Interpretation Through Zoom

  • So, you requested interpreters for your Zoom meeting. Now what? In a traditional environment, simultaneous interpretation requires procuring and setting up transmitters, microphones, receivers, and headsets. In the virtual environment, preparing for simultaneous interpretation includes a slightly different set of tools! Please take note:

    Prepping to Zoom with Simultaneous Interpretation (1-2 weeks prior)

    • Make sure you have the current version of Zoom on your computer/laptop
      Sign in to your Zoom account. Click “Resources” in the upper right-hand corner and then select Download Zoom Client. Download the available Zoom Client for Meetings and then run the .exe file to complete the update.
    • Turn Language Interpretation On
      The majority of ACPS Zoom accounts now support simultaneous interpretation. This enables you to set up your Zoom meetings all on your own! In Settings, make sure that Language Interpretation is turned on. (You will find this about 2/3 of the way down; I always look for the virtual background photos and then go up 2). You can also add any other languages you need that aren’t automatically listed by Zoom, like Amharic, Arabic, and Farsi.
    • Schedule Your Zoom Meeting with Interpretation
      • Note: Interpretation cannot be set up from a mobile device or Chromebook.
      • When scheduling, you must use an "automatically generated meeting ID", not a "Personal Meeting ID." Language interpretation does not work with PMIs.
      • In each individual meeting, you will also have to check the box to “Enable Language Interpretation.” If you do not have the interpreter’s email address when you initially schedule the meeting, you can "x-out" the address line and save the meeting. You will want to edit the meeting and add the interpreter’s email address once you have it. This is required so that the interpreters can receive a dedicated link to enter your meeting before the scheduled start time.
    • Confirm Assigned Interpreter(s)
      After you submit an Interpreter Request Form, you will receive a confirmation email with the interpreters’ contact information from Victor Espinosa-Sanchez, ACPS Language Access Coordinator, by 2 p.m. the school day before your scheduled virtual meeting. (If you do not, please email Edit your Zoom meeting to include the interpreter’s email address as soon as you have it. This is required so that the interpreters can enter your meeting before the scheduled start time to conduct a soundcheck, etc.
    • Include an Interpretation Banner in Your Slideshow
      If using a slide show, an opening slide and a footer on each following slide indicating the languages provided would be helpful to late-joining participants. Interpretation Zoom Banner sample.
    • Extend a Professional Courtesy
      If you are using a slide deck or presentation – even if it’s not in its final format – please share this with the interpreter(s) at least one day before the event. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with any unique concepts or vocabulary and to increase the accuracy of the interpretation and parent understanding.
    • Need to schedule a Zoom webinar with simultaneous interpretation?
      Please email Erica Doody and Emily Dillard for scheduling.

    Get Set! (15-30 minutes prior)

    • Start your Zoom meeting or webinar!
    • Set Interpreter Name to “[Their Designated Language].”
      This will make it easy for you to identify their name(s) in a list of multiple participants if you need to turn off/on their video or mic.
      • Find the Interpreter’s Name in the list of Panelists (webinar) or Participants (meeting).
      • Hover over or click on their name.
      • Select More.
      • Click Rename.
      • Enter “[Their Designated Language]” and click OK.
    • Assign Interpreter to Language Channel
      • Note: The meeting host is the only person able to assign an interpreter to the language channel.
      • Click on the Interpretation globe icon at the bottom.
      • Set each interpreter to the appropriate channel by typing or matching their name as it now appears in the Participant Tab to the appropriate channel. When all interpreter(s) have been entered, click Start. If the desired language channel is not in the drop down menu, please select a substitute label.
      • Successful assignment is noted by the appearance of the (Interpreter) tag and the first two letters of the language label.
    • Turn Off Language Interpretation
      After a successful test of assigning interpreter(s), disable the interpretation feature so that interpreters can rejoin the main Zoom audio channel to provide verbal instructions for accessing interpretation services once the meeting goes live.
      • Click on the Interpretation globe icon at the bottom of your screen.
      • Select “Manage Language Interpretation.”
      • Select End.
    • Friendly Reminders
      • Remind yourself and any additional panelists to speak slowly for the interpreter. Try to speak in short, simple sentences and avoid jargon.
      • Let interpreters know that as soon as you start the meeting, you will provide verbal instructions on how to turn on interpretation services in English and will then ask them to translate into their respective languages.

    Show Time!

    • Usher In Your Audience
      Click Broadcast (webinar) or Admit All (meeting).
    • Tune In To Interpretation Channels
      It is a best practice to provide verbal instructions – in the preferred communication language of families – before the meeting begins. Briefly welcome families and provide verbal instructions for accessing interpretation services.
      • "Welcome, ACPS families! Thank you for joining us. In order to ensure all families are able to access this presentation in their preferred communication language, we are providing simultaneous interpretation in [language/s] today. Please press the globe at the bottom of your computer screen and select your preferred language. If you are watching on a phone, press the three dots at the bottom right of your screen and then select your preferred language. Thank you."
      • Announce each interpreter.
      • After all interpreters have repeated the instructions, alert the audience that there will be a brief silence before the interpretation service is active.
    • Reassign Interpreters to the Language Channels
      • Click on the Interpretation globe icon at the bottom of your screen.
      • Set each interpreter to the appropriate language channel by typing their name/language or matching it to the appropriate channel. When all interpreter(s) have been entered, click Start.
      • Remember, a successful assignment is noted by the appearance of the first two letters of the interpretation language next to the Interpreter’s name.
    • Proceed with Your Meeting!
      • Don’t forget to thank the families, panelists and interpreters for joining you!
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