Saturday, July 11, 2020

zoom simul tips

I recently did my first zoom simultaneous interpreting gig. Some of the ways we set it up might be useful for you. First let me say I realize that not a lot of groups can pay $200 a month for zoom pro to have the interpreter channel in zoom, so I know many are doing the workaround of having the source language on zoom and the target language on jitsi or skype. I'm not going to speak to the tech of that here, but want to point to the extra challenge that poses. If you are doing simultaneous 'terping in a zoom interpretation channel with a colleague these tricks might help.

Because this was a webinar with an active chat channel where our comments would get lost even if we directed them to each other, the interpretation team (me, my colleague, our terp tech support person) opened a google chat and had it running on the side of our screen. We all muted that tab on our browser so that texts would not ding.

I tried to mute all things around me that ever ding and go off on my computer and around me. I managed to miss my iPad though - so really think that one through!

Our tech support person helped me make sure I didn't have my ceiling fan or distracting wall notes in my frame. 

I logged in to the event as a panelist on my desktop, which was where I interpreted. I just used my built-in desktop mike which worked fine. I logged in again as an audience member on my laptop so that I could listen to my colleague during his stints. I had large headphones that I used for the desktop and little earbuds for the laptop. While my colleague was interpreting I had one earbud in one ear and the headphones in the other ear so that I could hear both his interpreting and the source language. If there was a difficult term I fed it to him in the google chat. I also used this to note how he was rendering certain terms so that I could keep them consistent when we switched.

We switched every 15 minutes. Whoever was backup would have their camera off (and obviously be muted). The backup terp was responsible for keeping track of time and when it hit 15 would turn their camera back on. The working terp would then wait until the end of a thought or phrase and wave and point to let the backup terp know to keep going. They would then turn their camera off.

We were interpreting for a presentation by Valarie Kaur to the Friends General Conference. I was so inspired by her and deeply honored to get to interpret her message of revolutionary love. I'm excited to read her new book See No Stranger, which is just out.

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