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How do Simultaneous Interpreters Collaborate Online?

Simultaneous interpretation is a teamwork of two interpreters working in pair. Collaboration between the two is everything.

When interpreting in-person we usually sit next to each other in the interpreter's booth, and both of us are able to fully hear each other and signal to one another, wherever one needs help or wants to switch. Online this process slightly changes.

Most of the online meetings are being held on Zoom, which has an interpreter function. Thanks to that modification, the interpreter can join the meeting from anywhere in the world and provide the needed service.

Even though this function significantly simplified work for the tech personal, but it's still not perfect. For instance, language pairs are no able to hear each other on zoom, so one doesn't know when the pair is beginning or finishing their parts, moreover, they also are not able to hear interpretation from other languages in case if one of the speakers doesn't speak the source language and is being interpreted by another language professional.

So how do we collab online?

Luckily, the answer is simple, we just connect via call with our language pairs and other interprets on another app (I personally prefer Whats App), where we always have our microphones on, so all of us are able to hear each other at any given point during the meeting. Whenever we want to switch we usually send text messages to our pair.

Things to keep in mind if you are an organizer:

  1. Make sure to share the contacts of all the interpreters with their pairs as well as the other language pairs;

  2. Make sure to inform all interpreters that they won't be able to hear each other on zoom during the meeting.

  3. Provide all the materials related to your events in a timely manner, so all the language pairs can make interpretation arrangements before the event.

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