The technology is now so clever, that you can do a training session with seamless, simultaneous translation. It really does mean that you can have a live video conference (or, in my case, media training course) with someone across the other side of the world with whom you have no common language.
I was dead sceptical about this at first. Could it really work? I thought. Well it could, and does. In fact, it works every bit as well as simultaneous translation with everyone in the same room. I’ve only experienced it through Zoom, but I’m sure it works just as well through other platforms.
With Zoom, it works like this:
- All delegates/attendees, plus a interpreter, go on the call as normal
- As the session starts, the host switches on the interpretation feature, which allows the interpreter to provide their own audio channels for the language they are translating to.
- Attendees can then select the audio channel to hear the translated audio in their language of choice.
- They can also choose if they want to hear the original audio at a lower volume (which is something, as a media trainer, I find very useful).
I can vouch for it, and it replicates perfectly the experience of simultaneous translation in a conventional setting. In the last few months, I’ve conducted about a dozen media-training session with simultaneous translation. As long as you employ a good translator (and you’d have to do that anyway for face-to-face training or meetings) the technology works perfectly.