the best inventions of 2021 by Time Magazine, KUDO is a real-time interpretation software company and virtual platform focused on providing language support for multilingual meetings. Launched in the fall of 2021, its Language Access project provides a better solution for supporting language access at, specifically, meetings and events.

The software creates a platform from which real-time multilingual speakers interpret what’s being said at the event, for attendees.

PCMA Convening Leaders was translated into 21 languages by KUDO’s interpreters. The program makes its virtual services impartial to any particular meeting platform. The language tool is designed to embed in a virtual meeting management platform of the planner’s choice, such a Hopin or Microsoft Teams.

KUDO offers over 200 languages, including 147 sign languages, such as French Sign Language (LSF) or Mexican Sign Language (LSM), and can support up to 32 languages simultaneously during any given event.

KUDO and its partners work to create “personalized experiences and break the language barrier in meetings, business and events,” said Pia Decarsin, marketing communications manager at KUDO.

Once the interpreter’s audio has been selected by the meeting participant, the interpreter’s voice replaces that of the original speaker in real time. For participants with sign language needs, the interpreter appears in their own on-screen box, signing for the user as the other speaker talks.

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Interprefy Expands and Innovates

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Interprefy is another successful interpretation software company and virtual platform.

Interprefy has essentially been a hybrid events service since the company’s genesis in 2014, long before the pandemic turned the industry upside down. But in the recent years of increased meetings behind screens, Interprefy has expanded its global team, software and interpretation services.

Interprefy has over 130 languages with readily available interpreters and you can access its services from any video conferencing platform on any device. This especially comes in handy for fully virtual events with multilingual needs. Interprefy’s hybrid and in-person interpretation services, however, still involve the virtual.

Participants using an interpreter at hybrid or in-person events do so through the company’s mobile app and a pair of headphones. The company can also provide multiple sign languages with the help of either an on-screen widget or an in-person interpreter, in the case the event is held in a physical space.

Interpretation through both Interprefy and KUDO is about making a way for information where it really counts, making meetings more accessible for everyone by having a deep reservoir of experienced interpreters in hundreds of languages. “If there’s an interpreter for it, we can arrange for it,” stated Interprefy’s newly appointed CEO, Oddmund Braaten.

At UEFA EURO 2020, the annual European Football Championship, Interprefy’s virtual interpretation tool supported all post-match press conferences, in all their locations.

Braaten explained that since enabling interpreters to work remotely, instead of from on-site booths, simultaneous interpretation setups are now more scalable and cost-efficient.

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Planning for a Multilingual Audience

Virtual interpretation providers recognize the need not only for greater access to language and information but to a more streamlined process for event planners. Events with multiple interpreters can be daunting.

KUDO, for instance, has 12,000 certified interpreters available through KUDO Marketplace, the company’s automated booking site. But the task of finding the right interpreter doesn’t fall into the planner’s hands.

From KUDO Marketplace, planners schedule their meeting with KUDO and list the languages, or types of interpreters, that will be needed. KUDO will have a list of fitting interpreters ready for you on the day of your event.

Once a planner has received language requests from eventgoers, that planner can book the necessary interpreters—and has until two hours prior to the event to add last-minute language requests.

These professional interpreters with KUDO and Interprefy also bring their own specialized knowledge in topics that may be pertinent to the meeting or event subject matter. So, finding a Greek-to-English interpreter, for example, who has a keen understanding of computer engineering or ecology terms in both languages shouldn’t be a long search.

Booking interpreters with Interprefy starts with a short call to discuss the event and its language support requirements. A project manager and remote tech support technician will take the interpreter sourcing and logistics and event-time monitoring from there, leaving the planner the time and space to focus on all the other pressing aspects of event preparation.

Budding interpretation services like these are making information and experiences more accessible than ever. Virtual interpretation software is providing the support meetings and events need to make real and engaged connections among teams, clients and attendees.

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