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Thanks to online meeting platforms like Zoom, Teams, or Webex, connecting with colleagues, peers, clients, or partners across the globe is now easier than ever. However, language barriers can still hinder meeting success.

Fortunately, remote interpreting technology makes it possible to bring in skilled interpreters who can translate your meeting in real time. Professional interpreters can be hired from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a stable internet connection and a headset.

So, how can you effectively overcome language barriers in your Zoom or Teams meetings? We've got you covered with some practical tips and tricks to ensure your multilingual meetings run like a dream.

1. Find the right interpreters for your Zoom or Teams meeting

To ensure your multilingual meeting is a success, it's essential to have trained, expert interpreters in the required languages. A language service provider or remote simultaneous interpretation provider can locate the perfect interpreters for your specific meeting requirements.

2. Choose the right multilingual meeting tech stack

While Zoom and Teams provide interpretation audio channels that allow participants to choose their preferred language, it's crucial to consider whether your interpreters have the tools required to deliver a seamless interpretation experience. It's worth exploring the various options available for both Zoom and Teams beyond the language selector.

Read more on how to select the right tech stack here:

3. Provide interpreters with preparation materials

Provide the interpreters with any materials that will be presented during the meeting, as well as any information about your company and industry that may be useful. This will greatly assist the interpreters in their work and ultimately lead to a successful multilingual meeting. 

4. Structure your meeting well

Creating a structured meeting agenda not only helps keep the conversation on track but also provides a clear roadmap for interpreters to follow. Incorporating short breaks between speakers or sections is also a nice gesture that allows everyone to catch their breath and keeps the meeting flowing smoothly. Your participants and interpreters alike will appreciate the thoughtful planning.

5. Make sure everyone uses a headset

Clear audio is crucial for interpreters to accurately translate the meeting, so making sure every speaker during the meeting has a tested and quality headset is a must.

If you're feeling uncertain about which headsets to choose, don't worry! We've curated a comprehensive list of tried-and-tested, high-quality headsets for you to use. Check them out here.

6. Ensure clear visuals for interpreters by using a quality camera

It's important to have a clear picture so that speakers can be easily seen by all participants, including the interpreters who rely on visual cues to gauge tone and emotion. Make sure that speakers are visible and easily identifiable to enhance the interpretation experience.

7. Pace your speech

To ensure smooth interpretation, it's crucial to pause between speakers and allow the interpreters to catch up, particularly when facilitating conversation between speakers of different languages. Keep in mind that interpreters require extra time to finish speaking and switch channels, so be patient and give them the time they need to do their job effectively.

Pro tip: Share this video with your speakers so they know how to best support successful interpretation.

8. Establish a clear line of communication

Effective communication with your interpreters is vital to ensure the success of your multilingual meeting. In case of any issues or support required, you need to have a reliable means of reaching out to them. This can be achieved through a dedicated interpreter coordinator and by utilising purpose-built remote interpretation platforms. With these tools, you can rest assured that your interpreters are always just a click away.


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Patricia Magaz

Written by Patricia Magaz

Learn about the latest developments at Interprefy by Patricia Magaz, Global Content Manager at Interprefy.