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Video Conferencing - Interpreting online in real-time time

Like they say in show business, “the show must go on”! And between 2020 and 2022, the world quickly adapted to digital solutions such as video and web conferencing to keep the show going. This included a new take on live interpreting services that typically would take place in a booth, live at a physical event. We can agree that the quick digital transformation was result of COVID-19’s social distancing and travelling restrictions, however communicating and interpreting virtually across borders is not a new thing, and it is still booming.

Many global organisations rely on the quality and quantity of a large diverse audience from different backgrounds and language preferences. With this need, online and real-time interpretation has taken the spotlight as conferences and meetings continue to be held virtually. In addition, some courts prefer operating virtually for a more controlled environment and therefore live, quality interpretation is of the essence.

Furthermore, the business world continues to adapt and implement hybrid work models in addition to expanding business across borders with different languages. This is creating a need for simultaneous interpretation between stakeholders and colleagues.

Video conferencing and interpretation

Traditionally, an interpreter would be physically present to give an accurate interpretation of the speaker’s message, allowing the conversation to flow between attendees. However, thanks to video conferencing technology, it’s no longer necessary for the interpreter to attend meetings in person.

Now, the business is saving costs, reducing the carbon footprint related to traveling and interpreters are more easily available.

Similar to real-life interpreting, the video call should continue as normal. The video screen of the speaker should be on, and speakers must talk clearly and use language that everyone can understand. The interpreter will need to listen and watch the interaction on-screen and pick up on non-verbal communication nuances such as facial expressions and body language.

That said, it is greatly beneficial for the interpreter to receive a copy of any meeting documents beforehand. This allows for prior translations of any business-specific terms, gives context of the meeting, and can prepare the interpreter to provide quality interpretations for the attendees.

It’s good to use the latest video meeting technology possible, to assist with ideal interpreting conditions. Popular video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet do offer simultaneous interpretation, but it is limited to size of attendees.

Ann English notes for Google Meet, “It requires opening a new window for the interpreter in the form of a link. This link is attached to the main meeting link and speakers and listeners can listen to their language interpretation, respectively. Controls are in the hand of users to adjust the volume and mini screen of the interpreting meeting.”

It’s also important to note that one will add an extension for Google Simultaneous Interpretation in your web browser. When entering the Google meeting room, a new channel can be made for the interpreter, who will be accessible to every user in the meeting room. Select the relevant language and add the respective interpreter.

Platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Cisco Webex, and GoToMeeting don’t have a native remote simultaneous interpretation function, however most translation services have software compatible with these platforms. It’s wise to first consult with your preferred translation and interpretation company to check if they can assist with your current video conferencing platform of choice.

It's also recommended to plan and book your interpretation services at least a week or two beforehand to troubleshoot the virtual meeting and allow the interpreter to get acquainted with the speaker schedule and language interpreting requirements.

DMME – Interpreting Services Anywhere Globally

DMME's interpretations aren't simply interpretations - they are carefully, but swiftly, thought out explanations of meaning and intent behind what a native speaker is saying so that nothing is missed.

We help people of diverse cultural and contextual backgrounds, for whom language would be a barrier, to connect as if they were speaking the same tongue. We bridge borders. We foster friendships. We construct connections otherwise impossible across the divide of linguistics.


  • Our interpreter team is fully accredited and qualified - which gives clients peace of mind.

  • They are well-seasoned in the interpreter industry, bringing a diverse breadth of knowledge to our clients' conferences. This ensures the intended messages are accurately conveyed.

  • Cost-effective pricing structures give you more for less.

  • We ensure every phase from planning to post-conference is stress-free for you.

  • Court interpreters, with an intricate understanding of the law, are available on request.

  • What DMME offers and how it can be linked to virtual meetings/events etc.

Check out our global coverage here and reach out to us for a free quote.


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