Remote interpreting solutions: RSI, the new big change in cross-cultural communication
In a traditional conference setting, all participants, from organizers to presenters, attendees and interpreters travel from multiple locations to meet at a venue. Technicians are located onsite to monitor audio feeds and provide support when needed. Attendees are given wireless receivers and headsets to listen to the presentations in their language of choice. Interpreters are in sound isolated booths, delivering speech in all necessary languages. While this has been the norm for years, the latest technological developments in providing remote interpreting have revolutionized the way conferences are organized. Especially in the last year, organizers all over the world have been reconfiguring the set-up for multi-language events because of cutting edge remote interpreting solutions.
Generally speaking, remote interpreting has been around for decades in the form of Over the Phone Interpreting (OPI) or Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), but these are more rudimental solutions that only fit certain situations:
OPI Over the phone interpreting is interpreting provided over the phone. Commonly used in healthcare or legal settings, when quick, instantaneous translations are required for the order of operations to follow smoothly.
VRI Video remote interpreting is interpreting provided over video. It is also often used with sign language, and in settings where the logistics allow having a video meeting or recording.
RSI – Remote simultaneous interpreting – provides the revolution of multilingual industry event organization
Remote simultaneous interpreting is used in conferences, webinars and official meetings. Through its many available platforms, RSI changes the face of virtual events, now more than ever before.
Because of its versatility, you can substitute traditional interpreting booths and benefit from two top advantages, which are:
- No geographical barrier: The interpreter can be anywhere, as long as they have a good internet connection, and
- Cost-effectiveness: Saves on rent prices for technical equipment and traveling expenses (transport, accommodation, meals etc.).
You can either organize an event traditionally at a venue and include with remote interpreting, or go completely online, which was a norm for 2020 and probably will continue to be for the future. Nowadays there are platforms which work as an add-on to your conventional online meeting environment, and there are also one-stop options which cover everything you need to move your on-site meetings or conferences online. These platforms support screen sharing, document uploading, messaging in a chat room (for event participants) and even polling. They have interfaces for both participants and interpreters.
Depending on your requirements or maybe if you are forced by special circumstances (for instance, a pandemic such as the one we are battling now), there is a solution for every scenario. Imagine you have a general meeting with over 200 participants or think big and go for up to 1000 or more. The logistics for renting the equipment may not be at hand, but by using a RSI platform, every attendee could have access to the language they want through the telephone. All they need are earphones and a steady internet connection.
Why use an RSI platform?
Remote simultaneous interpreting platforms have evolved along the years. This has made them easy to adapt because of an increasing need in developing virtual online booths (so interpreters can work just as they do for on-site events), and because they provide high quality language services. Professional interpreters have adjusted to this type of event and have the necessary equipment to participate noise-canceling headphones, broadband internet connection and usually a back-up service provider, in case of emergency, multiple monitors and sometimes even dedicated booths, as if they were on site.
Octopus Translations can offer you guidance to select the remote interpreting platform which fits your needs. Once we have the key information regarding the number of participants, language combinations, event set-up and other aspects, we can discuss the next steps and the budget for a personalized solution best suited to you.
Depending on the scale of the event, we can offer some of these remote interpreting platforms features which are very useful and should be considered for a successful outcome:
Live communication Interpreters working together should have a reliable method to communicate which each other, especially for taking turns and changing shifts. It is very useful when they can see or listen to each other too, which is an option some platforms offer.
Relay When several language combinations are required for one event and someone in the audience decides to ask questions, the possibility of having relay is very important. The interpreters need to have the possibility to pick up the „common language interpretation” in order to interpret it into their corresponding language. For instance, when you have interpreters for French and Russian into English and someone talks in Russian, the French interpreter can pick up the English translation and then deliver the message in French.
Recording Maybe we are talking about a webinar and you need the content to be made available after the event as well. Some platforms offer features which guarantee you will have the recording of the interpretation in every language whenever you need it or want to revisit it.
At Octopus Translations, we have successfully managed dozens of online events, from annual meetings to webinars, trainings, web fairs or conferences. Because of our vast experience, we can guide you through the entire process. We can share our knowledge and assist with the full package, from helping you pick the right remote interpreting platform to the most qualified interpreters. For an example of our work, you can take a look at a case study of one of our latest remote interpreting events for a conference held by a global organization in the international health sector.